Tag Archives: Boardwalk Empire

“Transparent” is a wildly cool and different new show. Fox News has more fun lying about “voter fraud.” And “Boardwalk Empire” goes out with a bang.

Transparent.blog

Sometimes you see a show on cable and say “Man, there’s no way this show could ever be on network TV.”
Then you see a show like Amazon’s new and brilliant “Transparent,” and say, “I can’t believe this show got made, because even cable wouldn’t take a risk on airing it.”

“Transparent” is different from any other show you’ve seen. It stars the always-great Jeffrey Tambor as a divorced man in his 60s who after years of suppressing his feelings, decides to begin the transformation of becoming a woman. In going from “Mort” to “Maura,” he encounters wildly different reactions from his three children, played by Amy Landecker, Jay Duplass, and the scene-stealing Gabby Hoffman.

“Transparent” doesn’t make fun of Maura, doesn’t try to sensationalize his feelings, and doesn’t go for cheap laughs. It’s a smart, funny, surprisingly warm show that Amazon hopes becomes its first major hit show, so it can compete with Netflix.

Like Netflix does with its shows, Amazon released all 13 episodes of “Transparent” at once; I’ve seen 4 so far and each one has been as good as the rest.

If you want to see a show that’s pretty different from anything you’ve seen, definitely give it a shot.

**Next, I haven’t written a lot about the 2014 midterms coming up next week, partly because I’m a depressed Democrat who feels like the Senate is sure to slip into Republican control, and partly because I haven’t had the time to follow this cycle as closely as I usually do. (And honestly, even if the GOP takes the Senate 52-48 or something, it’s not like anything’s going to really change in the next 2 years. Shoot, Congress can’t get anything done right now with a Democratic-led Senate.)

But I’ve been happy to see that Fox News, that bastion of journalistic integrity, continues, as it has ever since it was born, to just make shit up.

Specifically, around election time they love talking about voter fraud. What’s extremely scary is that GOP governors all around the country have used this B.S. “voter fraud” idea to drastically reduce early voting days and hours for citizens, because again, as I’ve said hundreds of times before, if fewer people vote, Republicans think they’ll win. And isn’t that just so damn democratic of them; let’s have less people vote!

Anyway, Rachel Maddow tore down just a small piece of Fox News propaganda the other night, with this scare piece run about Colorado’s “print-at-home” ballot, which of course doesn’t exist.

When the truth doesn’t work for ya, just make stuff up. Fox News, I bow to your greatness in this area.

**Finally, a few words about the “Boardwalk Empire” series finale from Sunday night. (SPOILERS AHEAD, STOP READING IF YOU’RE A B.E. FAN AND HAVEN’T WATCHED YET).

I’ve loved this show from the start, even through some of the bumpy patches in Seasons 2 and 3, when it wasn’t quite confident enough to go away from main character Nucky Thompson and focus on the way-more interesting and charismatic characters like Al Capone, Nelson Van Alden, and Chalky White.

The last two seasons of the show have been sensational, and Sunday’s finale was a really satisfying conclusion. The major storylines wrapped up the week before, with Nucky’s financial downfall, and empire, taken over by Meyer Lansky and Charlie Luciano, Van Alden trying to strangle Capone and go out in a blaze of glory (yeah, not so much), and Gillian rotting away in a mental institution.

But with much settled, Sunday still was a fantastic episode. I know a lot of people on the Internet guessed that the teenager who suddenly appeared a few episodes back would turn out to be Jimmy Darmody’s son, and he’d take revenge on Nucky, but it still shocked me a little to see the final bullet fly from his gun into Nucky’s face.

And there were two gorgeous, heartbreaking scenes I loved: Capone, knowing he was about to go to prison, having a heart-to-heart with his deaf son, and in the 1897 flashback, watching young sheriff Nucky decide to “give” 15-year-old Gillian to the lecherous, disgusting Commodore, knowing what she was in for but wanting to please his boss and move up in power.

