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7 February 2011

Boredwalk Empire

When I first heard about Boardwalk Empire, I thought it sounded interesting but I wasn't sure I was ready to add another TV show to my restricted repertoire. I was loyal to Mad Men and the fact that Boardwalk Empire started to steal some of its awards this year didn't endear me to it. Equally, although I now have access to Sky via Skyplayer, I wasn't sure I could watch a channel (Sky Atlantic) that pirated MM from Auntie.

Inevitably, curiosity kicked in and I watched the first episode at the weekend. The viewing conditions were not ideal; I should have just downloaded the episode from Skyplayer because although I have a very fast broadband connection, I suspect that Saturday is a common time for people to catch up on their week's Sky viewing. The trouble with streaming on Skyplayer is that a) you have to put up with a lot of buffering (on Saturday nights, anyway) and b) if your internet connection cuts out, even temporarily, you have to start again from scratch (and repeat the buffering process). Also, I prefer my TV shows to last 42 minutes or so and this pilot was way longer.

Overall, then, my rating of Boardwalk Empire wasn't great. I just didn't get into it and I found it a little hard to keep track of who was who (this was possibly due to the aforementioned internet issues that meant I may have missed some parts and watched others twice). Sure, it looked great and Steve Buscemi and Kelly MacDonald are always good value (as for Michael Pitt, I've never trusted him since he played wet Henry in Dawson's Creek, creepy Justin in Murder by Numbers and wet Matthew in The Dreamers) but I wasn't left craving the second episode. I haven't given up on it yet and I'm definitely willing to try to shed my confirmation bias so I will be watching the next part, at least, but it's in no danger of displacing Mad Men from its pedestal.

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