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Hercules Says HBO’s Badass
New BOARDWALK EMPIRE Is
September’s Best New Series!!

Published at: Sept. 19, 2010, 10:14 p.m. CST by hercules

I am – Hercules!!
A hugely entertaining look at Prohibition-era gangsters and politics, “Boardwalk Empire” turns out to be one of the best original series ever to emerge from the channel that already gave us one great series about New Jersey criminals. Speaking of which. “Boardwalk” is masterminded by former “Sopranos” writer-producer Terrence Winter. Steve Buscemi, a major component of “The Sopranos’” fifth season who also directed four episodes of the series, plays Nucky Thompson, the enterprise’s central character. The pilot marks Martin Scorsese’s first non-documentary directorial effort for television since the 1986 “Mirror Mirror” episode of “Amazing Stories” starring Sam Waterston. I like the “Boardwalk” pilot better than most of Scorsese’s movies. It carries a lot of the wit and nuance I associate with “Mad Men” (like “Boardwalk,” a period piece overseen by a “Sopranos” vet). (And I just noticed that Paul Simms, who wrote for “Larry Sanders” before he created “NewsRadio,” has found his way onto the “Boardwalk” writing staff!) “Boardwalk” also looks expensive as hell, thanks in part to the seamless CGI effects that add scale to the period exteriors. The series’ first season is set in 1920, the year Vito Corleone began his gangster career. A lot of the “Boardwalk” scenes feel like they could be wonderful lost subplots from “The Godfather Part II.” Though the series is anchored in Atlantic City, Winter isn’t shy about exploring what Nucky’s partners and rivals are up to in New York and Chicago. There’s a little of Vito in Nucky, a bright and engaging personality who, as we meet him, has amassed an improbable amount of money and power and serves as a tough but generally benign overlord. Officially employed as the county’s treasurer, Nucky is introduced advocating Prohibition. It isn’t long before we learn he favors the measure because he can charge a lot more for whiskey once it becomes contraband. Watching the magnificent Steve Buscemi’s character work the many angles in his beachside kingdom is a joy. Scotland’s Kelly Macdonald, of “Trainspotting” and “No Country For Old Men” fame, is very likeable as Margaret Schroeder, an abused Irish immigrant, but it’s unclear why we’re paying such close attention to her until the fifth episode or so. Dabney Coleman (“Buffalo Bill”) is barely recognizable as Nucky’s aged mentor, Commodore Louis Kaestner. Michael K. Williams (Omar Little in “The Wire”) arrives in the second episode as Chalky White, a key Nucky ally and Nucky’s conduit to the county’s all-important black vote. He gets to tell a tense tale to a Klansman as the series soldiers on. Michael Stuhlberg (hilarious as Larry Gopnik in the Coen Bros.’ “A Serious Man”) is here a magnetic menace as sharp, well-spoken New York mob boss Arnold Rothstein, one of the forces that threaten Nucky’s empire. Michael Shannon (“Revolutionary Road,” “The Runaways,” “Jonah Hex”) plays IRS agent Nelson Van Alden, a family-country-and-God True Believer who grows obsessed with bringing Nucky down. Michael Pitt (“Bully,” “The Dreamers,” “The Village,” “Funny Games”) plays Jimmy Darmody, a Princeton alum who finds the horrors of combat he endured during World War I help him break into the gangstering trade. (Lot of talented Michaels on this show!) Gretchen Mol (“Life on Mars,” “3:10 To Yuma”) is winning as Jimmy’s clever and disturbingly youthful showgirl mother. Aleska Palladino, who 14 years ago was Scarlett Johansson’s pregnant big sister in “Manny & Lo,” is enormously effective as the artist wife Jimmy barely knew before he abruptly set out for war. Shea Whigham (“Fast & Furious,” “Machete”) is terrific as Eli Thompson, Nucky’s brother, sheriff and chief enforcer. New York Metropolitan Opera star Anthony Laciura has somehow been conscripted into playing Eddie Kessler, Nucky’s adept and long-suffering German valet. The only thing that prevents me from dubbing “Boardwalk” the best new show of autumn is AMC’s zombie series “The Walking Dead,” which arrives Oct. 31. I haven’t seen it, but nothing Frank Darabont has written has let me down yet. Time says:
… the best new drama of the year … It's also HBO's return to the field of big-budget, big-idea dramas it dominated in the Sopranos era — sprawling and violent, with a dark but clear-eyed view of history. … Like a good whiskey, it's rough and smooth in all the right ways. By a few episodes in, you'll want to order it by the case.
USA Today says:
