HBO has given a green light to a six-hour David Simon miniseries about race relations, poverty-stricken low-income housing, and the general ineffectiveness of bureaucracy—in other words, all of the pandering, crowd-pleasing elements that Simon traffics in to our delight. Titled Show Me A Hero, after Lisa Belkin’s book of the same name, the series will star Inside Llewyn Davis’ Oscar Isaac as a young mayor in 1960s Yonkers, New York, who’s forced by federal court order to build housing projects in his town, causing considerable blowback from its residents and bringing all of local government to a standstill, and destroying his career in the process. Catherine Keener will co-star as one of those Yonkers homeowners who “comes to a remarkable realization” during the ensuing battle—one that, knowing Simon, isn’t shared by her fellow townspeople and ultimately proves futile.
Paul Haggis is set to direct the pilot, where his more heavy-handed Crash tendencies will hopefully be balanced by the script from Simon and his former The Wire collaborator William F. Zorzi. It’s unclear whether Show Me A Hero is meant to take the place of Simon’s Martin Luther King Jr. series announced earlier this year, or is meant to be a separate, beautifully poignant show about how we’re all basically fucked.