I don’t keep up with popular culture to the extent that I should, so I only found out about this great series from my friend Chris.
Just saw episode 8 of the new HBO series, Boardwalk Empire. I’ve got a column to write today, so I’ll have to keep this sort of brief.
There are several reasons to like this series about a crime family that basically runs all of Atlantic City during Prohibition:
- Like the outstanding Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire is about mobsters. One of the things I liked about Sopranos was the writers always made sure the thugs had some redeeming qualities. The very crooked Thompson family — and even their enemies — feature at least a few characters you can connect with on some level (e.g Jimmy Darmody)
- The production is highly stylized without being pretentious. Most of the characters are sharply drawn without being reduced to caricatures. That is no mean feat in a series about the mob.
- I love how the lead character, Atlantic City treasurer and mob boss Enoch “Nucky” Thompson, doesn’t look like a mobster. He looks like an impeccably dressed nerd. That bit of ironic casting actually makes Nucky a little more frightening than, say Tony Soprano or Vito Corleone.
Here’s something not to like about it:
- There is so much gratuitous, profanity, nudity and sex that you’ll want to make sure you are well out of range of children. If I were watching a scene in the cat house that Jimmy frequents, I would be absolutely horrified if my 12-year-old daughter walked in.
Of course, other than that, the series is perfect. If you haven’t already, take a look and let me know what you think.