… Extravagantly produced, shockingly violent and as cold and hard as ice, Boardwalk Empire brings us back to the world's former playground at the start of Prohibition — and brings HBO back to the forefront of the TV-series race. There's a growing host of homes for great series, but it's hard to imagine anyone but HBO lavishing so much money and attention on a potentially tough-sell period piece, or filling it with such an inspired array of top-level talent. …
TV Squad says:
… 'Boardwalk Empire' is a welcome addition to the roster of top-notch television dramas, not just because the every person involved (including Martin Scorsese, who directed the pilot) has done a magnificent job of making the 1920s relevant and compelling. …
HitFix says:
… so impeccably-crafted that the whole feels more original than the sum of its parts. … Despite some unavoidable bumps as Winter introduces us to a strange new world and its enormous population, "Boardwalk Empire" has sweep, style, grand characters and chilling moments. It’s fantastic. …
The New York Times says:
… a well conceived, beautifully made series that has every reason to be great. Who doesn’t want to watch rum runners and gangsters on HBO? Yet, surprisingly, given the extraordinary talent and money behind it, “Boardwalk Empire” falls short. The series gets better and more engrossing with time, but it takes more than a few episodes for it to clear its throat, establish its bona fides and fall into storytelling stride. …
The Los Angeles Times says:
… it is good, though perhaps not great; cable shows make their meaning known slowly, and even the six episodes I've seen seem too few to know. … There's no question that this is one of the most interesting and accomplished shows of the new season, though it's also true that there is not much competition this year. …
The Washington Post says:
… Steve Buscemi is nothing short of remarkable … Buscemi's buggy eyes have never been put to better use. Gleefully flouting Prohibition and taking a sizable cut of everything without a trace of remorse, Nucky is also a writer's dream …
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says:
… Buscemi offers the best reason to tune in. His Nucky is an unconventionally charming lawbreaker who shows signs of humanity often enough that he's not just another antihero. When the story is focused on Nucky and his exploits, "Boardwalk Empire" comes fully to life. But in future episodes when the story splits between Nucky in Atlantic City and Jimmy in Chicago, the series suffers due to some less interesting Chicago stretches. But even in these episodes, "Boardwalk Empire" offers a visual feast as it re-creates a period-specific world. …
The Boston Herald says:
… Scorsese’s attention to detail, from clothing hundreds of extras in period finery, to the building exteriors and the astounding assortment of autos is lavish and seems limitless. If only more care had been spent on the characters. Buscemi is the only big-name actor associated with this cast, and though he seems to be having a great time strutting onscreen, most of the others aren’t up to sharing the screen with him. …
The Boston Globe says:
… Buscemi is peculiarly mesmerizing as Nucky Thompson, the corrupt city treasurer in 1920s Atlantic City, just as Prohibition goes into effect. He is riveting in the way a spider is while spinning out a fine, labyrinthine web. And he fits just right into the big-budget, visually splendiferous vision … The show isn’t easy to warm up to, to be honest; it’s draped in — and at times stifled by — meticulous period detail and too-perfect lighting, especially in Scorsese’s premiere. But in episode two, the characters and the script begin to prevail, and the drama becomes more emotionally distinct and fascinating. And by episode three (I’ve seen six in all), the show hits its stride, with the mob action growing into a more primitive and unpredictable game, and the female characters emerging from stereotypes. …
The Hollywood Reporter says:
… a stunning achievement in production design. Having executive producer Martin Scorsese direct the pilot doesn't hurt either, though it's the subsequent episodes that sink their hooks into viewers by putting story ahead of scenery. …
Variety says:
… it's been a while since such a sweeping, epic backdrop has been put to better use. … This is, quite simply, television at its finest, occupying a sweet spot that -- for all the able competition -- still remains unique to HBO: An expensive, explicit, character-driven program, tackling material no broadcast network or movie studio would dare touch. … For those wondering when the channel would deliver another franchise to definitively put it on top of the world, Ma, the wait is over: Go directly to "Boardwalk."
9 p.m. Sunday. HBO.
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Readers Talkback

