Tag: Boardwalk Empire

Lists the Season: TV edition 2013


It’s that wonderful time of the year again; when we organize our lives into easily readable bullet-ed points rating our experiences from good to bad. Who doesn’t love lists? Many of you reading this right now probably have a few lists on the go as we speak: presents to buy, food to make, movies to watch etc.. Last year I listed my favourite Christmas tunes. This year I contemplated listing movies, but since I only saw 12 Years a Slave and Blue Jasmine it would make for a  very short one. Both films are excellent by the way.

What I lacked in movie watching, I more than made up for in TV consumption. They say we are in the ‘new golden age’ of television. So much so, that it is hypothesized that TV entertainment may have enriched our standard of living. To add on to that, one seriously flawed outlook implies that no one can truly be considered poor when they are surrounded by so much rich distraction. Wow, who knew  TV wasn’t just  teaching us what to do in the case of a zombie apocalypse or how to be a functioning alcoholic at work but also trying to eliminate poverty? God bless us, every single one.

2013 was definitely a spoil of riches when it comes to TV entertainment. We had to say good-bye to some beloved characters and some not so beloved, as well as were introduced to a whole bevy of new ones. (Attention there may be Spoilers.)


 10. Orange is the New Black garnered a lot of praise when it came out. It is a show I like but don’t love. It never graduated to binge watching. We would watch an episode or two and then forget about it for awhile. The high point for me is Tayrnn Manning’s portrayal of Tiffany Doggett. She does crazy well.

9. Treme / Boardwalk Empire HBO does TV well. I came up with a tie for number 9. Both shows are wonderful pastiches of unique times and places. Their settings are their protagonists, with many story lines running parallel to one another, sometimes never crossing and other times unexpectedly intersecting. Music is a key feature for both shows, delivering gems every episode.


8. Broadchurch explores the fallout of a young boy’s murder on the inhabitants of a small seaside town. It is a classic who-done-it with multiple suspects and dead ends. They are remaking it for american TV, I just hope they get the emotional weight right.

7. Day of the Doctor The latest season of Dr. Who may not have been its strongest but all was forgiven with this year’s 50th anniversary special.

6. American Horror Story: Coven This season may not even be over yet but it has already made the list. It is experiencing its highest ratings ever and people are thoroughly hooked. On a show that out crazies itself every week I got two words: mellon baller. Yikes.

5. Shameless never gets enough love. William H Macy is in a word: without shame.


4. House of Cards was definitely binge worthy. Kevin Spacey makes being bad look so good but it’s Robin Wright who can turn your heart to ice. I’m a little nervous after viewing the trailer for season 2. Francis looks like he is teetering into the dangerous and cartoonish ‘The Devil’s Advocate’s’  depiction of evil. Putting out candles with your fingers is never a good sign.

3. Game of Thrones  Two words: Red Wedding.

2. Mad MenFive wordsThe Desolation of Don Draper. 

TV Breaking Bad Gallery

1. Breaking Bad has gone on now to live in the Pantheon of all time greatest TV shows with The Sopranos and The Wire. Absolutely tremendous ride and one of the reasons we call it ‘the new golden age’.

6 Degrees of Harry Potter: Part II


Time to connect the dots once again. This is a little exercise I like to call 6 Degrees of Harry Potter. You’ll notice this is part II, you can find part I here. Last time we ended off with Dumbledore himself Michael Gambon so that’s as good a place as any to start.

I really wanted to start with his involvement in the BBC series The Singing Detectivewhich is a brilliant piece of writing. Gambon plays a cantankerous writer of crime fiction who has a horrific skin ailment and finds himself at the mercy of others while confined to a hospital bed. On the series, he starred opposite to Joanne Whalley who was in Willow and Gossip Girl among other things. This was a very tempting path to venture down, but then I recollected that Mr. Gambon also shared the screen with non other than the great Bill Murray in Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. Murray channels his inner Jacques Cousteau to captain a vessel of oceanographers in search of the elusive Jaguar shark. The film showcases Anderson’s trademark set-pieces, quirky dialogue and some odd little stop motion sequences. Willem Dafoe plays Murray’s insecure second in command. He also has a small cameo as an electrician in Julian Schnabel’s Basquait.


I’m not a fan of Schnabel’s art whatsoever, but I like a few of his movies. Basquait tracks the short explosive career of graffiti art-star Jean Michel Basquait. (I am on the other hand, a big fan of Jean Michel’s art.) The New York art world during the eighties is the backdrop for this tragic true story. The atmosphere of the film is electric and the performances are compelling. David Bowie as Andy Warhol is priceless. Along with the thin white duke, the cast includes Jeffery Wright, Gary Oldman, Dennis Hopper and Benicio Del Toro.


Del Toro also plays the drug addled lawyer Dr. Gonzo in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas alongside Johnny Depp as Hunter S. Thompson. Depp developed a tight bond and friendship with Thompson while preparing for this role. He lived with him at his house – Owl Farm for several weeks trying to better understand the writer. After days of hard living, Depp would retire to the guest bedroom to read and have a smoke before sleep. On one occasion, Hunter popped his head in to say good night and casually commented that Depp may want to extinguish his smoke. Turns out, the end table he had been using all along was actually a barrel full of gunpowder. The film never really captures the mad genius of the book or its author but Terry Gilliam does a decent enough job.  


Crazy is also an underlying theme in Gilliam’s The Fisher King. It is a delightful little gem of a film that plays to everybody’s strengths. Robin Williams plays a broken man after the death of his wife and Jeff Bridges plays a shock-DJ down on his luck that feels compelled to help him.


Jeff Bridges is also of course  The Big Lebowski. A  film that truly gets funnier every time you watch it. The follow up to the critical darling Fargo; it didn’t make a huge splash on its release but has since gone on to achieve cult status. There is even a shop that is all things Lebowski called the Little Lebowski  located in Greenwich Village NYC. The film has it all: bowling, kidnapping, the Coen brothers, whale sounds, conceptual art, German nihilists, a Busby Berkeley dream sequence, a Vietnam vet, a rug that really tied the room together, Jesus and Steve Buscemi.


Steve Buscemi plays Nucky Thompson on the HBO drama Boardwalk Empire. He is a ruthless gangster at the top of a bootlegging empire during prohibition in Alantic City. Martin Scorsese and Mark Whalberg share producing credits. Nucky’s wife is played by Kelly Macdonald  who also played the ghost of Helena Ravenclaw in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II.


And so goes another 6 degrees of Harry Potter.