Well, what did you people think? I think Nucky's wife isn't dead and is likely in a sanitarium with what I'm guessing is a heroin addiction or mental breakdown.
The Al Capone part at the dwarf boxing match was something else and Buscemi is, as expected, marvelous.
Looks like it's going to be a fun ride, if for nothing more that Nucky's suits!
Weird that the actor playing Capone was the same guy that played Babyface Nelson in Public Enemies. He's also Tommy from Snatch and the neo-nazi leader in "This is London." He's a pretty good actor.
I would think the occasional Nucky flashback to his wife would be possible, and maybe more likely. The dialogue between Thompson and whoever his mentor was at the end seemed to indicate she's actually dead, to me at least, as he notes it's the 7th anniversary of something regarding his wife. Also, spoiler: I just wiki'd Nucky and in real life his wife died in 1912.
Anyway, I liked the pilot. I hope the show spends as much time on the politics (and government) and lives of the era as it does the gangster aspects, and that the Prohibition Era who's who of mobsters (Capone, Luciano, Rothstein) are background players. I don't know if I need another HBO mob series and another Scorcese mob study all rolled into one.
Buscemi is his usual excellent self, and I think he can certainly carry this show, despite his quirkiness. He seems to be playing a man who's deep down a nice guy saying "How on Earth did I get here?" I also think Michael Pitt acquits himself well, and his character could end up being more pivotal than Thompson himself in some ways. He's symbolic of the changing America post-WWI. Pitt has been good in the few films I've seen him in (The Dreamers, Funny Games) and if this show is successful maybe he'll no longer be known as "that guy that looks exactly like Leonardo Dicaprio."
"Nucky" Johnson. I read somewhere that this was done purposely to allow for some creative license -- I imagine to make Buscemi's character more powerful/notorious than he actually was.
I'm starting to think that the writing is a bit lacking. Episode 2 had us asking each other what was going on a couple of times. There may actually be too many characters to keep track of.
So we're several episodes in now. Is it worth me starting up on-demand and getting into this series?
I'm coming around since the third episode when everything began to fall into place.
Had to bring this back... the second season is almost over, and I've got to say I have VERY much enjoyed it!
Has anyone else been keeping up on Boardwalk? After a weak third quarter last year, the last couple of episodes of season 1 were great, and man, season 2 has been a barnburner!
I agree. Possibly my favorite show on tv. Can't wait to see what happens in the season finale.
After last season, I had really high expectations for Jimmy. I thought he would be more capable than he's demonstrated this season. I'm conflicted about him. Part of me wants to think it's a bit of an act, and he's got a master plan, but the other part of me thinks Jimmy's in way over his head.
The flashbacks to his days at Princeton were interesting. I'm still not sure whether he deserved to be there or not (i.e., was he intellectually competitive with his peers). For some reason, I'm cheering for Jimmy (even though he's done some very bad things and made some very poor decisions).
I guess we'll see what happens this weekend.
Considering the historical figures in the show, and that the show is centered around Nucky (loosely based, down to the first name, on a historical figure), there's a lot of lost suspense where the outcome is predetermined (think Jimmy almost killing Lucky Luciano last season).
Because of that, I could see them killing Jimmy off in the near future (season 3). Michael Shannon's character has to go now too (although they kept Clay in Sons of Anarchy, so I guess they could figure out a way to use Shannon's character going forward -- although I doubt it's effective). I think Doyle and his annoying laugh is marked for death Sunday night.
I'm still watching, but haven't come to love the show the way I'd hoped. It's stylish, well-shot and acted, and most of the dialogue's well-written. But the character arcs leave a bit to be desired, with some exceptions, and most of the characters haven't become or remained as likeable as they might be or once were, which has been a little disappointing to me. Jimmy's not struggling with his internal conflict about whether or not he really wants into this world, and whether or not he can betray Nucky. I had had hopes he'd be the philosopher bootlegger, proxy for our own ambivalent feelings about the allure of a world of crime, but he's gone full coldblooded gangster killer this season, with just his loyalty toward Richard (fascinating character and excellent acting, by the way) and his son keeping him human at this point. And as the previous poster points out, he's not that competent at anything other than murder, which is contrary to the way the character was originally sold to us. Angela was [spoiler alert] an interesting character in the first season, but barely showed up in the second and now she's gone. Now that Margaret's become just another kept woman, she's lacking in the spark that made her interesting last season. I said last year that I hoped the real life big name mobsters like Luciano and Capone faded into background characters, but then I actually liked how they handled the Capone character and now he's generally disappeared. The seasonlong sideshow with Van Alden became tedious to me early on, and he barely fits into the general plotlines now. I just can't see where all of this gets taken, I guess.
That said, I'll keep watching for one more season, at least. It's not like the show was ever going to not be first and foremost about Nucky, and his character and Buscemi's betrayal both continue to be pretty compelling, regardless of what's going on in the margins.
