I don't usually post about television shows that have just started production and have no premiere date set. If I where to do that I'd be posting two hundred times a day and half of the shows mentioned would never make it to the screen. Because of this I tend to hold off writing about shows until I know they're going to air. I'm not trying to be the next Variety or anything.
I do make exceptions when I get really excited about something, though, and now's one of those times. The Hollywood Reporter let out that Michael Kenneth Williams will be joining the cast of Boardwalk Empire. I had yet to hear about this project so I checked it and thought "This is awesome on so many levels", so I'm gonna break it down:
- He played my absolute favorite bad-ass to ever appear on television: The Wire's Omar Little
- It's going to be on HBO
- It's being directed by Martin Scorsese
- Also stars Steve Buscemi, who always plays an awesome sleaze bag
- The premise makes me think Deadwood and Gangs of New York meets The Sopranos
A bustling little city by the seashore, totally dependent upon money spent by tourists, Atlantic City’s popularity rose in the early 20th century and peaked during Prohibition. The resort’s singular purpose of providing a good time to its visitors—whether lawful or not—demanded a single mentality to rule the town. Success of the local economy was the only ideology, and critics and do-gooders weren’t tolerated.
By 1900, a political juggernaut, funded by payoffs from gambling rooms, bars, and brothels, was firmly entrenched. For the next 70 years, Atlantic City was dominated by a partnership comprised of local politicians and racketeers. This unique alliance reached full bloom in the person of Enoch “Nucky” Johnson—the second of three bosses to head the Republican machine that dominated city politics and society.
In Boardwalk Empire, Nucky Johnson, Louis “the Commodore” Kuehnle, Frank “Hap” Farley, and Atlantic City itself spring to life in all their garish splendor. Author Nelson Johnson traces “AC” from its humble beginnings as Jonathan Pitney’s seaside health resort, through the notorious backroom politics and power struggles, to the city’s astonishing rebirth as an entertainment and gambling mecca where anything goes.
Boardwalk Empire is a colorful, irresistible history of a unique city and culture. Here is proof positive that truth is stranger—and more compelling—than fiction.
So, gambling, political corruption, race relations, racketeering...all sounds pretty damn good to me. Production has just started, so let's keep our fingers crossed and maybe we'll be watching Boardwalk Empire in the 2010 season.