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  • Sept. 19, 2010, 1:12 a.m. CST

    FIRST!

    by JethroBodine

    I have high hopes for this series!

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 1:50 a.m. CST

    More excited about LUCK

    by rosasaks

    When do we get that, cocksuckers?

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 2:01 a.m. CST

    Nothing will ever be as great as "Deadwood"

    by Toe Jam

    But this could come close.

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 2:56 a.m. CST

    "No Country for All Men"

    by BadMrWonka

    sigh...

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 5:25 a.m. CST

    Interesting....

    by dj_bollocks

    ...very interesting...

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 6:04 a.m. CST

    The Steve Buscemi Talismanic Cameo

    by Rocco Curioso

    An obscure urban legend, in which a deal was struck between resident SNL spaz/fledgling movie star Adam Sandler with Satan and Lucifer (Joel & Ethan Coen, aka "The Coen Brothers).<P>They were reputed to have told young Sandler: "Yea, if thou takest under thy wing our minion Beelzebub (Buscemi), thou shalt be granted instant and eternal success in the Obnoxious Man-Child Comedy Movie Genre". Sandler signed his name in blood on a Popeye's Chicken bucket, and followed through on the pact with Buscemi cameos in "Billy Madison", "The Wedding Singer", "Big Daddy", and "Mr. Deeds".<P>And Sandler looked, and beheld a pale horse, and his name that sat on him was Buscemi, and box office glory followed with him.<P>The time has come to pay the fiddler, Sandman. A cameo in a future "Boardwalk Empire" episode will square you up.

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 7:27 a.m. CST

    Better than most of Scorsese’s movies? WTF

    by Bullet_time_Facehugger

    Seriously Herc? I don't doubt the show is really fucking good, as it just looks like the tits, but you found it better than most of Scorsese's movies? The Departed? GoodFellas? Raging Bull? Taxi Driver? That seems like hyperbole...

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 7:30 a.m. CST

    "nothing Frank Darabont has written has let me down yet"

    by newc0253

    did he write the Green Mile?<p> True, Darabont helmed Shawshank and The Mist, both of which were brilliant. If we get the Darabont who did those movies on Walking Dead, then fantastic. But i doubt the thesis that Darabont can do no wrong...

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 7:34 a.m. CST

    In fairness to Herc...

    by Mono

    He's seen it. We haven't. I'm not saying take his word for it, but allow Herc to have his opinion. <p> There's no reason why it couldn't be better than many of Scorcese's movies.

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 8:15 a.m. CST

    So this is basically

    by A G

    Doesn't look as character driven as Sopranos but then who am I to tell? I will be watching.

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 8:28 a.m. CST

    This is one offer..

    by BookhouseBoy

    ..that I definitely will not refuse. Been waiting ages on this.

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 9:41 a.m. CST

    I am psyched for this

    by smokie

    looks great

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 10:12 a.m. CST

    As far as Mad Men

    by brobdingnag

    is concerned, I think you are confusing nuance with boring.

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 10:20 a.m. CST

    people seem to be confusing most and all

    by Timahh

    Instead of taxi driver raging bull and goodfellas. Maybe he meant age of innocence, kundun and his michael jackson movie.

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 10:32 a.m. CST

    Better than most of Scorsese's Movies?

    by Kirbymanly

    Did you mean to put "Scorsese's recent movies"? If not, I have to imagine that this is greatest episode of television ever created.

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 10:37 a.m. CST

    Timahh....

    by Kirbymanly

    If those films are what he meant (Michael Jackson movie? You mean music video, I assume) I still find the statement questionable.

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 10:57 a.m. CST

    Better than most of Scorsese's Movies?

    by SmokingRobot

    That would be faint praise.

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 11:03 a.m. CST

    Steve Buscemi = American Treasure.

    by fiester

    They guy is one of a kind and we're lucky to have him.

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 11:08 a.m. CST

    Will give this show a chance

    by AshokForgiven

    But I hope it is PLOT driven like Breaking Bad and not a 100% character driven show that has no storyline like like Mad Men. If its anything like Mad Men, count me out.

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 11:15 a.m. CST

    I adored The Green Mile.

    by Hercules

    Really and truly loved it.

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 11:30 a.m. CST

    so it's like Jersey Shore 70 years ago?

    by palooka_boy

    GBL = Guns, Bootlegging, Laundering Money.<BR><BR>Seriously though, this show looks amazing.

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 11:30 a.m. CST

    or 90 years ago

    by palooka_boy

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 11:58 a.m. CST

    Omar's Comin'!

    by Aquatarkusman

    And he's been time-travelin'!

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 12:08 p.m. CST

    Is this show "actual good" or "overrated gangster storyline good

    by nalapou

    i.e. The Sopranos. You rarely fail me Herc. But gangster stuff is SO overplayed.