It was a wonderful, explosive, beautifully acted show, and I wish it went on for more than five seasons. But it went out on a really terrific note

 

The Emmy Awards: a “meh” telecast with some great surprise winners. And another nutty day in the NFL, as my Jets win an ugly one

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Pretty darn good Sunday, I’d say: The Emmy awards, and a New York Jets win (more on that in a bit).
I always love the Emmys, because there’s so much good TV out there these days, and with Neil Patrick Harris hosting, well, it was sure to be great.
Except…

When the hell did the Emmys become the Tonys? In the vocal tone of Chandler Bing, could there have BEEN more musical numbers in that show? I mean, I know you have Neil Patrick Harris who’s awesome at musical numbers, but good heavens, people, even Harvey Fierstein was probably watching going “OK, that’s enough.”
It’s the Emmys people, we don’t need so much damn music! You’re telling me we needed seven minutes of Elton John instead of a few good Edith Bunker and Tony Soprano clips?
Ugh. I thought it was a so-so telecast and the musical numbers were so unnecessary. Lots of other things I liked and didn’t like, including…

— Loved the surprise winners. Quite a few of them. The awesome Merritt Wever (above) from “Nurse Jackie” was a terrific shocker, as was “The Colbert Report” beating “The Daily Show” twice, and Tony Hale from “Veep” was a well-deserved winner, too (and his bit with Julia Louis-Dreyfus was great when she won, too.) And so happy for Bobby Cannavale, who won for his terrifying season on “Boardwalk Empire.”
But Jeff Daniels winning over Jon Hamm, Bryan Cranston and Damien Lewis was a crime.

tony-hale-julia-louis-dreyfus-veep-emmys
— From the wife, when Melissa Leo walked out: “What the F is she wearing? Gold hot pants?” Followed by “she looks like the ringmaster at the circus.”
— Jon Hamm’s beard scared me.
— I’m a huge fan of the death montages, and I loved that they broke out five notable passings for small tributes. The Rob Reiner/Jean Stapleton and Edie Falco/James Gandolfini ones were particularly beautiful and well-done. Bravo.
— Michael Douglas looked like death warmed over.
— Claire Danes: Terrible dress, beautiful speech.
— Finally, the “How I Met Your Mother” cast skit about Excessive Hosting Disease was spot-on and hilarious. If only that show were still funny.

genosmith.jetsbills

**OK, now on to the football. The New York Jets, who I said before the season might win four games this season, have now, improbably, won two of their first three.
Sunday’s game was an affront to football in some ways, as both the Jets and the Bills tried their damnedest to give the other team the game.
But Gang Green, despite committing 20 penalties (20!), got a great game from the defensive front seven, and had a better rookie QB than the Bills did.
Geno Smith threw his usual two interceptions per game (definitely not a good habit), but threw a couple of beautiful deep TD passes, including one to Santonio (Big Mouth) Holmes for the game-winner in the fourth.
It was, typically, a tear-your-hair-out kind of Jets win, but this year especially, I ain’t looking for style points. The Jets got a win against a division rival and stunningly, look like they might be good enough for mediocrity this year, maybe 7-9 or even 8-8.
Dare to dream boys, dare to dream.

Couple other quick-hit NFL thoughts:
— Good for the Cleveland Browns and their fans, who saw their team idiotically trade away their best player this week, then finally go out and get a win Sunday, beating Minnesota in the final minute. Brian Hoyer, your time is now!
— The Giants. Oh my Lord, the Giants. This is Ray Handley-level putridity, Giants fans. Thirty-eight to zip to Carolina? Wow.
— Anyone who had the 49ers 1-2 after three games, raise your hand. Didn’t think so.
— Finally, I love Marv Albert, we all love Marv Albert. But listening to his call on Jets-Bills was like getting a root canal. He was awful, misidentifying players, five seconds behind the action, and just plain bad. Is this what it was like for you older folks watching Willie Mays stumble around the outfield for the Mets?

Rafael Nadal wins a scintillating U.S. Open final. Photos from a new school year. And “Boardwalk Empire” is back, with too many people on the boardwalk

Nadal.USOPEN

I have been denying that Rafael Nadal is the greatest tennis player of all time for years now.
I have been saying that Roger Federer won more, more consistently, on different surfaces and against different opponents. Federer is, in my mind, the G.O.A.T., and will always be.
But I’m starting to crack a little. Because this Nadal kid just continues to amaze. Less than a year after being out of the sport with another knee injury, he has roared back and won another U.S. Open on Monday, in four compelling and high-quality sets over Novak Djokovic. The second and third sets featured as brilliant and high-level tennis as you’re likely to see, including this phenomenal 54-shot rally that you really must see if you haven’t.

