Sunday, September 26, 2010

DVR Guide - "Boardwalk Empire"

In prohibition-era Atlantic City, treasurer Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi) serves a dual role as the public face of the of the town's anti-alcohol movement and the private supplier of the very drink he professes hatred for. Nucky works every angle, brokering a deal with a local fisherman to bring in Canadian booze and another deal to sell the booze to a partner in Chicago. As the ATF closes in on Nucky's operation, his right-hand-man Jimmy (Michael Pitt) pulls a power play that both benefits Nucky and puts him in a dangerous position.

It is always very difficult to write a summary for the first episode of an HBO series. The network employs some of the most creative and yet complication-driven writers in the business. "Boardwalk Empire" is no exception as it delivers on of the more in depth, complex pilots to grace my television in quite some time. I'm just going to be honest with you, dear reader(s), because I know that's what you expect from me: I did not follow the events of "Empire" as easily as I had hoped. I'm not exactly sure what's going on with several of the show's story lines and I had a hard time remembering and recognizing who each character was.

Still, that doesn't change the fact that "Empire" is already looking like an outstanding series. Buscemi strikes the perfect balance between honest and shady, hitting the crooked politician nail on the head. The time period is extremely well represented in every facet of the show, a fact that you almost take for granted because it's what you've come to expect from HBO but is nevertheless of great importance. I'm also seriously intrigued to see the development of Jimmy, who goes from one extreme to the other in a matter of minutes while leaving room for what could be an excellent internal conflict for the show's second biggest player. "Empire" is quite slow at times and more than a bit confusing, but its pilot episode only sets the stage for what could be a great season.

Verdict: Season Pass

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