After successfully exploring the grim undercurrents of the swinging ’60s, the methamphetamine trade, and a zombie apocalypse, AMC could stand to lighten things up with its latest original scripted series. Enter White City, an adventure series set in Kabul, Afghanistan, the capital city known worldwide as a premier thrill-seeking destination—thrills that involve ethnic, religious, and territorial tensions dating back to the days of Alexander The Great. From former journalist John Dempsey, one-time U.S. Special Envoy For Afghanistan And Pakistan Richard C. Holbrooke, and Criminal Minds showrunner Tom Freston comes the story of “war junkie” Jon Liston, whose attempts to speak with insurgents kick off the personal journey chronicled by the series. As any war junkie will tell you, if you want the sweet, sweet high of pure, uncut war, you gotta go to the source of conflicts that have been simmering for centuries.
By setting their show in Kabul, Dempsey, Holbrooke, and Freston have opted to tackle issues in the Middle East in a way that avoids the indirect, stranger-in-a-fictional-land tactics of FX’s Tyrant. However, if anything can be gleaned from the title White City, they just might be replicating Tyrant’s casting strategies.