Nadal looked headed for defeat, down 3-1 in the third set, yet his will, his unbending will, prevailed. He is so strong, so consistent, and so powerful that if he is somehow able to stay healthy, I now think he’ll go down as the greatest of all time, because if he stays healthy he’ll pass Federer in Slam titles (17-13 right now for Fed).
Which is really hard for me to admit as a Federer fan.
Couple quick-hit thoughts on the match:

— Don’t let the score fool you; Djokovic played very well for long stretches. But his will was broken by Nadal after the Serb lost that third set; his mental toughness was unparalleled just two years ago, when he crushed Nadal and all other comers. Now? I’m wondering if his confidence is gone.
— Nadal never looks tired. Ever. Even after epic rallies, he seems ready to go a few more rounds. He said it best after the match, that only Djokovic can bring out this level in him. And the two have played some epic matches over the years; we’re so fortunate that they have each other as foils.

— Mary Carillo, as usual, was fantastic in the CBS commentary booth, even though as usual John McEnroe wouldn’t shut the hell up, even for a second, to let the match breathe. Carillo’s best comment? She said Nadal was a part of the best matches she’s ever seen on a hardcourt (his 2012 six-hour epic loss to Djokovic), on grass (his 2008 Wimbledon win over Fed, the greatest match ever played), and on clay (this year’s 5-set triumph over Djokovic in the semis).
That’s pretty high praise coming from a lifetime tennis-watcher like Carillo.

— Loved how into it the New York crowd was. Don’t love a 5 p.m. Monday start for a championship final. But I am glad the Open gave these guys a day off between the semis and final; it made for so much better tennis.

bigpicture.schools

**So Monday was the first day of school in New York City; I know most of you around the country have had your kids back in school for a while now.
Looks like I’ll be doing the substitute teacher thing again this year, as I wasn’t able to land a full-time classroom position. Which of course means, for all of you, more crazy stories from my professional life of herding teenagers in small rooms.

To celebrate the new school year, the awesome photo site on Boston.com, the Big Picture, has photos of what school looks like from around the world.

Definitely some eye-opening pictures there; the one above is from a school in Japan (I love the half-asleep girl with her hand up).

BoardwalkEmpire

**Finally today, one of my favorite shows is back, Part 2. “Boardwalk Empire” started its fourth season Sunday night, and as much as I like the show and am happy it’s back, I don’t understand why they keep adding new cast members. (SPOILER ALERT. STOP READING IF YOU’RE A FAN AND HAVEN’T SEEN THE PREMIERE YET.)

The show has so many supporting players who aren’t used enough, including Al Capone (who was hilarious and crazy as usual Sunday), Arnold Rothstein, and Chalky White, that I don’t know why they keep insisting on adding new actors and actresses. I’m not really interested in Gillian and her whorehouse anymore, although apparently she’s still a big character.  The only new character who seems intriguing is the young FBI agent, Knox, who beautifully set up his partner to be killed so Knox could keep a bootlegger’s liquor.

Still, there were good signs on Sunday. I like that Nucky is getting back into business with Chalky, and I like that he threw out that floozy who was just using him to become a star. I also think Al Capone is just about ready to overthrow Torrio in Chicago, and that should be fun to watch.
And Richard Harrow’s killing spree? Always a good time.

For all its flaws, “Boardwalk Empire” is still beautiful to watch, and beautifully acted. I just wish they would focus on the characters they already have.

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.

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**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.

“Boardwalk Empire” is back, and still awesome. The newest most ridiculous infomercial product ever. And an “Archie” comic from 1972 that’s eerily prescient.

It took me a few days, but it was well worth it. I watched the season premiere of “Boardwalk Empire” on Wednesday, and man, I have really missed this show.

If you’re not a fan yet, this would be a good time to get in, because the show is going through a little bit of a re-boot after Atlantic City gangster Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi) killed his rival/former protege Jimmy Darmody at the end of last season.

OK, SPOILER ALERT FROM THIS POINT FORWARD ON SUNDAY’s EPISODE.

I thought the season premiere was fantastic. Clearly, Margaret and Nucky have issues; was genuinely surprised to see Nucky shtupping the showgirl from the New Year’s Eve party. I love Bobby Cannavale’s new character Gyp Rosetti; that scene in the basement where he insults every other gangster in the room was fantastic.

So happy the kosher butcher from Philly was back in the show, until he wasn’t. Good on ya, Richard Harrell. Jimmy’s mother still creeps me out, I love that ex-FBI guy Van Alden (sorry, Mr. George Mueller) accidentally helps save a gangster’s life in a flower shop, and I can’t wait to see what happens with Nucky’s brother, who we haven’t seen yet but is lurking in the shadows.

