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Showing posts with the label Boardwalk Empire

The Daily Beast: "Best Drama Race: Will Mad Men Make History?"

The race for the Emmy Awards’ top drama prize is fierce (hello, Downton !). Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Best Drama Race: Will Mad Men Make History?" in which I assess the field to see whether Mad Men will make history with a fifth win. Can Mad Men could do the impossible on Sunday and win a fifth Emmy Award for Best Drama? After walking away with the statuette four years in a row, all eyes are on AMC’s Emmy darling, which could make history with a five-time win. Currently, Mad Men shares the record for most Best Drama wins with such notable programs as Hill Street Blues, The West Wing, and L.A. Law, all of which were crowned victors four times. But a win at Sunday’s 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards would make Mad Men the undisputed drama record-holder, no small feat for a show that is about to go into its sixth season—reportedly the show’s penultimate—and whose loyal viewers are considerably dwarfed by HBO’s and Showtime’s entries. Ma

The Daily Beast: "Fall TV Preview: Where We Left Off"

Can’t remember how Revenge, Homeland, The Good Wife , or Dexter ended? Refresh your collective memory about the cliffhangers for 27 returning shows—and previews of what’s to come. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Fall TV Preview: Where We Left Off," in which Maria Elena Fernandez and I refresh your memory about how 27 shows--from Revenge and Homeland to The Good Wife and Boardwalk Empire --ended last season... and offer a glimpse about what's to come. Carrie remembered stuff! Leslie was elected! Sheldon took Amy’s hand! Gloria is pregnant! Nucky whacked Jimmy! Victoria Grayson’s plane blew up! Dexter…oh, Dexter! The fall TV season is officially here, which means we can all breathe a sigh of relief and pull ourselves up from the cliff-hanging precipice. Sure, there’s a bunch of new TV shows across the dial champing at the bit for your attention. But we want to focus on your returning old favorites. What’s next on Scandal—will we find o

The Daily Beast: "Most Memorable TV Deaths of 2011"

Looking back, 2011 proved to be a particularly deadly one for television characters, whose bodies were stacking up even before the return of AMC’s The Walking Dead , which rather notoriously raises the body count each season. From Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones to Downton Abbey and Boardwalk Empire , TV-show creators this year proved that they were only too willing to kill off beloved characters or shock their respective audiences with deaths involving characters long believed to be “safe,” whether those were little girls, Halloween trick-or-treaters, or heroes. Safety, it seems, is an outmoded idea. Head over to The Daily Beast to read my and Maria Elena Fernandez's latest feature, "Most Memorable TV Deaths of 2011," in which we examine our choices for the most memorable TV demises this year, rounding up an unlucky 13 who left their fictional lives too soon. But beware : if you’re not up to date on the 12 shows discussed below, you’ll want to avoid reading any

The Daily Beast: "Homeland, Justified, Downton Abbey and More: The Best and Worst TV Shows of 2011"

At The Daily Beast, it's finally time for my Best and Worst TV Shows of 2011 list: with 10 shows up for recognition as the best (including Justified, Homeland, Downton Abbey, Community, Parks and Recreation, Game of Thrones, The Good Wife , and more) and five for worst of 2011. (Plus, you can also compare my Best/Worst picks to my colleague Maria Elena Fernandez's.) Head over to The Daily Beast to read my latest feature, " Homeland, Justified, Downton Abbey and More: The Best and Worst TV Shows of 2011," which--as the title indicates--rounds up the best and worst television that 2011 had to offer. Warning: the story may contain spoilers if you are not entirely caught up on the shows discussed here. What is your take on our lists? Did your favorite/least favorite shows make the cut? Head to the comments section to discuss and debate.

