Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Boardwalk Empire

Every year since I've been home for Thanksgiving break, I see my highschool friends and my family, and I curl up in front of the television and watch the "Boardwalk Empire" episodes I missed while I was at school. "Boardwalk Empire" is a great crime show about the gangsters in Atlantic City, starting on the eve of prohibition. The show's creator is Terence Winter, who wrote many of the best episodes of "The Sopranos," the greatest crime show of all time.

The show follow Enoch "Nucky" Thompson (Steve Buscemi), treasurer of Atlantic City, who uses his power and money to sell alcohol illegally. The show focuses on him, his protege Jimmy (Michael Pitt), his brother, the sheriff Eli, and Margeret Schroeder (Kelly MacDonald), the woman Nucky is courting. These are the four major characters in season 1, but the cast expands quickly, covering people from all the different sides, including agent Nelson Van Alden (Michael Shannon), the most fascinating character who is a brutal and religious man who wants to bring down Nucky.  The show deals with moral corruption and how far someone will go for what they want.

The show starts of slowly and does hit a few bumps, but every episode has so many great scenes that include betrayal, trickery, shoot outs, murder, and even engaging monologues. The show is currently on its third season, and after watching it for so long, I realize that although the show is fun, it's sometimes hard to figure out which character I am supposed to be rooting for because no one is good samaritan.

The highlight of the show is the production value, which I think is probably the highest of any show I have ever seen. The sets are often grandiose in the attention to detail. Every shot is well done and beautiful and the sound design is phenomenal, finding ways to incorporate music, both diegetic and on diegetic, into the scenes. If you are interested in studying production, it is a great show to watch.

I recommend the show if you enjoy crime dramas or need a fix while "Breaking Bad" and "Mad Men" are on hiatus.

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