The Mystique of the HBO Series "Boardwalk Empire"
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The Mystique of the HBO Series "Boardwalk Empire"

"Boardwalk Empire" draws the audience into the web of corruption that was created in Atlantic City and spread throughout the country. Nucky Thompson is the "Teflon Don" of the 1920's era.

One only needs to watch the opening of “Boardwalk Empire” to get hooked on this captivating series to understand what happens week after week of this 1920’s corruption of Atlantic City. As Steve Buscemi who plays the main character, Enoch “Nucky” Thompson, Treasurer of Atlantic City, stands at the shore of the Atlantic City beach; he is dressed in his usual three-piece business suit. While he stands there smoking his cigarette, the waves start to reach where he stands at the shore; his feet and ankles start to get wet; while thousands of bottles of booze crash in the surf, representing Congress’ passing of the Volstead Act of October 28, 1919 that instituted Prohibition in the United States. Nucky then turns around and walks towards the boardwalk with his dry wingtip shoes as if he never got wet.

The symbolism of the wet shoes opens the door to suspect that Nucky can either walk on water or that he has the ability to be in the thick of things; and then walk away unscathed. The liquor bottles in the surf prove that although Prohibition was instituted, he has no regard for the law and the people who enforce it because if he can pay off those people; he can get anything.

During the first two seasons of “Boardwalk Empire” Nucky was a friend to the masses. He was known for his generosity to his underlings and especially to a battered pregnant woman named Margaret Schroeder. He gave her money when she came to him asking for a job for her abusive husband Hans. After having a confrontation with the drunken Hans in his casino, Nucky, in turn he had him killed and then used the dead man as a scapegoat for the massacre in the woods committed by Jimmy Darmody, his protégé.

As the seasons of “Boardwalk Empire” progressed, we saw Nucky dump his girlfriend Lucy and move in his new love; the widow Margaret Schroeder. Nucky’s ability to avoid being fingered for his numerous crimes seemed to come to an end when during the second season when the new female Attorney General Esther Randolph gathered evidence of numerous crimes committed by the mastermind and plenty of people to corroborate the facts. The day of the trial, the evidence falls apart for Esther Randolph and she becomes the fool in the courtroom as Nucky skates again. Now married to Margaret, she cannot testify against him, Jimmy and Richard Harrow have killed off his main accusers and Nucky is now free to pursue his government transportation project and make a fortune...or will he? Season 3 should open more cans of worms and leave more bodies in its wake.


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Comments (5)

Happy New Year, Diane!

Nice Information. :)

I've never watched this -- but maybe I should! Thanks for the info, voted. : )

Great analysis. It is a fascinating show.

Excellent work . . . Voted up