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 12:09 p.m. CST

    I like Darabonts work too but...

    by mojoman69

    remember "the Majestic"? not so great. I look forward to Walking Dead as well. Hell a Zombie mini series? how fucking cool is that? Why didnt lameass Sy-fy or Fear.net think of it? (likely cause they suck hobo dick!) As for Boardwalk Empire, it look great, but time will tell. Buscemi is the shit though. I wish they would get Walken in this somehow. THAT could be epic.

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 12:30 p.m. CST

    Also remember the Fly 2

    by paulloch

    Not everything this guy does is gold. I wish BE wes a mini-series instead.

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 12:55 p.m. CST

    Yeah, Michael Shannon wasn't nominated for an Oscar or anything.

    by Lenny Nero

    ...

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 12:55 p.m. CST

    Emmy for Buscemi

    by BurnedNotice_Dude

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 1:11 p.m. CST

    Darabont NEVER let me down yet ever.

    by MeMyselfAndNy_aaan

    So Im ready for THE WALKING DEAD for that reason plus because of the material.

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 1:15 p.m. CST

    Ill be watching this tonight...

    by MeMyselfAndNy_aaan

    Hoping its grand.

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 1:45 p.m. CST

    you loved Green Mile, Herc?

    by newc0253

    i found it too treacly. But i think it's great that you're not afraid to say it.<p> At least we are agreed, though, that he seems the perfect person to produce the Walking Dead. Having seen The Mist, i couldn't think of anyone better.

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 2:04 p.m. CST

    Good to see a real review again.

    by CCon99

    Feels like it's been a really long time. And look a mostly civil TB followed, I think I see a formula here! =P

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 3:20 p.m. CST

    Wasn't JFK's dad a one time bootlegger and gunrunner?

    by alan_poon

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 3:40 p.m. CST

    How far out do they have to plan a show...

    by SK229

    Like this? Do they usually have rough outlines for further seasons, ideas where they want to take it, or even full scripts? Just curious, I think it's rather obvious how movies get scripted and then made, but woth scripted shows, what exactly is the story process for a show such as this like from inception to season 2 or 3? How does it differ from something lower rent, like say, Warehouse 13 on syfy? Anyone know?

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 3:50 p.m. CST

    Steve Buscemi playing a badass mafia godfather?

    by AsimovLives

    I'm so there!

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 3:52 p.m. CST

    kirbymanly

    by Timahh

    yes, i mean music video(obviously as a joke) but my point was, hyperbole notwithstanding, herc did have movies to choose from when he said MOST, and it just made me angry to see everyone jump on him as if he just took a dump on original film from taxi driver or something.

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 4:03 p.m. CST

    What's wrong with "The Fly 2"?

    by Toe Jam

    For a sequel, it's actually pretty decent. He also helped make the "The Blob" into a somewhat awesome -- albeit underrated -- remake.

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 4:21 p.m. CST

    Dustin Hoffman will win the Emmy for being Dustin Hoffman

    by rosasaks

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 4:39 p.m. CST

    rosasaks, classed dismissed. Hit the nail on the

    by GQtaste

    head with that one.

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 4:51 p.m. CST

    SK229

    by HapaPapa72

    Where's JettL93 of whatever his name is when you need him? I'm sure he could answer those questions for you!

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 5:17 p.m. CST

    i love everyone predicting emmy wins already

    by Timahh

    as if bryan cranston is just gonna take the year off....4peat.

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 5:46 p.m. CST

    Yeah but Herc thinks Entourage is better than Arrested Developme

    by fastcars

    Just sayin'.

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 5:54 p.m. CST

    It oughtta be considering the nonstop media blitz

    by gruntybear

    HBO has been stumping for this ONE SHOW since last friggin' March, when every episode of "The Pacific" began with a "Boardwalk Empire" promo. HBO probably spent the equivalent of the GNP of several small African countries on the advertising budget. It's nearly as omnipresent and annoying as that for Scott Pilgrim.

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 6:24 p.m. CST

    by D.Vader

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 6:25 p.m. CST

    DABNEY COLEMAN?!?!?

    by D.Vader

    I've been saying for YEARS someone needs to cast him in something new! Thank God he's back!

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 6:26 p.m. CST

    NO ONE thinks Entourage is better than A.Development

    by D.Vader

    Seriously.

