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Friday, January 14, 2011

TV Show Review: Boardwalk Empire

Boardwalk Empire
Season 1
Rated: Mature Audiences

From the moment I heard about this show, I knew that I had to watch it. The Prohibition era, 1920’s, flappers have always been one of my favorite periods to read/watch/learn about in American history. I did not have HBO at the time, but I got it just in time to watch the premiere of the show. Boardwalk Empire comes from a book written by Nelson Johnson called Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City and was produced by Terence Winters (of The Sopranos fame). Martin Scorsese was the director of the first episode. All of these things point toward a phenomenal show.

The first thing I have to say about this show is it is gorgeous! The shots of the Boardwalk are amazing, the costuming is fantastic, and everything looks just like I would imagine it. I would hazard to say it is very historically factual.

The casting of roles is top notch. I have always enjoyed Steve Buscemi’s work – but his portrayal of Nucky Thompson is amazing. I think this is his best role yet. I initially wasn’t sure if he would fit the role for me, but he has for sure. I think two of the best cast characters are Michael Stuhlbarg as notorious gangster Arnold Rothstein and (even better) Stephen Graham as Al Capone. Graham steals any scene that he is in – he is funny, scary, and a darn good actor. I hope to see more of him in Season 2. There is one miss for me in terms of character – and I’m not sure if it is more of a problem with the actor or with the character he has been given – I can’t stand the character of Nelson Van Alden (played by Michael Shannon). The character is very awkward to me and I just don’t enjoy the scenes he is in. And I know you aren’t supposed to like him (because our protagonists are more of the underside of society), but I just don’t enjoy his scenes.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the events that have been featured in these episodes so far. Some of the events featured are: the election of President Warren G. Harding, the scandal surrounding the 1919 World Series, activism for the right for women to vote, the passage of the Prohibition amendment, as well as other various interactions with mobsters. There is romance, mob warfare, politics, history and more in this period piece.

If you are remotely interested in this period in history you will want to watch this show. I think there is a little something for everyone. If you don’t have HBO, it should be made available on DVD in the near future. Well worth the time and the money!

Here is the trailer:

Also, here is a scene from the first episode where we first meet Al Capone – enjoy.

Copyright © 2011 by The Maiden’s Court


  1. I loved it & can't wait for more...I was glued to my TV every Sunday nite until the end of season one. Now, I'm waiting for Spartacus to come on this month.

  2. Nancy - I haven't gotten into Spartacus yet, but it is on my list to check out. I can't wait for season 2!

  3. Loved every minute of it! My husband and I had a marathon viewing and watched them all OnDemand. Great show!

  4. Michelle - that would be an awesome marathon!

  5. I love this show! I even have a Yahoo group for it. We're quiet right now because it's not on, but it's really a great show.


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