I'm really enjoying the second season. Thought you might enjoy this from agent Sebso... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-Iwio2YH1I
Last edited by toughbuff1; 12-09-2011 at 04:05 PM. Reason: some adult language in the video for those who may not like that sort of thing
Finally, something is happening on the show! This season just seemed to limp along, introducing the annoying lady lawyer and her smarmy consort, plus plodding through more of the torturous booze trade contortions. But "offing" Jimmy's boring, soulful-eyed wife was a step in the right direction. Faceless guy will likely have some task to attend to in the finale.
Old Nuckster will come through and he'll save Jimmy, too. Some fine acting, especially the guy playing Capone, he's a small part but menacing, I'll say!
Didn't see THAT one coming! I must say, I respect it when a series is willing to kill off a major character, but right up until the moment Nucky pulled the trigger, I expected him to wheel around and off Manny (awful good cereal flakes, Mrs. McDunnough) Horwitz. But the whole Jimmy and his mom thing had gotten old for me. I do wonder how long it'll take Nucky to off his new wife once he finds out what she's done - "Margaret....you got some 'splainin' to do!"
Call me slow, but I didn't fully realize how much of a complete sociopath Nucky was until the drama at the end of this episode. I guess I wanted to believe that he had a soft, gooey center in there somewhere. Guess not. I suppose no true gangsta's ever do - not even the ones with "Xavier" across their chest.
Overall, I really liked Season 2. I watched all of Season 1 but didn't find it that compelling, truth be told. For whatever reason - maybe because it was more twisted and violent (or at least it seemed that way to me) but I immediately got pulled into the show from the first moments of Season 2. And can I just say how awesome it is to see "Uncle June" back as a bada** gangster on the HBO?
That last scene with Nucky and Jimmy was seriously intense. I didn't see it coming either, but looking back they were laying clues all the way through the episode.
Great finale - hope we haven't seen the last of Van Alden. Also I hope they've got something more interesting in mind for Margaret than turning her into Carmela Soprano.
I get why this happened, and I certainly respect the bravado to kill a main character off. If any of you watch Sons of Anarchy (more spoilers), that deus ex machina in last week's finale that let's Clay survive was frustrating, and was a sign of a show creator not ready/confident enough in his show to ice a main character no matter how much he had it coming.
This has to mean that Owen Slater gets a larger role next year. I like his character and it's potential, but as Jimmy pointed out before he died, he's still just a "this guy".
But in the end, Winter and Scorcese must have a ton of confidence in what they are doing goingn forward to kill Jimmy off. And their track records have earned them that much.
[Spoilers throughout] Thumbs down on that major development from me, unfortunately. Way too much time and energy invested in Jimmy to end him like that. He was a character sold to us as not being on a dead end road, and as a counterpoint to Nucky as the main character, he was in many ways the audience's adopted eyes into the world of the show. There are bit players who revolved around him (Capone, Richard, Horwitz) who now have little to no connection to the Nucky world and, by convention, should disappear. Their characters are some of the most compelling on the show, however, so either it's a shame they disappear, or they have to be artificially bootstrapped back into the story in some dissatisfying way.
Contrast to, say, Ned Stark on Game of Thrones. I applaud a show having the stones to off a main character, but somehow that one felt more organic. There was a sense of tragic doom attached to Ned from the beginning, and practically every episode's main theme with regards to that character was how this guy's ethos so didn't fit with the intrigues and nefarious doings of King's Landing. He never should have made it as far as he did. I guess it could be said that Jimmy's full betrayal of Nucky assured his doom, as well. It's not like they could ever really reconcile. But it would have been workable, and interesting, to have them as begrudging rivals instead.
I thought that scene was very well done and written. But if Pitt's character was, as he said, dead from the war, I think the producers/writers owed the audience more of an exploration of how the war messed with him. We got some of that, but not enough to make it more than a cliche, I think. He still struggled with morality at points, wanted to be loved by Angela and Nucky, was conflicted on loyalty to his two father figures, was in love with the prostitute in Chicago, wanted to be a decent father, etc. He wasn't just a dead-souled killer with a death wish of his own. He was too interesting a character for that, and too good a reflector of Nucky. I guess I'm a little disappointed Nucky's just a flat psychopath, as well. I liked that he didn't seem to want to get his hands as dirty as they needed to be in the line he'd chosen, as it was a good character conflict. But now that we know he's more than capable of cold-bloodedly putting two bullets in the face of the man he raised like his own son, there's less room for sympathy there.
To each their own, I guess. I just lost some more interest in the show going forward, though.
I saw an interview with Winter (sorry I've lost the link) wherein he makes clear that Richard and Capone will both still be on the show. Capone's (presumed) growing influence in particular still seems ripe for development.