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 6:38 p.m. CST

    SK229, Right now...

    by film11

    ...if it continues, a tentative plane is for each season to be a subsequent year. season 1=1920, Season 2 = 1921, going up to the market crash of 1929.

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 6:59 p.m. CST

    WAY off topic, I know, but this was a great comment

    by gotilk

    I read. On Coppola not liking 3d: "I propose that we show our solidarity for the anti-3D movement by walking around all day with one eye closed. Suck it third dimension!" <br><br>-monty<br><br>Best comment on 3d ever.

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 7 p.m. CST

    nope, didn't catch it before it posted

    by gotilk

    wrong TB. Sorry folks. Carry on.

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 7:13 p.m. CST

    Hopefully the second golden age of HBO

    by FrodoFraggins

    is beginning with this show and Game of Thrones. But I have a feeling HBO will never reach the heights of The Sopranos, Rome, Deadwood, The Wire and Carnivale

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 9:35 p.m. CST

    for serious on the Michael Shannon credit...

    by PotSmokinAlien

    "Bug," "Revolutionary Road," "My Son My Son What Have Ye Done" would all be more fitting credits to identify the man. based on his performances in those films he is evidently a genius, motherfucker even got an Oscar nom for RR. Jonah Hex my cat's recently served nutsack.

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 9:36 p.m. CST

    severed

    by PotSmokinAlien

    i meant my cat's nutsack was recently severed. as in, it was cut off. not served like dinner. just wanted to clear that up.

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 9:41 p.m. CST

    I liked everything about that

    by buffywrestling

    epecially the in era music cues & transition effects. Need to see it again.

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 9:51 p.m. CST

    WOW

    by smokie

    that was some serious TV. And I actually agree with Herc on something - that was better then most Scorcese's movies these days. Perfectly written and executed. I hope this quality continues throughout the series. I love the homages to past gangster features, even Goodfellas (the one liners from the comedian voiced over during the heist montage, just like the Henny Youngman scene in Goodfellas)........Cheers to HBO.

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 9:57 p.m. CST

    Entourage??

    by smokie

    Was really good........four years ago.

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 10:06 p.m. CST

    Good shit

    by Jeff B Demented

    I'm interested to see how it plays out.

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 10:16 p.m. CST

    Jack flack always escapes!!!

    by Six Demon Bag

    Welcome back dabney!!

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 10:18 p.m. CST

    Insta-Hooked!!

    by harper54

    Other than the intro song which somebody should get fucking fired for, twas pitch perfect.

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 11:10 p.m. CST

    Kind of like a serious Parks and Rec.

    by RPLocke

  • Sept. 19, 2010, 11:12 p.m. CST

    LOVED IT... but yes, the opening credits SUCK

    by SK229

    That opening is so at odds with the scope of the show it's laughable. It almost seems like an afterthought... like they shot all the episodes, posted them, then were like, "Ok, are we forgetting anything? Oh shit, an opening credit sequence!" <p>I actually wasn't that interested in seeing this show, but having seen it now, I have to say it feels like I just saw the beginning of something truly great. Everything about it feels like we might see Godfather-level drama and, potentially, acting... I think it could actually be much, much better than Sopranos, which always felt forced and a bit phony to me. I'm probably the only one that feels that way... I mean, I enjoyed the show from time to time, but actually think a lot of the acting was pretty bad. Anyway, Boardwalk Empire is definitely my new favorite show if it stays this good.

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 12:06 a.m. CST

    by Andraya

    Don't think Mad Men will be getting it's fourth Best Drama Emmy next year.

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 12:08 a.m. CST

    cool

    by WINONA_RYDERS_PUSSY_JUICE

    beans

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 12:09 a.m. CST

    HBO must have a good deal on vintage three piece suits

    by RPLocke

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 12:14 a.m. CST

    TV just keeps getting better than the movies

    by Miyamoto_Musashi

    Never thought I would say that but the quality of TV (well cable at least) at the moment and the lack of quality in movies this year and last, never thought I would be more excited about new or returning TV shows compared to movies. <p> Loving Mad Men at the moment, loved the last season of Breaking Bad, True Blood was a bit of fun, waiting for Dexter & In Treatment to return, now Boardwalk Empire, Walking Dead to come.<p> Biggest miss for me for something I was excited about was Treme, Justified was good, and a few times very good, hope it can be brought to the next level next season. <p> On the movies front not really excited about a lot of the stuff to still come out this year, Harry Potter will be interesting, maybe Black Swan as well.