The Daily Beast: "TV Breaks the Incest Taboo"

HBO's Boardwalk Empire , Game of Thrones , Bored to Death and other TV shows have recently featured incest storylines or themes. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "TV Breaks the Incest Taboo," in which I examine this troubling trend in scripted programming. In 1990, Twin Peaks gave the world a nightmare vision into the seediness beneath the placid veneer of small-town America. But while one of the many puzzles embedded within Twin Peaks ’ narrative was the identity of the murderer of teen queen Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee), the true secret lurking at the heart of the mystery was the incest and abuse suffered by Laura at the hands of her father, Leland (Ray Wise) and the psychic damage this secret caused his wife, Sarah (Grace Zabriskie). It’s a reveal so horrific, so destructive, that the creators represented it in terms of the supernatural, having Leland possessed by a demonic entity in order to explain the cruelty and lack of humanity that suc

The Daily Beast: "Jack Huston: Boardwalk Empire's Scene-Stealer"

HBO’s Boardwalk Empire revolves around mob feuds, illegal bootlegging, and the corruption and venality that accompanied Prohibition. But beneath the surface, the show is about grasping at the American dream. That quest for happiness has never been more vivid—nor more painfully realized—than in Boardwalk Empire ’s Richard Harrow, a Great War sniper who now kills for profit, wearing a tin half-mask. Jack Huston, the grandson of legendary director John Huston (and nephew to Anjelica and Danny Huston), is stealing nearly every scene of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire , where he plays disfigured sniper turned hitman Richard Harrow. At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " Boardwalk Empire 's Scene-Stealer," in which I talk to Huston about this week’s episode, wearing the mask, and whether Richard still has a soul.

The Daily Beast: "The Fall TV Season Begins!"

Time to head back to the couch, America. The fall TV season is here and all of your favorite shows—from The Walking Dead and The Good Wife to Dexter and Boardwalk Empire —and a slew of new ones are soon heading to a TV set near you. Will you find Ringer to be the second coming of Sarah Michelle Gellar… or is it the second coming of Silk Stalkings ? Time will tell, but at least your TV favorites are back with brand new seasons, and lots of plot twists. To refresh your memory after the long summer, over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, entitled "The Fall TV Season Begins!," in which Maria Elena Fernandez and I round up a guide to the good and bad times of last season--or in this case, 23 cliffhangers--and offer a peek into what’s coming next this fall.

The Daily Beast: "The Real Race for Best Drama: Why Mad Men May Not Win"

The race for the Emmy Awards’ top drama prize isn’t as cut and dried as it looks. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "The Real Race for Best Drama: Why Mad Men May Not Win," in which I examine the cutthroat competition this year for best drama, and why Mad Men may not win the top spot at next weekend's awards ceremony. (Though it probably will.) What's your take on the drama race this year? Will Mad Men four-peat? Will The Good Wife claim the top pick? Will HBO's Game of Thrones or Boardwalk Empire walk away with the statuette? Or will Friday Night Lights pull off the impossible and finally get some recognition for its outstanding fifth and final season? Head to the comments section to discuss.

Year in TV: The 10 Best (and 5 Worst) TV Shows of 2010

It's that time of year when we bid farewell to the last twelve months and start looking toward the future, but it's also a chance to reflect, to catalogue, and to reminisce as well. My selections for the Ten Best (and, cough, five worst) TV shows of 2010 have now gone live over at The Daily Beast . The series selected represent the very best that television had to offer the past twelve months and include such shows as Mad Men, Community, Terriers, Parks and Recreation, The Good Wife, Fringe, Justified, Boardwalk Empire, Friday Night Lights , and Modern Family. It wasn't easy to whittle down the competition to just ten shows as, despite the overall drain in creativity this calendar year, there were quite a lot of fantastic series. (In fact, one of the very best of the year didn't even air on American television at all: Season Three of BBC One's Ashes to Ashes --including its breathtaking and gut-wrenching series finale --would have made this list if it had been o

The Vanishing Act: Crimes and Misdemeanors on Boardwalk Empire

"You're so wicked." - Robert The sins of the past were on everyone's mind this week as tensions came to a head in every corner of the Emerald City: the tenuous relationship between Nucky and Margaret seemed to shatter like her looking glass; the uneasy past between Gillian and the Commodore was dragged out into the light; and Angela made a difficult decision, only to have her choice explode in her face. And then there was that baptism scene... This week's penultimate episode of Boardwalk Empire ("Paris Green"), written by Howard Korder and directed by Allen Coulter, gave us several displays of sleight-of-hand, intricate magic tricks designed to distract, to incapacitate, or simply to kill outright, an extravagant and riveting installment that pulled back the curtains to reveal the true face of Oz himself. Atlantic City exists because of the power structure that the Commodore built and Nucky Thomson finessed in his inimitable style. But the walls ar