A fantastic show. Looks like it’ll be getting even better this year.

**OK, someone please tell me this is a gag, or a rejected “SNL” skit, or something. Because there’s now ay this can be a real thing. This thing makes the Snuggie look as important as the invention of the cotton gin.

May I introduce you to The Popinator, a popcorn machine that directs kernels into your mouth when you say the word “pop” by following the sound of your voice?

We have this now. And yet … AIDS goes un-cured.

**Finally, this freaked me out a little. In 1972 there was an “Archie” comic where Archie traveled ahead in the future by 50 years, and this is what music is like.

Not all that far off, eh?

Disgraceful Lowes pulls ads from Muslim show. “Boardwalk Empire” finale rocks. And a random piece of brilliance.

You know, I should stop being amazed at the cowardice of corporations. No matter how big and powerful they are, one little peep of protest and they go running for the hills, their morals and principles tucked between their spindly little legs.

Lowe’s, the hardware giant, had been running ads on a show on TLC called “All-American Muslim.” It’s a reality show about five Muslim families in Dearborn, Mich., and the discrimination and challenges they face. It’s exactly the kind of reality show that networks should be airing, since it gives you a slice of a world you rarely get to see, from a perspective that most Americans dearly need.

Discrimination against Muslims is still OK by many Americans since 9/11, you see.
So anyway, Lowes advertised on the show, and well wouldn’t you know it some wingnut right-wing group (the Florida Family Association) got all mad and put pressure on Lowes to stop airing commercials on the show. Because, of course, the FFA believes the show is highlighting a dangerous, radical Muslim agenda that’s THREAT TO OUR FREEDOM! (the caps are meant to indicate their fake outrage).

So of course, what does Lowes do? Pulls their ads. Which is basically a way of agreeing with the FFA that every Muslim in America ought to be watched, because they’re all potential terrorists.

I’ve shopped at Lowes before. Never again. Disgusting and disgraceful and pathetic, that’s what they are. This is how discrimination continues, generation after generation. Because nobody in power (and major corporations DO have power) stands up and says “you know what? There’s nothing wrong with this show. We’re proud to be a part of it.”

I hope Lowes suffers at the cash register because of this.

“Boardwalk Empire” had its season finale Sunday night (STOP HERE IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN IT YET, SKIP TO THE VIDEO NOW, I IMPLORE YOU. OK, you’ve been warned).

Man what an ending. Totally did not see that coming. It takes a lot of balls to kill off one of your two main characters, but “Boardwalk Empire” did it and it actually made sense in the story. Either Jimmy or Nucky had to die after their season-long power struggle over Atlantic City, and Steve Buscemi sure wasn’t going anywhere, so young Jimmy had to go.

I was amazed at how calm Jimmy took his death, how in hindsight he seemed to be preparing for it all throughout the episode (giving his son the dogtags, for example).

Couple other “Empire” thoughts:
— Can’t believe Manny Horvitz gets to come out on top after all the havoc he’s raised. You don’t mess with a Jewish butcher from Philly, apparently.
— Loved the look on Margaret’s face when she signed the highway land deed away from Nucky, over to the church. I think she really did believe Nucky was going to change, but after the Jimmy lie he told, she knows her new husband is a thief and a bad man.
— Two seasons in, this show is right up there with “Six Feet Under” and “The Sopranos” in my book when it comes to HBO brilliance.

**And now, a random piece of brilliance for you.  This is from a show called “Cirque de Pekin,” (literally translated, the Beijing Circus). It was sent to me by a friend a few weeks ago and I just got around to watching it today. Breathtakingly difficult and awesome.

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.

A very cool “Muppets” museum exhibit. “The 2-minute date” revisited. And “Boardwalk Empire,” a show you should definitely be watching