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 12:21 a.m. CST

    1920s and 1960s

    by Miyamoto_Musashi

    With this show and Mad men as well as lots of other shows and movies in the past there has been a lot of facination with these two decades. With the 60s its clearly about revolution and change. <p> Its very difficult but could you ever imagine a facination with the 80s, 90s or first decade of this millenium. Maybe the last decade would be about the escalation of a new fear (global terrorism) after the end of the cold war, where there was a fear of nuclear destruction. Also technology would be important re rise of the internet.

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 12:31 a.m. CST

    Miyamoto ...I've been saying the same thing since the Wire..

    by mr dark

    Television has started to really outshine what is coming out of Hollywood..Better storylines, Better acting, Damn fine production values...Wire , Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Justified, Spartacus, so may more...It is a new golden age of television...and its almost a fair trade off for the horrors of reality T.V.

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 12:49 a.m. CST

    mr dark

    by BadMrWonka

    you forgot the West Wing, but I agree. I think comedy is having a nice resurgence as well (since the 90's were basically Seinfeld and, well, nothing...unless you liked Frasier) with Always Sunny in Philly, The Office, Modern Family, 30 Rock, etc.

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 12:55 a.m. CST

    Well, the sci fi on TV is a lot better than the movies

    by RPLocke

    Lost, BSG, FlashForward, Caprica, Clone Wars,

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 1:56 a.m. CST

    maybe this show will be nominated at the emmys next year

    by JaredP

    i mean now that mad men has won three times already they need new blood i dont know if its going to be as big as the sopranis the wire the shield breaking bad or yes mad men but judging by the 1st episode its going to be a cool ride

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 1:59 a.m. CST

    lost and BSG

    by JaredP

    i almost forgot them maybe empire will take LOSTs place next year at the emmys

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 2:03 a.m. CST

    Steve Buscemi, hmmm

    by GLG_20

    Last time I saw him he was in a full body cast in Grown Ups.<p>I suppose that shows how flexible he is...

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 2:05 a.m. CST

    Fine Fine, Good Good. Where the Venture Bros. Talkback?

    by Doctor_Strangepork

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 2:31 a.m. CST

    It's just sad that Juliet Mitchell was the only Lost

    by RPLocke

    actor to get an Emmy this year. Travesty. She was barely IN season 6. Fuck.

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 3:05 a.m. CST

    fuck, that was good!

    by BadMrWonka

    Capone was never in WWI though..I would hope that most people know that. and know that he was lying. but still...I would have liked a little hint to that.<p> the "half-gangster" comment was one of the most interesting and loaded bits of dialogue ever. Pitt just nailed it.<p> they did a phenomenal job of making the pilot (although, it was obvious it wasn't just a pilot) episode more like 3 episodes...so that you get more than enough info to get you hooked, but want to see more.<p>that was damn near perfect.

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 3:11 a.m. CST

    Shut the Fuk up Donnie!!!!

    by quintana007

    Sorry couldnt resist!! Wow, that was great. Buscemi and the rest rocks. Marty seems to be in his element again

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 3:25 a.m. CST

    "Oh, Andy Cap, you wife-beating drunk"

    by Tall_Boy66

    That's all I have to say about that.

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 3:50 a.m. CST

    Meh, I miss Tony Soprano

    by rosasaks

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 4:29 a.m. CST

    scorcese did alot of borrowing to make the pilot

    by brabon300

    including from the sopranos<p>there is a scene of nucky staring out at the ocean that looks like it comes from one of tony's dream sequences<P>overall a very good introductory episode

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 4:45 a.m. CST

    brabon, not necessarily

    by quintana007

    Showrunner Terence Winter wrote many episodes of the Sopranos. But hey, great show so far

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 6:05 a.m. CST

    by rosasaks

    I enjoyed it but I've seen better pilots. Script was weaker than the art direction and acting. I think it's more plot driven than some of the strong HBO dramas where the story sprung organically from character portraits. It's not as darkly funny yet either. The visual look at times reminded me of the Sopranos episode Funhouse. I didn't like one dramatically jarring editorial device they used to create tension, as it seemed like a bit of a cheat. A couple of the sub plots were a bit hackneyed. But it was good.

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 6:07 a.m. CST

    Public Enemies

    by rosasaks

    Had a scene a bit like the one in the woods. Maybe Michael Mann can return the favour in LUCK :)

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 7:16 a.m. CST

    This was good. I want to be immersed in its world.

    by ColonelFatheart

    If anything, the script had a little too much direct exposition, but that's expected in pilots. Marty gets to be Marty, but he's restrained since he's establishing a fluid visual style for an entire series. I hear that the directors of subsequent episodes are consistent with the style and that the show gets even better.