The Tin Woodsman: Storming The Emerald City on Boardwalk Empire

I find it depressing that some viewers are less than enchanted with HBO's soaring period drama Boardwalk Empire , which once again turned out a remarkable installment ("The Emerald City"), written by Lawrence Konner and directed by Simon Cellan Jones, this time about truth, consequences, and the lies we all tell ourselves. Every fairy tale, after all, has to come to an end, even for Margaret Schroeder. The parallels between Dorothy's visit to Oz within L. Frank Baum's novel, Margaret's discovery of her own artifice, and Richard Harrow's dream brought the lesson right out into the light. We can all dream and our dreams can be filled with beauty but eventually we all come crashing back down to reality, whether that be Richard's realization that he is once again disfigured (poor Emily screaming bloody murder) or Margaret catching sight of herself in a mirror. What we see looking back at us isn't what we expected. Whether she chooses to admit it or

The Daily Beast: "Boardwalk Empire's Racial Divide"

What did you think of last night's brilliant episode of Boardwalk Empire ("Anatasia"), the series' very best to date? Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, entitled " Boardwalk Empire 's Racial Divide." In the piece, I talk to Michael Kenneth Williams about Chalky White, preparing for this week's episode--and in particularly his haunting and gripping monologue--the legacy of The Wire 's Omar Little, and how lucky he is to be part of the cast of Boardwalk Empire , Chalky's relationship with Nucky Thompson, Steve Buscemi and Michael Pitt, and more. Next week on Boardwalk Empire ("Nights in Ballygran"), Nuckyʼs attempts to usher in a joyous St. Patrickʼs Day are undermined by Eli, Margaret and Van Alden.

Channel Surfing: HBO Renews Boardwalk Empire, Law & Order: Criminal Intent to Return, Lone Star DOA, Fringe, and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. Break open the moonshine! HBO has renewed period drama Boardwalk Empire for a second season, after airing just one episode of the Terence Winter/Martin Scorsese crime drama, which averaged 4.8 million viewers in its premiere broadcast. “All the ingredients aligned for this one, from Mark Wahlberg and Steve Levinson’s initial pitch, to Martin Scorsese’s enormous contributions as director and executive producer, to the genius of Terry Winter and the expertise of Tim Van Patten, to a stellar cast led by Steve Buscemi,” said Michael Lombardo, President of HBO Programming, in a statement. “The response from the media and our viewers has been nothing short of amazing.” (via press release) In other renewal news, USA has finally closed a deal to renew Law & Order: Criminal Intent for a tenth and final season of eight episodes, with original series lead Vincent D'Onofrio set to reprise his role as Detective Robert Goren, while p

Thy Name's Delirium: Future Imperfect on Boardwalk Empire

It's tricky to write about a new series when you've seen the subsequent five episodes, as is the case with HBO's addictive and gorgeously realized period drama Boardwalk Empire , which kicked off last night. While I had the chance to watch the first six episodes of the Terence Winter/Martin Scorsese drama ahead of time , last night was the first time that I got the chance to see the visually stunning opening sequence, which depicts the bowler-clad Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi) on the rocky beach as an ocean of booze bottles comes pouring in. With a tip of the figurative hat to Belgian artist Rene Magritte, it effortlessly captured the scope and tone of the series while reveling in the symbolic implications. Last night's dazzling series premiere ("Boardwalk Empire"), written by Terence Winter and directed by Martin Scorsese, perfectly brought to life the Atlantic City of 1920, a world populated by grifters, flashy politicians, midgets, widows, booze-hounds,

