Thursday, 22 September 2011

Why 'Boardwalk Empire' Lost Me Last Season

Here's another post from Maureen Ryan reading my mind about a show. This time, she describes the inherent connection problem that I've had Boardwalk Empire, that is, in spite of seriously gorgeous, near-perfect aesthetics and an undoubtedly cool concept, none of the characters are really worth following. It's pretty, but empty. As Ryan more eloquently puts it:

"It brings me no joy to bail out on 'Boardwalk Empire.' I thought the start of its first season was stylish and promising, but for me to stay interested in a group of people, I need to feel that the show itself is deeply intrigued by them. The problem is, long stretches of 'Boardwalk Empire' feel like a PowerPoint presentation come to life. The information is there, the aesthetic approach is "correct," but too frequently, I remained unmoved and uninvolved."

Yes, yes, and yes.

Those of you who watch it, what do you like about it? Are there certain characters you find appealing?


  1. I'm trying to remember since I haven't re-watched any episodes since it ended last season, but I think the characters I was most invested in were Jimmy and Margaret. Jimmy was probably mostly due to a Michael Pitt crush, but I think for Margaret it had to do with the good girl (possibly) turned bad for the purposes of survival. Forgive my terribly weak literary reference, but it's a lot like Sookie Stackhouse's character arc from the novels that unfortunately isn't really translated into True Blood.

  2. Southern Vampire Mysteries reference is forgiven! Interesting comparison, and I can definitely see the Jimmy & Margaret stuff. Pitt's always been an intriguing, slightly weird (in a good way) actor. I think my disconnect with the show is that if they want to show the seedy underbelly of this world of "fun", I need something redemptive, vis-a-vis some character that I want to root for. I feel like the show's keeping me at arm's length.

  3. Jimmy for sure. His mom too. The thing I like about that show is that occasionally it will have a really good scene. Of course, it has really stupid scenes too. Agree that the show is keeping us at arm's length. Not sure if I'm going to tune in. Maybe for the premiere?