We all know how Southie is on the entertainment radar – dead and center. From Good Will Hunting to The Departed and then to reality shows like the soon-to-air Southie Rules, South Boston is Hollywood’s favorite backdrop – especially if it involves something on the grittier side.
Showtime, the cable network that brought you the critically acclaimed show and popular show Homeland is partnering up with Robert DeNiro to create a new drama series, 4th Reich. Described as American History X meets The Town, 4th Reich is a thriller about a faction of the neo-Nazi movement and set in – where else – South Boston. According to the Boston Herald’s Inside Track, this is ruffling a lot of local politicians feathers. http://bostonherald.com/inside_track/inside_track/2013/01/robert_de%E2%80%89niro%E2%80%99s_neo_nazi_southie_series_has_pols_arms
Does it surprise us that someone is developing a fictionalized drama for a major cable network with Southie as the backdrop? Not at all, South Boston is hot right now. Is the subject of the 4th Reich ideal? When are neo-Nazi ever ideal – that subject is alway going to be controversial. But we have to remember it’s fiction. And to repeat the quote, we gave to the Boston Herald, “Do I think that after watching ‘4th Reich’ that America will think all people from South Boston are all neo-Nazis? Of course not. It would be the same as believing that all POWs are a threat to America just because you watched ‘Homeland.”
Stay strong, Southie!
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I have, oddly enough, faith in DeNiro – and it sounds as if the plot is about a former Neo nutbag who returns to Southie after rehabilitating him/herself and becoming and FBI agent – I’m not thrilled about our neighborhood being the setting, but I’m not judging just yet. However, the premise that we have neo nutbags still amongst us is most distressing.
So this makes zero sense because Neo Nazis also hate Catholics, so is the angle going to be an outside Neo Nazi group? Or some self-hating Catholics?
You know, South Boston is still a neighborhood, not some fictional Hollywood back lot. This feeding frenzy is now officially out of control. The idea of this particular show is galling to me because every time I walk down to the Island, I stop and look at our World War 2 memorial, and my heart breaks for all the brave sons of this neighborhood who gave their lives in the fight against European and Japanese fascism. I suggest that anybody who feels I’m overreacting, or out of touch, about not supporting this latest, grossly innacurate portrayal of South Boston take a walk down to that memorial. Read those names. Think about all those sons, uncles, brothers, and fathers, who fought and died to halt the Nazi horror. So, no, I’m not excited about the prospect of Robert DiNero filming an absurd show in this neighborhood. Some may say that there’s no such thing as bad publicity, but I wonder if the dozens of names on that memorial would agree.