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 7:17 a.m. CST

    The best pilot I've seen is still Deadwood's.

    by ColonelFatheart

    "I'm descended from all those cocksuckers."

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 7:22 a.m. CST

    Who shot Big Jim in Chicago and Why?

    by cookylamoo

    Help please.

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 8:35 a.m. CST

    I'll tell you one thing that's very weird though...

    by harper54

    watching Scorsese direct without Thelma Schoonmaker editing. It's just odd. It's weird like looking at someone missing a limb or two. Maybe like the first time Beatles fans saw Paul without John or something. Excellent overall though and was it just me or was there an odd color filter on the whole thing. Purple blood and other filters to make the colors pop as opposed to say, the washed look of Oh Brother. Maybe tone it down a notch or two.

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 8:39 a.m. CST

    SPOILER, Re: Big Jim

    by ColonelFatheart

    I think Big Jim was taken out by the other Chicago guy who now has Capone working for him.

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 8:44 a.m. CST

    Michael Pitt is now Scorsese's backup Leonardo DiCaprio

    by SpyGuy

    Can't get DiCaprio for your weekly TV series? Well, here's Michael Pitt as his stand-in.

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 8:55 a.m. CST

    Is Mark Wahlberg likely to show up in later seasons?

    by rosasaks

    He's attached as executive producer, and Entourage can't go on forever. <p> Agree that Jimmy Darmody is effectively the protagonist, although it's not such blatant scene stealing as a certain Mr Swearengen.

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 9:31 a.m. CST

    Loved the introduction of Al Capone

    by chimpjnr

    That my my favorite moment of the pilot. The casual way in which it was thrown in was almost like a punchline. This is going to be a great show.

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 9:38 a.m. CST

    No, PLEASE do not 'wash out the colors' Oh Brother style...

    by SK229

    For fuck's sake, I am SICK AND TIRED of color grading that basically picks one color, usually either blue, yellow, or orange, and then washes the scene with shades of that one color. It's black-and-white... but with color! I LIKE seeing color, and I thought this show had a vibrant palette that gives a feeling for the times. Oh Brother, as good as it looks, started the trend of overly aggressive color grading from these fuckhead techie bastards who LOVE to waltz in and get their job to be uber-important to the filmmaking process 90 PLUS years into the medium, as though the first 7 decades of color filmmaking suffered without color grading. This is becoming worse with digital cameras like Red, where it shoots Raw, so if you have a D.P. who's unsure, the whole image goes to shoot as the tech heads come in and tell you what you can and can't do and what looks good, meanwhile they have ZERO aesthetic sense whatsoever. What's worse is now directors are going back and using this shit on their older films, so that, imho, even the Godfather blu-ray looks a bit unnatural and no longer has that natural, organic feel of 70's film stocks. Instead, it feels like color blocks that fall off into solid blacks, instead of a more even contrast and tone across the image. It's RUINING the look of movies... end of rant.

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 9:54 a.m. CST

    The worst thing about Boardwalk Empire ...

    by Itchy

    is that the next time I'm down in Disney World at the Boardwalk Inn, I'm going to be looking around for Steve Buscemi smuggling booze in the back door. I guess I never realized how realistic Disney was in designing that place ... it looks like part of the freaking set from BE.

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 9:59 a.m. CST

    Watching Boardwalk and then Madmen

    by cookylamoo

    Is like watching a two hour love letter to alcohol.

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 10 a.m. CST

    SK229 umm

    by harper54

    I wasn't saying they should wash the colors out like in OBWAT but I was saying they seem to be using a color enhancing filter. I would prefer they just did this straight (say like in the sopranos) without any effect at all. <p> http://tinyurl.com/28h2x2v Tone that down! And change the fucking opening number to any of the great music played in the actual episode! 60's freedom rock does not put me in the mood for 1920 crime drama!

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 11:08 a.m. CST

    Good show . . .

    by Nice Marmot

    . . . but the majority of the talk-backers above need to take the show and get a room for an hour or two. Calm down . . .

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 11:09 a.m. CST

    Anyone heard from CHOPPAH?

    by Le Vicious Fishus

    I know some of you guys don't like him, but I consider The Choppah a good (albeit bugnuts) friend. <BR><BR> And TB seems so empty without him.

