The dynamic duo of Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are the executive producers of the new Showtime series “City on a Hill” which aired on Sunday night. The series tells a gritty tale of corruption and racism in BPD and FBI in the early 1990’s. Although fictional, there are references-a-plenty to actually Boston people, places and things like The Charles Stuart case; the bench clearing brawl that erupted at a Boston Bruins-Montreal Canadiens game in 1986; Mayor Ray Flynn; James “Whitey” Bulger in the series.
We know that Hollywood loves Boston as a backdrop but it makes most Bostonian cringe as soon as an actor open his or her mouth to speak. (We’re talking to you, Ray Donovan.) Most of the accents aren’t distracting which is a good thing. That is, with the exception of Kevin Bacon who stars in the series as Jackie Rohr, a corrupt FBI agent. Bacon’s accent runs the range of atrocious and to not that bad. We’re hoping it evens out over the next few episodes.
Southie and Charlestown get shoutouts. An armored car guard pleads for his life and mentions the fact he’s from D Street in Southie (street cred) and would never “rat” in hopes that the bank robber from Charlestown (duh) would spare his life.
Dorchester natives Kevin Chapman (J.R. Minogue) and Robert Wahlberg (Bernie Hannahan) have roles in the series. Jonathan Tucker is from Charlestown and plays a character Frankie Ryan from Charlestown. You know, the bank robber with a heart of gold.
Although it’s not Boston, Chuck MacLean, creator of the series is from Quincy and attended Emerson College. Affleck and Damon are from Cambridge but put Southie on the Hollywood radar with Good Will Hunting.
So there is lots of Boston and beyond represented and the first episode feels authentic. You’ll recognize many of the Boston neighborhoods in the exterior shots.
The second episode which will air next week, is entitled, “What They Saw in Southie High.” Hmmm….wonder what that will be about?
Episode one drew me in. I’ll definitely tune in to episode two based on the title alone. Have you watched it? Will you watch it? What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!