Boardwalk Empire

Anybody watching this?

Watched the first episode last night; it was pretty good. I like anything with Steve Buscemi and/or that era in American History. I usually have trouble keeping up with series, but I think I can stay with this one.

Yeah, I’ll definitely be watching. The strong acting and incredible production values were enough to hook me.

The actual plot didn’t really grab me in the premiere, but it was very expository.

Buscemi is great. Nice to see him play against type a little – his usual roles have him a bit more impotent, wormy, and unpleasant. As my wife said after watching, it turns out a bit of power suits him well.

So, what did we all think about episode 2? Do you think the widow squealed to the Feds?

The show is good so far… but it’s not great. I mean, it’s as good as you’d expect an HBO production of a Martin Scorsese-influenced drama about blah blah blah starring Steve Buscemi to be. But it hasn’t really transcended that the way The Wire or Deadwood did.

But it’s still early, and it’s still certainly worth watching.

I wonder if it’s historically accurate. I’m sure that any significant actions by the major characters is at least based in fact, I assume that’s all I can realistically count on.

Rothstein’s response to the hijacking will be interesting. In the 20’s, I think the gangsters were just gangsters as opposed to having an extensive organized network like the Cosa Nostra. So I’m guessing that they were closer to modern street gangs in terms of organization and capabilities.

That’s what made Rothstein unique - he was the first of the gangster businessmen. Unlike other gang members who grew up on the streets, he came from an educated, middle-class background, who got into crime because of a passion for gambling and a head for numbers. He was the first to instill a broader, more calculated view - along with a veneer of class and sophistication - to organized crime.

Who’s still watching this song?

I was wondering about the song at the Celtic dinner – “Carrickfergus.” It has been recorded by dozens of different artists since the 1960s and it might have been written in the early 18th century.

However, from what I have found on the web, it seems that the song did not become well known in the United States until its revival in the 1960s. Is it realistic that it would have been considered such an integral part of St. Patrick’s Day in 1920?

He was singing it to a bunch of first and second generation Irish immigrants. People who own and wear kilts with all the trimmings. I don’t find it unreasonable that that population of Americans would know the song.

I’ve been watching the show but it’s not keeping me on the edge of my seat. Right now it just seems like a nice story and a good piece of historical fiction, which I love.

We do all agree that The Wire took about 5 episodes to really grab us by the throats, so hopefully Boardwalk Empire will ramp up soon.

I haven’t watched every episode – just the first, most of the second, some of the third, and a bit of the last one. I’m not impressed. It looks great, but the writing can be kinda lame. One scene in the last episode, the couples at the club, the guy telling the “What do you tell a woman with two black eyes?” joke, and the talk about women voting – very boring and predictable conversation. (Maybe it was supposed to be boring?)

All the other HBO series I’ve liked have grabbed me right away. It took me awhile to watch an episode of The Wire, but as soon as I sat down and watched the first episode all the way through, I was hooked. I didn’t know how good it was going to be, but you could tell it was going to be special.

I’ve been keeping up with it. It’s entertaining. It’s not enthralling. A lot of talky-politicin’ and not a lot of gangsterin’ yet. I’ll hang on a few more episodes and see if it picks up.

I thought the last episode was the strongest of the bunch. I really enjoyed it, and I’m hoping that it was the turning point of the season and things will start heating up more now.

If they were that familiar with the song, I think it would have been well known in American culture in general. After all, other songs and customs of Irish-American culture were very pretty widely known to the general public. I could be wrong, but I get the impression that until the 1960s, the song was truly a folk song in Ireland and not even very well known in the popular culture of Ireland or Britain.

I haven’t been too impressed with it for the most part. But this last episode was a cut above the rest. The interaction between Nucky and Margaret in this episode saved it. Nicely done dynamics.

Michael Pitt just isn’t getting the job done. I liked him in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, but he’s not convincing in this role.

The interaction between Jimmy and his mommy is really squicky. Especially when we first met her. She was in a sheer top with falsies and she jumps on the guy and starts kissing him. Then we find out that’s his mom! Icky.

I think HBO is going to regret renewing BE right after the highly rated premier. It’s ratings are down, especially for the previous episode. Some data.

The most important thing to notice is that this small thread is all it’s had at the SDMB. That’s not a good sign for a show like this. Basically no buzz since it debuted.

I keep watching and waiting for something buzz-worthy to happen. Babysitting the sliced-up opium hooker was a snoozer of a storyline.

Well, I like it a bunch. And I’m sure the Nucky/Margaret storyline is going to give things a real boost.

Isn’t it his older sister?

Nope. Gillian (Gretchen Mol) is Jimmy’s mother.

In the last episode, Angela noted that Gillian doesn’t let Tommy call her “grandmother.”

I’ve seen every episode. I think it’s good, but not great. I guess that means it didn’t live up to my expectations, which were high. I’ll keep watching. Many times shows like this need a five or six episodes to really get going. But sometimes I feel like I’m watching a “R rated” color version of 60s TV series The Untouchables.

I’ve watched every episode since the most recent. My favorite character is probably Capone, who from what I’ve read was at least that crazy (waking Jimmy up with the gunshot- as a joke). Nucky is interesting but lacks the charisma to be as compelling as Al Swearengen or Russell Edgington or other HBO “villains you love to hate”. In answer to the questions about the historical authenticity I think it’s about on par with Deadwood (i.e. real historical figures, some truth in the events, mostly fiction). I’m not hooked yet.

The main surprise to me about the series is the realization that “Damn Dabney Coleman got old!”.

Actually, I’ve heard that Capone actually came off as charming with most people, while in this series, he’s really a sociopath.

No kidding. He’s unrecognizable.