Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What I’m Watching: Boardwalk Empire

Boardwalk Empire: Season 1, Episode 4 “Anastasia” (A-)

I’m glad I stuck around. My patience was wearing thin considering the plodding pace of the first three installments of this show, but like most of HBO’s recent fare, it just took a little time to break in this new series. Thanks to Jack Moore of Ology for giving me encouragement – you were right (check out his list of ten awesome things about this episode). There are many things that I really liked about this episode, and I’m even approaching more clarity about who all of the supporting characters are and how they’re connected (I don’t think I’ve been paying close enough attention). Firstly, I love the episode’s title and how it serves as a subtle undercurrent of the episode’s events, starting out as a story on the radio and ending up as a disappointing headline on the newsstands. The influx of newly featured characters in this episode is spectacular, and I’m pleased with everyone. Starting out with the seedy, we have Geoff Pierson, a former President from “24,” and Chris Mulkey, of “Sleeper Cell,” “Twin Peaks,” and much more, as the two politicians with whom Nucky cavorts. Emily Meade and Gretchen Mol gave spectacular performances as Pearl and Gillian, respectively, making the women on this show even more memorable than the men. And that’s not even mentioning Kelly Macdonald, whose Margaret Schroeder manages to knock Senator Edge down a peg and capture Nucky’s glance as his less intelligent girlfriend bursts out of the cake. Also of note is the fantastic Michael Kenneth Williams as Chalky, whose storytelling skills are almost as impressive as his amputation abilities. I’m very excited that this show is picking up and getting really, really good.

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