Monday, October 27, 2014

The End of the "Boardwalk"

Boardwalk Empire is over. The Onion TV Club's Genevieve Valentine gets the last word.

Boardwalk Empire has always been something of a mystery in the crowd of paid-cable prestige dramas. Its creative and production pedigree was unparalleled when it premiered five years ago, with a Martin-Scorsese-helmed pilot that carried a four-million-dollar budget, studded with movie talent. It’s never suffered from a particularly large viewership, perhaps because the slow-burn pacing and occasional unevenness of some of the many meandering subplots kept Boardwalk from becoming the compulsively watchable hit HBO must have hoped for. But it’s remained a show rich in detail both aesthetic and narrative. Its returning stable of directors (familiar enough that it’s fitting Tim Van Patten turned the lights off) offered a distinctly cinematic aesthetic, and the ensemble of writers (including Winter, Howard Korder, Steve Kornacki, and Christine Chambers) handled a daunting ensemble, who from the leads to the day players were one of the most impeccable casts on TV. It wasn’t always a smooth road; many of the series’ women petered out after strong introductions, sidelined or ground under the story wheels, and this season in particular has often felt as if loose threads were getting caught in the breeze thanks to a time jump, a shortened season order, and the flashbacks that never quite paid their rent. But perhaps it’s best to leave a show with things left unsaid. The grief of life is inevitable; some of it can wait.
In its characterization and dialogue, in its shots of the lonely shore or a smoky nightclub, in the moments of dry humor or unexpected tenderness, Boardwalk Empire was an often-fascinating portrait of an age. It came and went quietly (ad campaign to the contrary), but at its best, it told one hell of a story.
Don’t think life plain sailing;
There’s danger of failing,
Though bright seem the future to be;
But honor and labor,
And truth to your neighbor,
Will bear you safe over life’s sea.

Then up and be doing,
Right only pursuing,
And take your fair part in the strife.
Be honest and true, boys,
Whatever you do, boys,
Let this be your motto through life!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Heard on DOCTOR WHO ("Mummy on the Orient Express")

Perkins: You know, Doctor, I can't tell if you are genius or just incredibly arrogant.
The Doctor: Well, on a good day I'm both.