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 11:56 a.m. CST

    That opening was a bit weak.

    by skycrapper

    Especially by a network known for their openings.

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 12:17 p.m. CST

    Le Vicious Fishus

    by AsimovLives

    Fuck The_Choppah, he's useless. Don't cry over uselessness.

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 12:39 p.m. CST

    Schoonmaker served as a "consultant."

    by ColonelFatheart

    Whatever that means.

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 12:51 p.m. CST

    Man, that was good (spoilers)

    by MGTHEDJ

    Loved Nucky's reaction to Lucky's outbust when he was insulted at the casino. By the end when Jummy and Al have hijacked the shipment and killed the NY guys, Nucky realizes he is in business with psychopaths.<p>The members of the temperence movement were not known for being stategic thinkers. Banning booze nationwide only allowed the small-time hoods who were managing brothels and opium dens, and then using nightclubs to launder their money, to become multi-millionaires and have blood running in the streets.<p>I'm in for the full ride.-----later-----m

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 12:54 p.m. CST

    Man, That was good (no typos) (spoilers)

    by MGTHEDJ

    Loved Nucky's reaction to Lucky's outbust when he was insulted at the casino. By the end when Jimmy and Al have hijacked the shipment and killed the NY guys, Nucky realizes he is in business with psychopaths.<p>The members of the temperence movement were not known for being strategic thinkers. Banning booze nationwide only allowed the small-time hoods who were managing brothels and opium dens, and then using nightclubs to launder their money, to become multi-millionaires and have blood running in the streets.<p>I'm in for the full ride.-----later-----m

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 1:46 p.m. CST

    Yikes, the Mist

    by mayorofsmpleton

    Was great up until the cheap shot "shock" ending. What could have been a fantastic genre offering completely falls apart with one of the most laughable endings to any film I've seen in the last decade. Darabont spends the entire film setting up a father that will do anything to protect his son even when it seems completely hopeless. I didn't buy for a second that given where they end up in the car that he'd do what he does... then we get the oh so hysterical "clean-up" moment just seconds later to make it all so ironic and heart-wrenching... please. Someone with a little more subtlety could have made this ending work but as it stands it's a cop-out and just lazy storytelling. I could buy the father's behavior -- but not the way it's presented in the film. All hope did not appear to be lost. I'm even more disturbed that Stephen King apparently liked the film's ending more than his own original story's end -- which is chillingly perfect with just the right level of ambiguity. Otherwise the movie was rather enjoyable and mostly spot-on. So long as Frank avoids lazy nonsense like that -- The Walking Dead should be awesome. Almost everything else he's done has been wonderful.

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 1:47 p.m. CST

    Boardwalk Empire --

    by mayorofsmpleton

    Looks to be absolutely amazing and I can't wait to check it out.

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 2:16 p.m. CST

    I thought it was uneven and poorly edited...

    by -guyinthebackrow

    Too many music interludes. What is this 90210? And there were a few scenes with some poor acting and a bunch of cliched dialogue. "I'm not the same man I was!" I liked a lot of it. I hope it gets better. But, this is no THE WIRE.

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 2:37 p.m. CST

    Buscemi is Mr. Pink

    by Big_Coffin_Hunter

    I can't take him seriously as a hardcore gangster. Only as a joke who can't be taken seriously. In the episode last night. Buscemi's character Nucky was too weak to knock down the bathroom door his girlfriend locked herself in but strong enough to whoop some guys ass by slaming his face into a poker table.

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 3:15 p.m. CST

    Big_Coffin_Hunter

    by eric haislar

    He's not a gangster he is a politician and a profiteer.

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 4:53 p.m. CST

    It was OK, not great

    by daggor

    It looked great. The Battered pregnant woman will obviously be a love interest - that was telegraphed long before the final scene. Nucky's wife died 7 years ago, he likes looking at babies (He wants a baby!!!!) and looking into fortune teller windows (What does his future hold?!!!). He'll be dealing with the gangster lifestyle, keeping his slut girlfriend and courting the battered woman.

  • Sept. 20, 2010, 8:16 p.m. CST

    I don't know about the Fed relgious zealot.

    by GQtaste

    I realize it was a different time but I hope he's not all about god and whatnot.

  • Sept. 21, 2010, 11:57 a.m. CST

    GQtaste: he is all about God and whatnot

    by MGTHEDJ

    After WW II, the temperence movement morphed into the Social Conservatives of the Republican Party.-----later-----m