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Although the plot can be uneven and it can get bogged down in its myriad of storylines, this adult drama is still worth a look.
Just as the main characters in City on a Hill fight against the status quo of corruption, Fontana, as a writer and producer, has fought just as diligently against the bland status quo of television.
It's good, if you like gritty crime drama and crooked cops; and...it's going to get better.
A showy command performance by Kevin Bacon won't be taking City on a Hill to new heights. It's enough, however, to give Showtime another Ray Donovan in terms of watchable, serviceable, jut-jawed crime hours.
A show that has just enough crackling dialogue and fascinating characters to keep its sometimes-clunky plot moving.
"City on a Hill" can get a little lost in the bureaucracy of what it's building, but those details are also what keep it grounded.
The scenes involving the Ryans, including an impressive Amanda Clayton as Frankie's greedy moll of a wife, at least have an unpredictable energy. The rest of this City feels as grindingly familiar as yesterday's tabloid headline.
This is an alarming, raucous tale, told with exuberance and violence; and yet, ultimately, sort of heartwarming. It is also great good fun.
The cast is strong, the action is brisk, and the politics are poisonous.
It's through its brilliant cast and its precise writing that 90's Boston is captured in all its flaws and beauty.
The greatest promise for City on the Hill is what it has to tell us about this profoundly tribalized moment in American life, even though it is set in the '90s.
Audience Reviews for City on a Hill: Season 1
Feb 07, 2021I went with 2 stars for this show, I saw a commercial on Showtime and decided to give it a watch. Someone I know enjoyed this show, I was born in the area and from there. I thought that I would enjoy it. It had a lot of small talk, and was a bit boring and slow. Nothing really happens till about 10 mins. left of each episode. All star cast and lots of attention to detail and time period. Very spot on with accent and getting names of places right. It did kinda miss the mark for me a bit though, I might watch the second season idk yet. I do like movies/shows that place in Boston though 2 stars.
Nov 26, 2020Fantastic. Brilliant character development, and very nicely woven story lines.
Jul 09, 2020Great binge- worthy series
Apr 28, 2020The overkill of cursing turned me off from it.
Feb 16, 2020Love it. Super smart. Bacon and Hodge kill it.
Nov 21, 2019The first season does a solid job of looking at the city and its crime and corruption (as well as those struggling against those forces) from a variety of angles. I don't think this is Bacon's best performance, his character being a little too predictable for my taste, but overall a very good cast. I found Jonathan Tucker to be a particular standout. Don't go into this expecting another The Wire, but it's at least Wire-adjacent.
Sep 25, 2019I found this show very interesting with its style and Boston accents. Bacon and Hodge carry the show in a good way.
Sep 10, 2019Cliched and predictable.
Aug 29, 2019Great Beginning But It Look lies less Boring. Doesn't have Micro-Stories.
Aug 25, 2019Great story lines. Good pacing. I didn't think anything happened that was "unbelievable". The best part of season 1 was the acting by far. Everyone delivered.