September 19, 2010


For me, the new television season started tonight with the series premiere of HBO's Boardwalk Empire. Now, I fully admit that I'm going to have to watch the pilot a few more times to fully appreciate everything that went on, but I did want to share my initial thoughts.

After "Boardwalk Empire", I tweeted about how I wanted to like the episode more than I did, but I also realized that the show has potential. Like with any show, it's hard to judge an entire series solely on its pilot, which is why I'm going to be sticking around for a few weeks, but tonight's episode didn't blow me away right off of the bat.

Since it looks like Boardwalk Empire is going to be a heavily serialized show, the first time out had to establish the universe and plot lines, which explains why the first part of the pilot took its time to build up steam. It wasn't until Jimmy confronted Nucky about his station in life and what he did to change it that I started to get on board with the show.

While the story of the first episode took some getting used to, the world created and the characters that occupy it did impress me immediately. The production designers did an amazing job and were able to create a visually stunning version of 1920's Atlantic City, and it's a setting that I'm excited to explore.

As for the characters, Steve Buscemi has made a career at playing characters like Enoch "Nucky" Thompson. He's ambitious, scheming, and generally slimey, but he's not a one-dimensional character either. Watching Nucky help out Margaret and observe premature babies being taken care of (creepiest storefront ever by the way) indicated that there's more to the character. Also, Jimmy Darmody quickly became the most intriguing character, and Michael Pitt did a good job at showing us the challenges some vets face after they've come home.

Again, the one thing I've learned TV over the years is you have to give a new show some time to find its legs, which is why I'm willing to give Boardwalk Empire a few more weeks to really suck me in to this visually striking world.


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