A recent article about my town, Wilmette, IL, has the village buzzing. According to The Onion, Wilmette will be the basis of a new TV show created by David Simon that will vigorously probe our citizens’ pervasive contentment, affluence and use of good grammar (see article below.)
It’s a spoof of course – there won’t be a casting call for extras at the Village Hall – but the real implication is that nothing bad ever happens in Wilmette. If only that were true.
Yes, Wilmette is wonderful community to live in – it’s safe, friendly, clean and perfectly situated on the lake and close to Chicago . But, like everywhere, bad things go down here too. I’m not just talking about rats and robbers. I’m talking about the big stuff. In the last 5 years we’ve had a number of shockers – a waitress gunned down on the street in front of her daughter, a murder-suicide next door to a church, drug busts, corrupt politicos, and far too many suicides.
My kids know that when there are helicopters circling over the neighborhood, they need to get inside.
A heartbreaking situation that’s going on right now is the fallout from a hit-and-run accident that occurred on Friday afternoon near New Trier High School. An 18 year-old Wilmette girl hit a 16 year-old girl from Glencoe in a busy intersection, then drove away. The injured girl is in critical condition at Evanston Hospital after having brain surgery. The driver (a high school senior) is in jail. From all reports, she simply panicked. Her bail was set at $500,000; her family can’t afford to pay the $50,000 needed to gain her release.
If only Wilmette were as problem free as the Onion makes our village out to be. It is a funny article though.
NEW YORK—Speaking at an HBO press junket Monday, acclaimed writer-producer David Simon, creator of the gritty urban dramas The Wire and Treme, announced that his next project will be an epic, multilayered examination of the contented and comfortable streets of suburban Wilmette, IL.
Critics have praised the show’s true-to-life depiction of Wilmette’s occasional recycling-pickup problem.
According to Simon, the sprawling new series, tentatively titled The Township, will offer a searing and unsentimental glimpse into the happy social fabric of modern-day Wilmette, an area known for its deeply untroubled history and well-functioning political structure.
“As a writer, my mission is to tell a story that makes viewers think about how conditions in American cities are created,” Simon told reporters. “We can't just turn our back on the staggering levels of happiness occurring in a place like Wilmette and say, 'Well, that's not my life.' We have to confront this tranquility head-on and shine a light on the institutions that are responsible for it.”
Added Simon, “I want this show to be an unflinching dissection of how the system has in no way failed the people of this town.”
According to HBO sources, the novelistic series will chronicle the interconnected web of police officers, politicians, tradespeople, teachers, and ordinary families who are “all complicit” in perpetuating the cycle of institutional effectiveness that makes Wilmette the seventh best place in the country to raise children.