A huge part of my early childhood was spent watching “The Muppet Show.”
I remember when I was little it was on Saturday nights, and we’d watch it in the living room and laugh really, really hard.
I loved the Muppet movies over the years, and even briefly enjoyed the Saturday morning “Muppet Babies” cartoon.
So when I heard there was a Muppets exhibit at a museum very close to my apartment in Queens, I was totally on board.
Went to see it Saturday, which happened to be the late Jim Henson’s 75th birthday. It was fabulous.
Some things I learned:
— Jim Henson was an enormous talent (duh), but also had his hand in way more projects than I realized, not just the Muppets. One of the best parts of the exhibit was seeing his original drawings for some of the characters.
— Fozzy was woefully underrepresented in the gallery. I loved me some Fozzy.
— There was an early clip of Rowlf the Dog on the Jimmy Dean variety show from 1966. All the adults in the room were laughing hysterically. Most of the kids, too.
— There was a movie shown with clips from a lot of the musical performances from “The Muppet Show.” Many were good. This one from Elton John must be clicked on, because Sir Elton’s outfit defies description.
— It fascinates me how a man can take puppets and make them so real, so full of human qualities, so full of heart and humor and intelligence. Jim Henson was a true visionary and a genius, and I’m so glad his life’s work continues to live on through yet another generation.
If you live in New York, the exhibit is at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens through Jan. 12.

**So I gave up on “How I Met Your Mother” two years ago, after watching it from the beginning.
I just thought the storylines had gotten really weak, I was sick of all the stopping and starting and the teases of Ted meeting women and the writers leading us to believe that this is really going to be the one he ends up with.
But I watched the season premiere last week and it was really funny, and Monday night’s episode was good, too.
Glad to see a show I once loved get its mojo back.
So since I was feeling the show tonight, here’s my favorite clip ever from it. Ted and Stella’s 2-minute date (if you’ve never seen the show, Stella’s this new girl Ted is trying to woo, but she said she only has two minutes for a date. So he takes her on a two-minute date.

** Season 2 of “Boardwalk Empire” started Sunday night on HBO. So happy to have it back. Last year’s debut was fantastic, though I expected nothing less from a show created by a former “Sopranos” writer. (Terrence Winter)

The new season started off solid (SPOILER ALERT. DO NOT READ FURTHER IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN SUNDAY’S EPISODE YET).

Great opening scene with Chalky White and the Klan (though I expected Chalky to get all Omar Little (his old “Wire” character) on those guys. I think the whole Jimmy/Eli/Nucky dynamic is going to be fascinating; I loved how Eli went to arrest Chalky (for his safety, so he wouldn’t be lynched by a white mob) about a half hour after he had tried to have Chalky killed).
The editing and direction of the episode was awesome; the scene where Nucky gave two speeches to two different groups was brilliant. I also think there’s a lot of interesting stuff in Richard, Jimmy’s disfigured friend from the war. Between he and that FBI Van Alden guy, there’s plenty of creepiness to go around in this show.

So great to have it back. If you’re not watching it yet and get HBO, you really should be.

The Jets. Oh, the Jets. “Boardwalk Empire” goes out awesomely. And a creepy but cool project

You know what it is? Here’s what it is to be a New York Jets fan.
You’re Charlie Brown. You’re Charlie Brown and the Jets team is Lucy, and every damn year you think “This time, I’m gonna kick it.” This time, things are going to be different. They’ve got new players or a new coach or a new owner or a new stadium.
And you let yourself get sucked in. You let yourself believe that after 40 years of (mostly) misery, that this time will be different. This time, they’ve got it all together.
And then you turn on “Monday Night Football” and watch Patriots 45, Jets 3.
And then the football gets pulled away and you land flat on your tuchus and you can’t believe you were stupid enough to really think this time would be different.
And that’s pretty much all I have to say about this Jets game. Except I don’t want to hear another goddamn  cocky or boastful word out of Rex Ryan’s mouth for at least a month.

**I think I’ve waited the requisite 24 hours so as not to spoil things for anyone who hasn’t seen it, so let me say that “Boardwalk Empire” had a phenomenal season finale Sunday. Tremendous. What a great first season it had on HBO. So glad they didn’t have a major armaggeddon between the Rothstein faction and Nucky Thompson’s gang; better to let the tension build.
What an amazing actor Steve Buscemi is; he had two remarkable scenes Sunday. Everyone on this show is great. And I just knew Eli had something brewing in his head.
If you haven’t been watching “Boardwalk Empire,” definitely check it out from the beginning, now that Season 1 is over.

**Finally, my sister pointed me to this video, and I’m not sure if it’s extremely cool or extremely creepy. A father took a picture of his daughter just about every day, for 10 years. And then turned it into a stop-motion movie. Check it out:

(If it doesn’t also appear below, hit re-load on this page, and it will show up. It’s doing something funky today.)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

time lapse 2, posted with vodpod

“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.