Boardwalk Empire: The Complete First Season Is the Pick of the Week

I’m generally terribly behind on my TV watching. I am, what they call now, a cord cutter. I don’t have cable or satellite or any other form of pay TV. Because I live in small-town Tennessee, my antennae can only pick up ABC, three PBS stations, and only just recently a generic form of CBS (which has zero local programming.) I do watch Hulu over the Internet and have the Netflix streaming service, but very rarely use it to watch new programming. Generally speaking I wait until a season (or sometimes two or three seasons or even the complete series) is over before I start watching a program. This is perhaps not quite as invigorating as watching a series as it comes out, and I certainly miss more than a few watercooler conversations, but I much prefer being able to watch a good show marathon-style without having to wait each week for a new episode.

As such I have only just begun Boardwalk Empire, but am already ready to declare it my pick of the week. My brother has HBO and I was able to watch the much ballyhooed directed-by-Martin-Scorsese pilot episode but I wasn’t all that impressed at the time. It was well made and the premise was interesting but after The Sopranos it felt redundant to have another series on the mob. Also though I love Steve Buscemi I found him a bit awkward as a lead character (he usually superbly plays interesting secondary characters.) But very recently I started watching the show again and its gotten me hooked. It is a bit of a slow boil – allowing the plot to simmer, moving methodically towards its finale, and its underlying tension to build for a long time before, I presume as I’m still only halfway through the season, to explode.

Season 2 just completed its initial run and I’m hoping it makes it to DVD a lot faster than this one as I’m sure I’ll finish Season One very soon and be panting for more

Also out this week that looks interesting:

Moneyball: Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and Robin Wright star in this Aaron Sorkin- and Steve Zaillian-scripted story about baseball and statistics. It got some pretty good reviews and with a cast like that and the Sorkin pen it looks like something of a must see.

Doctor Who: The Android Invasion: My wife and I have only recently gotten into the new Doctor Who, but both of us have very fond memories of the Tom Baker version.

When Harry Met Sally (Blu-ray): A classic comedy with lots of added Blu-ray features.

Film Socialisme: A new film by Jean-Luc Godard. Word on the street is that it is a bit obtuse with little narrative which is probably the way a Godard film should be.

Mat Brewster

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