HBO, why is it all the television series your put out exclusively for your station are so damned good?  You sir, are my television hero.

So we all know that HBO puts out some awesome stuff.  The Borgias, Game of Thrones, The Tudors, etc.  And their latest exclusive (of which I’ve just recently jumped on) Boardwalk Empire is no different.

Boardwalk Empire splits its time between three .big different prohibition era cities: Chicago, New York, and Atlantic City.  Now Atlantic City is kind of the home base for the series as most of the characters live/are introduced there, but it follows the lives of the top ‘crime’ bosses of the cities and their closest cronies/love interests.  Some of them based off real, historical characters, some not.

In Atlantic City we have Nucky Thompson who is the corrupt city treasurer and the man with a finger in every business in the city, legit or not.  Played by Steve Buscemi, he’s the main character that the show focuses on and based on the real Enoch Johnson.  Jimmy Darmondy, payed by Michael Pitt, is Nucky’s protege, war hero, and former Princeton undergrad who is ‘married’ to a Bohemian artist with a son about 3 years old.  Margaret Thompson is an Irish widow who turns to Nucky for help with her family before becoming a little something more than just a citizen and applicant.  Her character is based on Mary III

In Chicago we have Jonny Torrio (real), the head of the Chicago mafia.  Al Capone (of course we know this one’s legit) is his second, and he’s just cutting his teeth on the mob business, learning everything he’s going to need to become the greatest gangster and mob boss of his time.

In New York we have the cold and ruthless Arnold Rothstein (real) who watched a man choke to death on a que ball for his own amusement, and his second Lucky Luciano (real).

These are just the biggest and most important names in the series, but there are a slew of other characters that you can’t help of become attached to an love or hate in equal measure.  Like Nucky’s former mistress who uses her body like cash, his German valet who is always packing heat, Jimmy’s mother who doesn’t look a day over twenty and is ‘active’ to prove it, and Jimmy’s Bohemian wife who carries on an affair with the wife of a local photographer who just so happens to join in every so often.

Following the historical events of the time, Boardwalk Empire is nonetheless a wonderfully created and engaging show.  I’m only down one season but I cannot wait to see how their stories play out in the next three.

Enjoy folks.

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