City On A Hill: Season One – DVD Review

The Showtime series starring the incredibly versatile and always fantastic Kevin Bacon and SAG Award winner Aldis Hodge, City On A Hill: Season One comes home on DVD from Paramount Canada.

The ten episodes tell an engrossing tale that follows a corrupt, but hardworking Bureau agent, Jackie Rohr (Bacon) form an uneasy alliance with the new Assistant District Attorney, DeCourcy Ward (Hodge) when a case that starts out as an armoured car hijacking and robbery turns into something that will affect the entire Massachusetts justice system.

The series also features Jill Hennessy, Mark O’Brien, Lauren E. Banks and Sarah Shahi. And despite how good all of these actors are, Hodge is fantastic, there seems no comparison to the performance that Bacon turns in.

Kevin Bacon as Rohr is on a whole ‘nother level here. The character could be completely out of control and over the top in the hands of other actors, but Bacon brings a manic control to the character, filling Rohr with a dangerous edge that makes you unable to look away, and sparks every scene he is.

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Over the course of ten episodes, the armoured truck case unfurls, but interwoven through all of that are character moments that build arcs, depths and reality, layering in with the work and home lives of all the major characters.

It’s a fascinating watch, as DeCourcy and Rohr try to figure out how to work with one another, when it’s obvious that despite being a federal agent Bacon’s Rohr only has his own best interests at heart, even if he does seem to know where almost all the bodies are buried.

This is smart, sharp and crisp television, told cinematically even as it is doled out in episodes, that are completely bingeable. You’ll blink and you’ll be through the first of the four discs that complete the first season.

There are a couple of extras that takes a look inside the first trio of episodes, a look at how Boston of the 90s was captured for the series, and a behind the scenes look at Kyra Sedgwick’s, an accomplished director and actor, and Bacon’s longtime partner, directing work for the series.

With so much good television out there right now, it’s tough to sift through it all to find something that is really engaging, and doesn’t patronise the viewer, and thanks to Paramount Canada, this one arriving in time for winter (wouldn’t you rather be in side curled on a couch watching something under the covers instead of outside in the chill?), means you have something to do on those early dark evenings, and Bacon’s amazing performance to talk about at holiday parties.

City On A Hill: Season One is available from Paramount on DVD today!

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