Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Black Sheep does TV: BOARDWALK EMPIRE Season 2

Wow. That was all I could say when the second season of HBO's BOARDWALK EMPIRE concluded. In fact, I think I may have said it about ten times in succession and then just stared blankly at the screen for a good minute before I had to accept it was over. In just 12 episodes, this series is able to execute satisfying and shocking storylines for a dozen plus characters, taking you to places so dark and corrupt, you wonder if your innocent, little psyche will make it out unscathed. This second season proves without any doubt that the first was not a fluke and that they aren't afraid to do anything if it will serve the story.

If the first season of BOARDWALK EMPIRE was about establishing Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi) as the king of the boardwalk, then the second season is about consistently chopping him down at the knees to see if he can still get up and walk. Nucky finds himself the subject of a criminal investigation for election tampering (which he is guilty of), which develops into a much bigger case that includes the murder of his girlfriend, Margaret Schroeder's (Kelly McDonald), husband (which he is also guilty of). If that weren't enough, he is also trying to maintain his status as the big man in town whilst Jimmy Darmody (Michael Pitt), the boy he raised as his own, tries to take that position for himself, and quite forcefully at that. The bootlegging continues but there is a turf war that goes all season long and stretches from New York to Philadelphia by the time it has played out.

Under the direction of series regulars, like Timothy Van Patten and Jeremy Podeswa, the second season of BOARDWALK EMPIRE is a breathtaking juggling act. There are so many balls in the air sometimes, it's a miracle that not a single one of them ever drops to the floor. And with significant characters being killed and Nucky's home life fighting for more of his devotion before it concludes, I cannot wait to see where all the excitement will lead next.

BOARDWALK EMPIRE Season 2 is available on DVD and Blu-ray now. The 3rd season begins on September 16, on HBO.

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