Devil's Playground: Some Further Thoughts on HBO's Addictive Boardwalk Empire

Tonight brings the premiere of what is hands-down the best new series of the year (or indeed in recent memory), as HBO launches the Terence Winter/Martin Scorsese period drama Boardwalk Empire , a provocative period drama that mines Prohibition era-Atlantic City to superb effect, revealing the corruption and sin lurking behind the bathtub gin, the depravity enabled by smugglers, and the lengths that men on both sides of the alcohol issue will go to hold onto their power. All roads, it seems, even those not yet built, lead to the Jersey Shore's glittering beachside gem. Over at The Daily Beast, I selected Boardwalk Empire --based on the strength of its superlative first six episodes--as one of nine new series that you must watch this fall . Here's what I had to say: WATCH: Boardwalk Empire (HBO; premieres September 19) Travel back in time to a world of flappers, rum-runners, crooked politicians, g-men, and mobsters with household names in HBO's period drama Boardwalk

The Daily Beast: "HBO's Scorsese Sensation" (Boardwalk Empire)

Looking to find out more about HBO's period drama Boardwalk Empire , which launches later this month? Head over to The Daily Beast, where you can read my latest feature, "HBO's Scorsese Sensation," in which I talk to the cast and crew of HBO's glittering and gripping 1920s drama Boardwalk Empire --including creator Terence Winter ( The Sopranos ), Steve Buscemi, and Kelly Macdonald--and take a look at the role that the gangster has played in the American consciousness for the last century or so. The series is so strong--based on the six episodes that I've seen to date--that I believe that Boardwalk Empire and FX's Terriers (which premieres tomorrow) are the two strongest new series I've seen thus far. So don't get left behind. Pour yourself a stiff drink (and whisper thanks that Prohibition is long over) and settle in as you're transported back to 1920 Atlantic City, a world populated by gangster, smugglers, cops, and widows. Head to the

Trailer Park: HBO Releases New Promo for Period Drama Boardwalk Empire

I came home from San Diego Comic-Con to discover the first six episodes of HBO's new period drama Boardwalk Empire , from Terence Winter and Martin Scorsese, waiting for me in a glittering stack of DVD screeners. While I haven't been able to sink my teeth into them yet (that will come later today), I can share with you the latest promo for the series--which stars Steve Buscemi, Kelly Macdonald, Michael Kenneth Williams (Omar comin'!), Michael Shannon, and a host of others, which HBO released last night. The promo can be viewed in full below and I'm curious to know what you think, as Boardwalk Empire is one of the series I'm most eagerly awaiting. (Okay, that's an understatement of the highest order: I'm positively salivating over it already!) Preview Trailer #4 Boardwalk Empire premieres Sunday, September 19th at 9 pm ET/PT on HBO.

Channel Surfing: Alan Ball Brings Charlie Huston to HBO, Wire Star Heads to Fringe, Glee Circles Britney, Doctor Who, and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. True Blood 's Alan Ball is furthering his relationship with HBO. Ball, who created the pay cabler's vampire drama (based on the novels by Charlaine Harris), has signed on to direct and executive producer noir drama pilot All Signs of Death , which is based on Charlie Huston's novel "The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death." Huston himself will pen the pilot script, with production set to begin next month in Los Angeles... though there are no current cast attachments on the project, which will revolve around "a knockaround twentysomething who discovers he has a knack for being a crime scene cleaner, and his life gets messy from there." ( Variety ) Bubs Alert! Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Andre Royo ( The Wire ) has been cast as a guest star in the third season premiere of FOX's Fringe , citing unnamed sources. Royo will reportedly play Henry, described as &q

Trailer Park: HBO's Period Drama Boardwalk Empire

While fall will bring us a whole slew of new network dramas and comedies, one of the series I'm most looking forward to is HBO's period drama Boardwalk Empire , from creator Terence Winter and executive producer Martin Scorsese. Here's how HBO describes the series: "From Terence Winter, the Emmy Award-winning writer of “The Sopranos,” and Academy Award-winning director Martin Scorsese, Boardwalk Empire is set in Atlantic City at the dawn of Prohibition. Wall Street was about to boom, everything was for sale and it was a time of change when women got the vote, broadcast radio began and young people ruled the world." While you can catch the Boardwalk Empire trailer this Sunday during the pre-show for the Season Three premiere of True Blood (airing Sunday from 8:45-9:00 pm ET/PT), you can watch the full trailer from HBO, released today, below. Preview Trailer #3 Boardwalk Empire launches this fall on HBO.