Saturday, April 2, 2011

Boardwalk Empire Season 1

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Boardwalk Empire Season 1 - 4 out of 5

First off, I know what you're thinking, "Ron, the first season of the critically acclaimed HBO series hasn't come out on DVD yet and you (for the most part) only review movies and shows that are released on DVD."

I understand that but thanks to the wonderful invention of the internet, I was able to watch all the episodes I wasn't able to see when it was broadcast. You see, and I'm ashamed to admit this but I don't have HBO. I'm poor.

Now to the review:

Why do they even bother calling any HBO show "critically acclaimed?" HBO is so good at picking out good shows and add in the fact that their batting record is nearly perfect, they should just have a standard of excellence called the "HBO Factor." Yes, the cable network's shows are so good, they deserved their own standard and Boardwalk Empire is no exception.

Taking place during one of America's biggest mistakes, the show centers around bootlegger/political figure Enoch 'Nucky' Thompson during Prohibition on the shores of Atlantic City. Creator Terence Winter, former producer of The Sopranos, nearly perfectly recreates the era. The series also showcases an incredibly line-up of talented actors guiding us through the addicting story lines and development of the show's characters. Steve Buscemi plays the lead role Nucky and is unlike anything I've ever seen him play before. Oh, and for all you fans of The Wire, Michael K. Williams (the man who portrayed Omar) is in this show and his character is just a bad ass!

But where would you be if you only had a bunch of great actors and a weak story? Well, you would probably have a Showtime show (ZING!!). Like all HBO shows, the story here is very addicting and engaging. Often, I found myself looking for another location on the internet to watch the next episode after I finished the one I was on. But, like I said, it's an HBO show and they don't mess around with their dramas.

While the show has had an overwhelming response with the critics, some people have claimed that the show feels too much like The Sopranos and being a period piece, the era can be distracting to the story. To those, I say: Of course it will feel a little like The Sopranos because the creator of the show use to work on the mafia hit series but Boardwalk Empire is truly its own show as the only real thing the two series have in common is the fact it's about organize crime--except Boardwalk Empire shows the forefathers to people like Tony Soprano and how organized crime got started. And as far as the time era being distracting to the story...um, you can't have a Prohibition-era historical story set in 2011.

In the end, Boardwalk Empire has a very engaging story about one of America's darkest times and the attention to detail is amazing! I can't wait for season 2...of course I'll have to watch it on the 'net because I'm so poor. Maybe I should take up bootlegging?

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