Friday, October 29, 2010
Andy's Thoughts / Boardwalk Empire
Thanks Andy for your hard work on this article. You can find his blog right here at Around the World. You should do yourself a favor and check it out, this guy travels the world and blogs about all of it. Rome, Korea, Australia. Excellent stuff.
Check out his submission for Boardwalk Empire below.
I’ve always had an attraction to the allure of the ‘roaring twenties.’ The post World War I economy was booming. It was the birth of the modern era. Cars started to be produced at mass rates as well as many other products. The only time in the world’s history humans have developed products faster then the 1920’s has been recently. Then of course there were the flappers, young women who changed the previous social and sexual norms. The Great Gatsby is a classical fictional novel that portrays the era and the party of the era well.
The only problem with the era was prohibition; the act that made the selling and drinking of alcohol illegal. This of course affected the party scene of the roaring twenties, the flappers and their men’s way of life. It added to the appeal of the era.
The series of Boardwalk Empire takes place predominantly in Atlantic City and serves as a nick name for the city. Wooden boardwalks were built over the ocean, and prohibition helped create an empire for those involved in the illegal importing and distribution of alcohol. It centres around Nucky Thomson portrayed by Steve Buscemi. His official title within the city is treasurer, but he is the one who runs the town. Prohibition doesn’t affect the city and Nucky is the brains behind this. It becomes the tourist destination.
There are a ton of things going on that add to the dynamic of the series. First is how wise and cunning Nucky is politically. His brother is conveniently the sheriff, so he has no intention of enforcing prohibition. Nucky is always campaigning to secure his position as well as the people he needs in power for his operations to run smoothly. At the beginning of the episode he gives a speech to the women’s temperance league about the evils of alcohol and his desire for women to earn the right to vote.
Perhaps the best part of the series is how well the era is portrayed and how they incorporate different 'current events" from that time. One example is when they talk about the World Series that was rigged by gamblers. In addition I love seeing the old cars, the flappers fashion and hair styles, the jazz music from the era and the excitement for the new inventions of the time. Can you imagine getting excited about purchasing a vacuum cleaner?
There are parts of the series away from Nucky that are equally entertaining and interesting. These include the characters Johnny Torrio and Al Capone, infamous for their roles of distributing liquor during prohibition in Chicago. Part of my love for the series stems from the ties it has in history and to historical people. This includes Nucky himself whom is based on the real life, same occupation of Nucky Johnson. I was not familiar with him until I started watching this series but characters like Al Capone and Johnny Torrio are well known and have been portrayed in many movies before.