To keep track of the deals, deception and death, AOL TV is maintaining the 'Boardwalk Empire' gangster index, a guide to who's up and who's down among HBO's organized criminals.
Check out the index to find out how your favorite liquor-slinging sociopath fared in Episode Three, 'A Dangerous Maid.'
When the Commodore was enjoying his lobster, while Nucky was being told they were out, he lost it and approached the Commodore's table, knocking the lobster onto the ground. At the center of it all is Jimmy, the Commodore's biological son, but more a son to Nucky than even blood can make.
As he ponders recent events, feeling isolated, Nucky fills Margaret in on his affairs in a way he hasn't before. When Margaret (Kelly MacDonald) asks, "Who is against you?" he replies "All of them ... " before listing his new enemies off one by one.
Happily for Nucky, Margaret has a core of pure steel, and as she comes to his aid in his current predicament she shows herself to be far removed from the downtrodden and abused wife she was at the beginning of Season 1.
"She's sort of a controversial one too, because she has ambitions that are still very unique for the time. She's a painter and she's exploring her own sexuality ... with women and with men," Palladino said, much to the intrigue of host Greg Kelly. "Why haven't I been told about this before?" he asked incredulously.
The phrase "single-issue campaigns, the decline of civil discourse and smear campaigns against presidential candidates" sounds like something you might hear on cable news these days, but that's how Ken Burns set the scene for his newest documentary 'Prohibition.'
Burns stopped by 'Good Day New York' (weekdays, 9AM ET on Fox) to preview the three-part documentary, which chronicles the rise and fall of the 18th Amendment.
The documentary filmmaker described American pre-prohibition drinking habits as an around-the-clock boozefest. "People had booze at breakfast ... the President of the United States John Adams would take a ladle-ful of hard cider," he said. In response, the Temperance Movement was born, which relied on the "insane idea that if you got rid of drink ... everything would be alright."
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.
Two of them are devoted to new fall programs. In the first one, we talk about new shows that air on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. In the second podcast, we talk about new programs that air Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays.
The third podcast has three main sections: The FX comedies 'Archer' and 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia' (which return Thursday), a discussion of HBO's 'Boardwalk Empire' (which begins its second season Sept. 25) and a tribute to 'Spartacus: Blood and Sand' actor Andy Whitfield, who passed away on Sunday.
And of course, the word "brief" was in our podcast planning documents, but it didn't quite work out that way. Between our opening gabfest about the FX show 'Louie,' which concludes its second season tonight, and the discussions of the other 10 shows, the podcast ended up being about 90 minutes long.
The rundown of shows we discussed, which includes 'The Good Wife,' 'Supernatural,' 'Boardwalk Empire,' 'Luther' and 'Glee,' is below.
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.
When it airs: 9PM ET Sunday on HBO
'Boardwalk Empire' is a welcome addition to the roster of top-notch television dramas, not just because the every person involved (including Martin Scorsese, who directed the pilot) has done a magnificent job of making the 1920s relevant and compelling.
Frankly, this complex and entertaining show is the kind of things that the networks -- cable and broadcast -- just don't make anymore: It's a grand, handsome saga about a whole slice of society, from shop clerks and showgirls to fixers and Feds.
Variety is reporting that Wahlberg, Doug Ellin and Stephen Levinson, the successful team behind the Emmy-winning comedy 'Entourage,' are working on a new, untitled series that follows the relationship between a political aide and his boss, the former President of the United States.
The script comes from Ben Scherwin, who will also serve as co-executive producer alongside Wahlberg, Ellin and Levinson.
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.
Gretchen Mol was on Life on Mars with Michael Imperioli, who was also on The Sopranos on HBO and was in Scorsese's Goodfellas. Boardwalk Empire star Steve Buscemi also appeared on The Sopranos. In short, all these people know each other and it's definitely a case of cast inbreeding. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Seriously, Gretchen Mol is a terrific actress and was fantastic in The Notorious Bettie Page. Given the talent already behind Boardwalk Empire, it was likely to be a fantastic series. Now its volume just went up to 11.
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