Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What's New in Mob Hits

As I watched the first several episodes of the new HBO series Boardwalk Empire -- spoiler alerts herein! -- I had my doubts.

I wondered what it would offer that we hadn't seen a dozen times in The Godfather trilogy, The Wire, Goodfellas, Once Upon a Time in America, Reservoir Dogs, The Untouchables, The Sopranos, Casino, Gangs of New York, Pulp Fiction, Scarface, Eastern Promises, Road to Perdition, or any of the many other well-made dramatizations of organized crime.

I mean, I am an inveterate fan of the sub-genre, but what twist has not already been done and re-done?

And then this scene came along:

It is hideous and exquisite at the same time. I knew what would happen and yet I had no idea. In hindsight, I should have seen it coming, even more than the sap who ends the scene tipped awkwardly back in his chair, but it hit me as suddenly and as sharply as anything in the sub-genre ever has. It tipped me back in my own chair.

Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in -- now I'm a fan.


John Carter Wood said...

Oh, man...that's intense.

The list of American TV shows that I have to someday catch up on via DVD is getting longer and longer and longer.

Dale said...

John, Isn't it? Naturally there's a good deal of story leading up to this moment. The shooter in this scene is a newcomer, and quite an interesting one in an over-the-top way.

Sean G said...

One real drawback about no cable... I'm forever a year behind everyone waiting for the DVDs. Which means there'll be plenty of spoilers to avoid.

This show looks great, and I've long been a fan of Buscemi.

Now, I should dig through the archives and comment on your blogs regarding the end of Season 3 of Mad Men. :)

Dale said...

Sean, I take you're like me in that you've never pursued all the ways to "download content" before it's supposed to be released to the public. Which is a roundabout way of saying: I strongly suspect all the episodes of Boardwalk Empire can be seen right now for free, but you have to work for it.

The payoff is that you see the program and, better, you cheese off the "entertainment industry."

I'm still gathering all my thoughts about Mad Men season 4. There's a lot to gather, and in my dotage, my gathering machine doesn't work as fast as it once did.

Sean G said...

I was pretty surprised by the ending of season 3. I mean, I had a decent idea of what was going to happen (starting a new ad agency) but the specifics really caught me off guard. I've got plenty of other shows to catch up on (I'm still working through "The Wire" and "The Sopranos") while waiting for season 4's release...

Dale said...

Sean, at the end of season 3, didn't you love Lane Pryce's last phone chat with London?

Oh that one still makes me smile.