Forget zombies and monsters. Humans are the real killing machines this weekend, as two of TV's bloodiest shows sign off Sunday night, in direct competition — followed immediately by repeats, so you can watch one and then the other, and then good luck trying to get to sleep.<
"It's lonely at the top," they say, and Season 3 of HBO's just-renewed, Emmy-winning hit Boardwalk Empire has become a veritable tutorial on that hallowed adage. Never the most slap-happy of protagonists, Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi), the bootlegging kingpin of the show's 1920s Atlantic City, has been...
"You can't be half a gangster," Jimmy Darmody (Michael Pitt) told his then-boss Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi) in the very first episode of HBO's Prohibition Era drama Boardwalk Empire. Two seasons later, Jimmy is gone — dead at the hands of Nucky, who finally took his would-be protegé's advice.
"Up until episode 12 of Season 2, we never really saw Nucky pull the trigger. He's the guy who's telling other people to do that," creator Terence Winter tells TVGuide.com. "Now, Nucky's fully capable of both ordering people dead and killing them himself. He's much more serious. He used to be a gangster and a gang leader one step removed. Now, he's out from behind the desk and really getting his hands dirty."
According to this year's Emmy nominations, which contained some pleasant surprises among the usual annoying snubs and omissions, there's two sure-fire methods to scoring an Emmy nod: Do a costume/period drama, or be on HBO.
As expected, PBS' Downton Abbey (relocated from the world of miniseries) shook up the drama field, while the Western miniseries blockbuster Hatfields & McCoys blazed new trails for History. And after being justifiably shut out last year, HBO (as usual the nomination leader among all networks) reclaimed half the slots in the best-comedy category, for better or worse.
Cheers to Boardwalk Empire for ending its second season with a big bang.
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SPOILER ALERT: Stop reading now if you haven't seen this week's episode!
Just when it looked ...