Airing of Grievances – Boardwalk Empire

14 Jan

So this is my first official blog post here on the GOP!  The idea started when I wrote out this year-end list on my other blog (that used to be about my house but then I stopped working on my house and just made about random shit) and knew that I wished I was reading the same list made by Beddall. So here we are. I plan on keeping up that blog too because apparently I’m a blog whore now. Post-grad school has forced me seek out alternative activities to aid in procrastination. Also, I excessively use parentheses and I apologize in advance. I will now officially start my pop culture blathering and air some grievances about Boardwalk Empire.

I will start out with the fun fact that I really like Boardwalk Empire and watched the show from beginning to current in a few (maybe 2?) weeks. Fucking prohibition, right? I love the seediness and never really knew much about how bootlegging/smuggling operations worked.  I like to see how people got around it and I get a hard on about the notion that public opinion can take huge turns very quickly and change our society right before our eyes. Drug war, anyone? Maybe I’m too hopeful.

There’s tons of killing and that’s all fine with me, I mean the shovel thing was a little much, but overall, I won’t complain about violence because, eh, we know it’s coming. After we caught up we started getting together with some friends to watch it on Sundays and being a person that is never, ever caught up with shows this was very novel and fun. Plus: a reason to keep drinking into Sunday!  Before the finale (following the best episode ever, oh! second-to-last-episode, you ruled) we placed bets on who we thought would die first, how many main characters would die, who would run Atlantic City at the end and what the biggest shocker would be. The episode was a bit of a letdown, but the point is I think it’s a fun show to watch and talk about.  The acting is great, I love the fact that it’s set in Atlantic City (near and uh.. a little bit dear to my heart) some episodes literally had me pacing, hiding behind the couch, and screaming at the tv. I enjoy it (even if the people watching it with me want to fucking kill me).

But I have some issues. Like, uh:

#1: the fucking awful characters.

I pretty much hate them all, or at least wouldn’t really care if something terrible happened to just about all of them. Some are more evil and therefore interesting than others, but every single one of them is a greedy, selfish prick and pretty much doesn’t give a shit about anyone, doesn’t care about any cause bigger than their wallet. Even the characters that they want you to like – the writers seemed to have  picked a single sympathetic character trait and applied it to anyone they want to have a “good” side: they are nice to children – Richard, Nucky, Eli, Angela, Al Capone, Owen.  Not very creative. Here’s my hope:

Please die: Nucky, Margaret, Jimmy, Gyp Rosetti, Gillian, Eli, The Commodore, Rothstein, Lucky Luciano, Van Alden, Mickey fucking Doyle

I don’t care if you die: Al Capone, Angela Darmody, Chalky,  Billie Kent, Chalky White,

Please don’t die: Richard, Owen  (Though they still continue to do shit that pisses me off.)

#2 changing the characters personalities whenever they feel like it

Sometimes I think they are just writing a story and plug characters in, even if it doesn’t make sense for the character. I’m all for developing characters and having them grow and change but that’s not how it seems to go down. In one scene Margaret is a raging religious zealot, giving all Nucky’s money to the church and all up in the priest’s office, then she’s all women’s lib and getting birth control for poor women and sleeping with the help.  Angela’s running off to Paris and being an artist and then she marries Jimmy.  Van Alden is all rules, rules, rules and then just… changes completely.  Whatev. Do what you want.

#3 Too many recurring side characters

This is probably just me, but I found myself regularly asking “wait, who are these guys?” and Brad is all “shut up, it doesn’t matter, they’re gangsters” and I’m like “oh, okay”. And then they get killed. I think it’s a lot of wasted time. I’m probably just not paying enough attention and don’t place much value on the need for killing people. My bad. They just bring in a bunch of “guys” so they can kill people without losing anyone necessary. I’m certain I’ll think of more as soon as I hit publish!


What I’m listening to:

Mostly The Districts, but I just can’t talk about them all the time. So, on my drive home I actually put my songs on shuffle and heard this song –  and really, really listened to the lyrics.  It’s about taking prehistoric materials (fossil fuels) and using them to create art – best line: “A bunch of 15 year olds made from dinosaur bones singing “oh yeah”.” I love the last lines. Plus, it’s pretty.

Father John Misty – Now I’m learning to Love the War

Here are the words:

Try not to think so much about
The truly staggering amount of oil that it takes to make a record
All the shipping, the vinyl, the cellophane lining
The high gloss
The tape and the gear

Try not to become too consumed
With what’s a criminal volume of oil that it takes to paint a portrait
The acrylic, the varnish
Aluminum tubes filled with latex
The solvents and dye

Lets just call this what it is
The jealous side of mankind’s death wish
When it’s my time to go
Gonna leave behind things that won’t decompose

Try not to dwell so much upon
How it won’t be so very long from now that they laugh at us for selling
A bunch of 15 year olds made from dinosaur bones singing “oh yeah”
Again and again
Right up to the end

Lets just call this what it is
The jealous side of mankind’s death wish
When it’s my time to go
Gonna leave behind things that won’t decompose

I’ll just call this what it is
My vanity gone wild with my crisis
One day this all will all repeat
Now sure hope they make something useful out of me

What I’m reading:

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

I chose this book because it was near my bed when I got a visit from my good friend insomnia. I just found it in a still unpacked box (I have now lived here 5 and a half months. pathetic.) and I have no idea where I got it. I am only on page 25 because it keeps putting me to sleep. It might be good, I have no idea. Ringing endorsement!*

*as a sleep aid!


One Response to “Airing of Grievances – Boardwalk Empire”

  1. eebeddall January 14, 2013 at 9:44 am #

    Brem – love your first post!! And I love that Father John Misty song too — I remember the first time I really listened to the lyrics and thought they were just amazing. Good call yo. And I don’t watch Boardwalk Empire but if I start I am coming back to read this after I’m fed up with it!

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