Tag Archives: Arnold Rothstein

Thoughts on the “Boardwalk Empire” finale: Great, but disappointing at end. I rave about towels at my gym. And Jay-Z bonds with old lady on the subway

“I’m Jay, I make music.”

I know very little of Jay-Z’s music, and don’t really have a big opinion of him one way or the other. He’s a huge star, seems to be a savvy businessman, great rapper, married the gorgeous Beyonce, yada yada yada. But you know, he’s not really my cup of tea, though I’m happy he’s a Nets fan, one of the few celebrities who was on board before the move to Brooklyn.

Anyway, like I said,  he’s not my thing. But I thought this video was kind of adorable: Jay-Z, explaining to an old woman on the subway exactly who he is. She has no clue… (fast forward to the 19:30 mark for the 1-minute scene)

Just goes to show: No matter how famous you might be, there’s always people who have no idea who you are. Stay humble.

Boardwalk-Empire-Season-Finale-Cannavale-HBO

**So “Boardwalk Empire” has been on a run of really terrific episodes toward the end of Season 3, and I finally got to see Sunday’s season finale last night.
It was fantastic; one thing about this show is that they always tie things up at the end of each season, and man, did we get all kinds of resolution. (SPOILER ALERT)
Nucky once again manages to finagle his way back on top, and without any help from his old friend Arnold Rothstein. His alliance with Al Capone was great, (and the scenes with Capone and Chalky were fantastic), and the way the show dealt with Gyp’s death was terrific, too. I’d been wanting him dead for a long time, and I was kinda hoping he and Gillian (another character I hate, would kill each other  in that scene at the end. Unfortunately, looks like Gillian’s gonna live).

Richard’s rampage was so satisfying too, and bittersweet when he left Tommy at Julia’s house. But you know, as great as the episode was, the end felt a little anti-climactic. The Margaret-Nucky scene felt a little too quiet after all that had come before it, and Nucky just staring out at the boardwalk, having regained his empire, seemed an odd way to conclude.

Still, it was a great season; Steve Buscemi and the rest of the cast are brilliant. Can’t wait until Season 4, when see if Nucky can do things differently in charge this time. He’s still a total gangster, even if he doesn’t seem to really want to be.

**Finally, I don’t expect you to care about this unless you have had a similar experience.
But I have a new favorite thing in the world. At the health club across the street, there’s a small cabinet near the treadmills filled with cold eucalyptus towels. And a few weeks ago I decided to try one after my run.

And it might be the greatest thing ever. You put it on your neck after a long run and it just feels so wonderful. The smell of the eucalyptus is great, too, but it’s like a cool breeze on your neck as you walk from the treadmill area out the door.

It makes torturing yourself on the treadmill all worth it. That’s all, just a man waxing poetic about one of life’s little pleasures I’ve discovered.

Thoughts on “Boardwalk Empire” and “Parenthood,” my two fave shows going in opposite directions. And a crazy hoops shot I’ve never seen

I have been grossly negligent on this blog in discussing my two favorite television shows right now, “Parenthood” and “Boardwalk Empire.” Both are still awesome and you should be viewing them regularly if you like great drama, terrific writing, and wonderful acting.
However, they’re going in opposite directions in terms of quality. Let’s start with the show that’s pissing me off and going downhill, at least a little bit.
“Parenthood” was so good during its first two seasons about not falling deeply into cliched storylines. Yes, Crosby the eternal bachelor sleeping with the nanny right after getting engaged to Jasmine was a little cliche, but the show handled it really well. Yes, Amber and Haddie fighting over the same boy could’ve been trite, but it was dealt with so beautifully (that scene from Season 1 of the girls at the gas station? So perfect).

But this year, even though a few storylines are still strong (I’ve grown to like the Julia adoption thing, and I’m loving shy boy Drew with his cute new girlfriend), “Parenthood” is torpedoing in the wrong direction. First it was terrible of Lauren Graham’s Sarah to invest so deeply again into her ex-husband’s alcohol issues, at the expense of her current boyfriend (played by John Ritter’s son Jason, who every woman I know thinks is really handsome). I just didn’t believe a man who had wronged her so much would engender Sarah’s support again.

But even that wasn’t as bad as this idiotic Adam/Kristina/hot new girl at work plot device going  on now. First of all, it was ridiculous and totally unrealistic that unemployed Adam, with a third kid on the way, would buy in with his dummy brother to a fading recording studio. But I got over that.
But now this new secretary kissing Adam, and him basically flirting with her for a few weeks, and then Kristina (whose character I intensely dislike, and Monica Potter is no great thespian in my book, either) going all crazy on Adam last week, accusing him of liking this new girl Rachel, and them throwing up this ridiculous roadblock in the marriage, just reeks of desperation and stupid cliche writing. No way in the world Adam would cheat on Kristina, we know too much about him already that he wouldn’t do that, and for her not to trust him at this point just stretches credibility (even when we consider she just had a baby).

Still, it’s a show worth watching just for Craig T. Nelson as Zeke and the adorable moments it gives us each week, like 6-year-old Sydney throwing a temper tantrum after losing a game for the first time. I love this show, but it’s been significantly worse this year.

Now on to HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire.” As good as it was in Season 1, this year has been even better. The transition of power in Atlantic City, as young Jimmy and his friends like Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano overthrow Steve Buscemi’s Nucky Thompson, has been fascinating. The stunner of this last episode I totally did not see coming, and each week I wonder which of a thousand ways they’re going to take the show.

Buscemi is brilliant, but it’s the supporting players (injured war hero Richard, angry Philly butcher/bootlegger Horvitz, and an in-his-prime gangster Arnold Rothstein) who make “Boardwalk” so entertaining and fascinating. If you’ve never seen this show and have HBO, you have no excuse. Go watch a few episodes; you’ll thank me.

**Finally, check out University of Detroit guard Ray McCallum, who came up with a new way to score on Nov. 23 in a game against Austin Peay. Can’t say I’ve ever seen this before; man, if he could perfect this, it’d be an unbeatable H-O-R-S-E shot.

“Boardwalk Empire” keeps getting better. And the most amazing “Wheel of Fortune” contestant ever

If you have HBO, and aren’t already watching “Boardwalk Empire,” you absolutely should.
Yes, I’m telling you what you should do with an hour of your week. Watch this show.  My friend Tony, who is the king of hyperbole, says after seven episodes that it’s already as good as “The Wire,” which is only the best show ever on TV.
I don’t think it’s quite ready to take its place with the Barksdale crew, but “Boardwalk” is pretty freaking good. Steve Buscemi gets better every week as Nucky Thompson, the boss of Atlantic City during Prohibition. The characters are getting fleshed out more and more, the character of Arnold Rothstein is simply fantastic, and he steals every scene he’s in, and the writing of the show is incredibly sharp.
My only quibble is that there are too many characters, and keeping them all straight, remembering who’s in cahoots with who, has been a little tough. But then again, “The Wire” had that same problem in the beginning and it worked out OK.
Seriously, go watch “Boardwalk Empire.” It’s utterly fantastic.

**So a while back I linked Chris Jones’ excellent piece in Esquire about the guy who hit the Showcase Showdown exactly to the dollar on “The Price is Right.”
Well, here’s another incredible game show feat. Watch how long it takes Caitlin Burke to solve this puzzle, last week on the show. Pat Sajak had to pick his jaw up off the floor.