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!
After a cryptic confrontation with Jimmy, in which Jimmy said, "It doesn't make a difference if you're right or wrong, just make a decision," Nucky was attacked by an unknown shooter who caught him with a bullet in the hand before he was taken out by a federal agent.
We're all for keeping your friends close and your enemies closer, but in this case, perhaps Nucky would be better keeping some distance from everyone for a while.
The show's milieu of gangsters are all making their moves to exploit the new power vacuum. To keep track of the deals, death and deception, we're here to provide 'The Boardwalk Empire' gangster index, a guide to the politics of 'Boardwalk''s organized crime scene.
Check out whose stock, and power, is up and down after Episode Two's developments.
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.
The Television Critics Association is an organization of more than 200 television critics and journalists, and this year, the group made some pretty unimpeachable choices.
On the comedy side, 'Parks and Recreation,' 'Louie,' 'Modern Family' and 'Community' picked up multiple nominations.
'The Fighter' won two of its four nominations, as Melissa Leo and Christian Bale received statuettes. Dickie Eklund, the man whom Bale played in the biopic, surprised him onstage. "How do you like me now?" Eklund joked.
In television, notable wins included Betty White for female actor in a comedy series ('Hot in Cleveland'), and Alec Baldwin's fifth consecutive SAG victory for '30 Rock.'
Our friends at Moviefone will give you the results from the movie side of the ledger. On the TV side, there weren't many surprises. HBO's 'Boardwalk Empire' won two awards: Steve Buscemi for Best Male Actor in a Drama, and the cast for Outstanding Drama Cast. 'Modern Family' won for Outstanding Comedy Cast, while Alec Baldwin of '30 Rock' for Best Male Actor in a Comedy and Julianna Margulies of 'The Good Wife' won for Best Female Actor in a Drama.
The winner for Best Female Actor in a Comedy was a mild surprise, as Betty White took home the statuette for her performance in 'Hot in Cleveland.' It's a surprise given the competition she was up against (Tina Fey, Jane Lynch, Edie Falco and Sofia Vergara), but given the roll White has been on over the last year, it makes sense that the acting community would take the opportunity to honor her again.
The complete list of television winners can be found after the jump.
NBC's 'Who Do You Think You Are?' returns for Season 2 next month with a new crop of celebrities trying to unearth their family histories.
According to the Associated Press, NBC said Tuesday that the group includes Tim McGraw, Steve Buscemi, Ashley Judd, Vanessa Williams, Rosie O'Donnell and Kim Cattrall.
The show, which is based on the hit British show of the same name, is billed as "an up-close and personal look inside the family history of some of today's most beloved and iconic celebrities." Cameras follow the celebrities as they explore their family trees with the help of historians and genealogists.
Actress Lisa Kudrow is an executive producer and researched her own ancestry for the show last season. She said celebrities who take part are eager to find answers about their family history: "It's not just like you show up for a couple hours and you're done. ... It's kind of a commitment. So the people who want to do it are genuinely interested in finding answers to their questions."
Perhaps we shouldn't have expected too much excitement from an episode that chronicled (if only tangentially) the election that charismatic firebrand Warren Harding.
OK, that was a bit of 1920s humor (the kids love that). Not to be all spoilery (wait, can you spoil historical events that took place 90 years ago?), but Harding wasn't exactly known for his personality, more for the corruption that soon engulfed his administration.
But that's getting a little ahead of events, and in any case, the politician under the most pressure in 'A Return to Normalcy' was Nucky Thompson -- though he assumes that, personally and professionally, he's mostly in the clear.
'Boardwalk Empire' is set during the Roaring Twenties, but its ideas about politics and corruption are as current as today's headlines. Some things never change, after all. In the course of the finale, Crime boss Enoch "Nucky" Thompson (Steve Buscemi) defeats his foes, securing his position at the top of the Atlantic City criminal empire. "God bless America!" he says, right before his moment of political triumph. (Some things really never change.)
But Nucky's victory might just be an illusion. Waiting in the wings are three men who want to take him down.
Straight-arrow Federal agent Nelson Van Alden (Michael Shannon) is after Atlantic City treasurer and bootlegging-mastermind Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi). Van Alden is all about rules -- and religion.
At the same time, he's morally compromised. He's sexually obsessed with Margaret Schroeder (Kelly Macdonald), Nucky's mistress. In the past, Van Alden's guilt-ridden thoughts have resolved themselves in various odd ways ... including whipping himself as punishment for his "sinful" longings. On tonight's episode, things get even more violent.
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