Tuesday, September 21

Empire State Of HBO

This year I did something I never thought I'd do. And you know the craziest thing? I don't even regret doing it. Rather than keep you in suspense for another few sentences, I'm just gonna let it out there and say it. OK. Right. Here we go. This year I broke my 2007-born Watch-HBO-Only rule. But before you come at me with your venom, let me just say it was for an extremely worthy cause. 'Mad Men'. Exactly. One of the best shows ever and even well into its fourth season, there is absolutely no sight of it letting down. I will not, however, go to AMC for any more of their HBO rejections. Mad Men is where it starts and ends.

And now, thanks to the brilliance of former 'Sopranos' (and 'Sister, Sister' for that matter) writer Terence Winter, the network of networks is back. Back, back, back. Boardwalk Empire, if you've not already seen the MARTIN SCORSESE-directed first ep, it looks like it's about to retain HBO all the glory it found during 'The Sopranos' and 'SATC' and 'Six Feet Under'. 'True Blood' is a fantastic show, but it's become too distinct to paint the flag of the network. 'Boardwalk Empire' feels like 'The Sopranos', but there's a whole host of amazing new characters and stories to come.

Look, there's a lemon chicken and mayo sandwich with my name on it in about fifteen minutes' time. So I'm not about to go into some deeeeep piece parading 'Boardwalk Empire', though believe me when I say I would. But we've Steve Buscemi starring, Scorsese producing and directing, Winter creating, Michael Pitt starring (he who Kurt Cobain'd Gus Van Sant's 'Last Days' - I know it was blah for GVS, but Pitt was good), Michael Stuhlberg (the lead Jew from 'A Serious Man'), obviously loads of other fine actors, some incredible takes of 1920s Atlantic City and stories, much like 'The Sopranos', that are really not that hard to figure out once you're past the colloquialisms.

My sandwich is probably really cold now. But that's what microwaves are for. And your computer/TV/watching TV device, that's what 'Boardwalk Empire's for.

Jay-Z and Alicia Keys 'Empire State Of Mind'