Oh, glory be, after more than 13 months, "Sex" Ed Vincent has returned to 'Saturday Night Live.' Funny, back in October of 2010, if I would have had a sneak peak at the upcoming hosts for the next year, yeah, my initial reaction would have been, "Yep, 'Sex' Ed will return during the Buscemi show." Speaking of Buscemi, honestly, I can't remember a thing about the last time he hosted in 1998 (and I watch a lot of 'SNL') – that will not be the case this time around. Buscemi's show was such a solid engagement... that is until, for the second show in a row, an eccentric Kristin Wiig character brought the show to a screeching halt. On to the scorecard!
The Season 2 premiere of HBO's 'Boardwalk Empire' wasted little time thrusting the Atlantic City power structure we grew to know in Season 1 into a state of chaos and flux. While some critics, including AOL TV's own Mo Ryan, have called 'Boardwalk' slow-paced and somewhat boring, the action-packed Season Two premiere delivered major developments for Nucky Thompson and several of the show's main characters. It opened and closed with a bang, literally and figuratively.
A few minutes into the episode, the Ku Klux Klan attacked Chalky White's bootlegging safe-house in a chilling, 1920s-style drive-by-shooting, emptying a gigantic machine gun into the distillery. The brutal attack killed four of Chalky's people and wounded half-a-dozen others, including a woman. It was an unsettling and intense scene to watch that proved to be a pivotal jumping-off point for several of Season One's simmering storylines.
Chalky managed to shoot one of the Klansman as they escaped, but in a reflection of the unjust racial politics of the era, the story around Atlantic City immediately became "Chalky White shot a Klansman," and a political crisis unfolded for him and Nucky Thompson.
It has a gifted cast and a conflicted central character. It has outstanding production values, a high-class pedigree and it spins out multiple narratives depicting people involved in questionable, if not nefarious, activities. It's an expensive period drama that airs on HBO, for goodness' sake.
And it should be to 'Boardwalk Empire's' credit that it does its utmost to lay out a meticulous panorama of Atlantic City in the '20s. We critics are always complaining about shows that drop plots, lose focus or go down blind alleys, but 'Boardwalk Empire' has a certain relentlessness when it comes to building the world of bootlegger and politician Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi).
But there's a problem here. Despite all the attention to detail, or maybe because of it, 'Boardwalk Empire' is a slog. For long periods of time, it's boring, glum, bloodless slog.
A few plotlines emerge from the trailer. We see The Commodore and Jimmy Darmondy taking over the Atlantic City's bootlegging trade, violently pushing out the competition, Nucky included. Agent Van Alden is stepping up his efforts to police the booze trade, ominously saying "heads will roll, gentlemen" and conducting raids. Racial tensions boil over -- the Ku Klux Klan fires a crazy rotary machine gun, and Michael K. Williams' Chalky White gives Nucky an ultimatum that he has to deal with them. Nucky begins to share more of his business dealings with Margaret Schroeder. There's even a shot at the end that hints Jimmy might be trying to get into politics. And through it all, Atlantic City's constant party rages on.
Check out the trailer after the jump. Season 2 of 'Boardwalk Empire' premieres Sun., Sept. 25 at 9PM ET on HBO.
Nucky strolls down the boardwalk, surrounded on all sides by people who want a piece of his time, or worse, his power. A politician who's in business with all kinds of bootleggers and criminals, Steve Buscemi's Thompson seems to be feeling the stress of constantly juggling responsibilities, egos, women, and playing different factions off each other.
As each new character walks by, we're reminded of just how deep a milieau of supporting characters 'Boardwalk' created in its first season. There's Jimmy and Al Capone, back from Chicago to claim their piece of the action. There's Chalky White, menacingly played by Michael K. Williams, who Nucky relies on and exploits for cheap bootlegging labor. Eli Thompson, the chief of police, stands alone brooding, having hatched a plot with Jimmy and the Commodore to take his brother Nucky down in last season's finale.
Check out the trailer after the jump.
