Set in the Prohibition era of the 1920s Boardwalk Empire is the story of Enoch "Nucky" Thompson, the treasurer of Atlantic County, Atlantic City, New Jersey. Due to his relationships with mobsters as well as political contacts, the Federal Government start to take an interest in him. His lavish lifestyle seems at odds with his position, and as well as his connections, there is prolific bootlegging in the area. Written by
Martin Scorsese encouraged improvisation on set during the filming of his pilot episode, something that is typical of his directing style, but very rare on scripted television. See more »
Al Capone's son, Sonny, is portrayed as being entirely deaf at the age of two. In real life Sonny contracted an infection that left him only partially deaf and only at age seven. However, this series is intended to be fictional, not based on real life events. Factual inaccuracies are therefore not considered goofs. See more »
This is a fantastic series; its the kind of outstanding, must-see programming that drives new subscribers to HBO. The series has superb production values and masterful direction by Scorsese. The acting is first-rate all around, especially the portrayal of Rothstein.
Nucky's girlfriend (played by Paz de la Heurta) spices the show up with wonderful flashes of her beautiful nude body. The dressing room scene in episode #3 where she strips naked is magnificent to behold! The lady is a work of art...
There is also a subtle complexity to the character of Nucky. He is not just a "bad" villain; a simple,one-dimensional caricature. Instead, he shows loving emotions, such as his desire to have children and his attraction to the good-hearted, honest immigrant girl. (who on the surface appears to be his antithesis) He doesn't just commit crimes or violence for enjoyment of evil, but its often part of a Machiavellian purpose.He doesn't just take from the community, but he gives back as well. Perhaps he is the benevolent dictator or Philosopher King that Plato imagined. In many cases he redistributes wealth to those who need it most. Even if he is primarily doing it to serve his own interests, he is providing a critical function and service to the community and time in which he lives.
The series also makes stinging criticisms of how the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and how powerful political and economic interests often manipulate naive, well-intentioned fools. Even today, soft drugs like marijuana are illegal, while far more addictive and socially harmful products (such as tobacco and alcohol) are legal. Marijuanna has been kept illegal because the powerful alcohol and tobacco lobby groups don't want competition to cut into their profits. But dumb people still believe the politicians who outlaw soft drugs like this are doing it to "protect" society.
In any case, this series is highly entertaining and will help people to understand the futility of prohibition policies and start to think about the real political and economic interests that are operating behind the scenes. The show is fun and addictive. (hopefully the government won't outlaw it) Watch it; you'll be glad you did.
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