Boardwalk Empire’s much anticipated first season is coming to an end. There is no doubt that this is HBO’s next mega hit and Empire has been renewed for another season. This show is unique in so many ways. It is the first series or television show that has ever been set in this time period (1920’s during prohibition in the United States of America). This was also one of the most expensive shows that HBO has ever produced; the team behind the show built a replica of the Atlantic City boardwalk in Brooklyn. Martin Scorsese directed the first episode of this gem and was a big part in making the series happen along with Mark Wahlberg and Sopranos writer Terence Winter.
Although Martin Scorsese only directed the first episode of this season, the rest of the episodes had his style all over them. Original music from that era is used, something that Scorsese is well known for. The other episodes also use a lot of shots and brutal realistic gore that are the talented director’s calling-card.
It should be interesting to see where HBO takes this series and how long it will run. Prohibition lasted for thirteen years and almost all of the characters in the show are non-fictional. Nucky’s last name was changed so that they could change his story line if they have to down the road. From what is said about the real Nucky Johnson (who in this show is named Nucky Thompson – far stretch) he is played almost exactly the way he actually was in real life by Steve Buscemi. Other famous gangsters featured in the show are Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, Myer Lansky and Arnold Rothstein (who allegedly fixed the 1919 World Series). All of these men became very rich in real life from the bootlegging era.
In many ways this show’s thematic content can be compared to the way marijuana is viewed in today’s day and age: outlawed, but for no good reason. And as a result, many people in today’s underworld are profiting from the prohibition of marijuana just like the gangsters of the 1920’s did.
This show started slow for the first three episodes, but after that, it took right off and now you just can’t get enough of it. It reminds me of a previous HBO show called The Wire, which started slow for the first three episodes and turned into one of the best shows HBO has ever done and lasted five seasons. So if you are into the crime genre type movies or just love a great story, this is definitely a show for you. I strongly recommend checking this one out, I believe it is on Shaw on demand and will be on DVD shortly. The season one finale of Boardwalk Empire airs this Sunday on HBO at 8:00 p.m. I can’t wait for season two!