Thursday, October 28, 2010

Finally a TV romance worth watching!

Have you all been watching Boardwalk Empire? It’s yet another HBO show that now dominates Sunday nights. It’s a period piece set during prohibition times in Atlantic City. Steve Buscemi plays Nucky Thompson – the “Boss” of the city.

Nucky – was a real person who did indeed run the illegal alcohol trade in AC. He was known for big parties, big gestures and show girls. Steve is staying fairly true to this on screen. He’s got a showgirl girlfriend who doesn’t appear to have too many brain cells, but of course there is this other woman… An Irish widow with two children. (Nucky made her a widow when he learned her husband was abusive.)

Through the first few episodes, you can see she admires him and goes to him seeking help for her struggling family. Inexplicably he takes interest in her. He kills her husband, then finds her a job. We can see she is grateful to him but there also seems to be something else there. She’s excited when he comes to see her. She fusses with her appearance.

On his birthday he dances with her at an extravagant party while she dazzles him with her intelligence and wit. Meanwhile his girlfriend is hiding naked in the cake. At the end of this episode the Widow Schroeder steals some lingerie from the dress shop where she works.

The subsequent episode will go down as one of my favorite TV eps ever. The episode is really a mind game between these two characters. The Widow Schroeder wants Nucky’s attention. Nucky has decided he’s got enough complications in his life and the last thing he needs is a temperance supporting suffragette widow with two kids. After all she’s a good woman. And he’s a bad man.

He ignores her at every turn. So she reports a “beer” storage facility to the IRS and names the man running the operation as someone working with Nucky. Of course she’s only doing this because she cares about the temperance movement…. Right!!!!!
Nucky’s man gets arrested in dramatic fashion and we see the Widow Schroeder singing along with her temperance sisters as she and Nucky exchange a glance that is pure genius.

I refer to this as a “I’m not going to be ignored!“ look. Which he returns with an “I believe I underestimated you” gaze. When the knock on her door came late at night I didn’t know if she was going to be fired from the job, beaten up by a gangster or kissed senseless. Nucky went with kissing her senseless. LOVED IT!

The payoff from this episode wasn’t as good as I expected, but I’m still fascinated. The Widow Schroeder is not pure and sweet. She is smart and feisty and very practical. She also strikes me as a woman who will do whatever she needs to survive. Nucky will sleep with anything that moves, has no intention of marrying anyone and making them honest, yet we see this particular woman does something to him. I really hope they continue to make this relationship interesting. They won me over with that one episode.

Well, that and the hats. I love hats!

The point - to me there is NOTHING sexier than two smart people pitting their brains against each other. It takes the physical chemistry to a whole new level.


Simone said...

I was on the fence about Boardwalk Empire until that same episode. That episode won me over, partly for that storyline with Nucky, and partly for the other storyline, which is my favourite - the one with Michael Pitt in Chicago. I won't spoil anything, but what happens to his girlfriend - that scene where he tells her the story from his childhood and the subsequent scene - it just killed me.

The next episode also has some equally brilliant scenes. They have some great writers on that show. But I'm biased, since I write stories set in the 1920's and I've always been a gangster girl.

Kwana said...

I'm with you and crazy for this show. I love the chemistry between these two.

Malena said...

Excellent post. I had no idea what would happen but I did sense they were playing power games with each other. Love tat show.

Eileen said...

Great. Just great. Something else to add to the DVR. You guys are killing me!

Sinead M said...

I've watched the episode just before, when she steals the lingerie...

Love it. Love how that last bit and the expression on her face as she walks away tells us so much about her character. With that, they are finally making her interesting and she has great chemistry with Buscemi.

Cannot wait to see the next episode now..

Molly O'Keefe said...

the last two episodes have been perfection - honestly, between the hats and the set design and the writers and directors who know how to get the last drop of drama out of glance or a multiple homicide set up - I love it. The ebb and flow of this show has not bothered me at all as opposed to mad men, which can really get too slow. I love this show. Oh! And the government guy? THAT LITTLE REVEAL??? OF HIS STRANGE PERVERSION??? perfecto!

Stephanie Doyle said...

Yeah - I'm really loving it all. The gov't guy who isn't "good". Jimmy who is a killer - but isn't "bad".

Love it all.

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