And then you see that it's HBO's just-released trailer for its upcoming new series 'Boardwalk Empire.' Produced by Emmy-winning 'Sopranos' writer Terence Winter AND Martin Scorsese, you know that this show is not just going to be gangster: It's going to be all-out, balls-to-the-wall, bloody gangsta.
Watch the video after the jump.
But though Mol didn't exactly fade into obscurity (she earned kudos for her eye-opening turn in the indie 'The Notorious Bettie Page' and co-starred in ABC's short-lived 'Life on Mars'), neither did she become the huge success the industry predicted she would be. What happened? Was it luck, timing, bad choices or simply a case of too much hype? Whatever that case, Mol's casting got us thinking about other "Almost It" girls that Hollywood left behind about as quickly as it tried to make them mega-stars.
With almost 100 guest appearances so far and only in its fourth season, the series has gained a well-deserved reputation for snagging all kinds of A-listers. Ranging from silly to meta to awesome, we've compiled a list of our favorite star turns on '30 Rock' that's sure to blow your mind grapes.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the series will also star Stanley Tucci and follow the lives of two brothers reconnecting after very different upbringings. The two actors head up Olive Productions, which is developing the concept by 'The Colbert Report' writer Glenn Eichler.
Of course, all things were looking good, and who really expects Scorsese to hand in crap, but now it's finally official. HBO has given a 12-episode commitment to Boardwalk Empire, including that pilot.
The series takes place in 1920s Atlantic City and features Steve Buscemi as an important city figure, as well as a bootlegger. I absolutely love it when HBO does period pieces like this. They seem to excel at authentically bringing these bygone eras to stunning life.
Prohibition was a tumultuous time in this country, and I can just imagine how intense things got in a hotbed for seedy behavior like Atlantic City. And then there's Buscemi. Brilliant, unpredictable, I can't imagine anyone better to play a character who's described as "equal parts politician and gangster." HBO's hit streak looks to keep on going.
(S01E07) "I am God, and you are an asshole." - God
Oh, the times I've wanted to say that in my life. I'm sort of living vicariously through Nurse Jackie these days. She does stuff that everyone else wants to do, but doesn't because they don't have the guts. Like:
- Yanking the catheter out of the repeat sex-offender, then telling Mo-Mo, "He's a fucking pedophile!"
- Giving the Cartier bracelet that Eddie gave her to the morphine-drugged, steak-knife guy to give to the girl who's really just looking for a nice guy.
- Telling God to get back on his meds.
Yes, I want to be Nurse Jackie when I grow up.
Buscemi has never been a leading man, to my knowledge; however he's an extremely versatile character actor and has always had a prominent supporting role in every drama or comedy in which he's appeared (my favorite still remains Airheads. Yeah, I'm weird that way).
He's no stranger to HBO drama either, as he had a sizable role in one of its most critically acclaimed dramas The Sopranos. He directed episodes of that show as well, before he even got in front of the camera. Martin Scorsese has also historically been attracted to mob dramas, so it seems like a good match.
The show itself has a lot of talent behind it (including Mark Wahlberg, who also executive-produces Entourage), so this show has a better chance of being a hit than most others, particularly anything on network TV.
So let's do the math here: Six seasons (TV Guide says seven, but the official HBO site refers to Season Six, Parts 1 and 2, as one season, so we'll go with that) divided by $400 comes out to $66.66 per season.
(S14E19) Now, let the speculation begin!
Did you really think that ER would end its fourteenth season with everything all honky-dory at County General? You haven't watched it recently, have you? Fact is, the season-ender for the last few years has been some sort of cliffhanger. Last season the fate of Neela was unknown. The year before it was Abby and Luka. A few years before that the fates of Pratt and Jing-Mei were undecided.
Now we have two (or three, or four) characters to consider as potential victims. But, who will be the lucky -- or in this case, unlucky -- one who will end up as a patient in their very own Emergency Room when season 15 of ER begins? Let's take a look at the candidates. Oh, by the way, spoilers ahead if you didn't watch the last three minutes of the episode.
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