Raise your hooch high and wish everyone a “Buona Fortuna.” Looks like Nucky and his gang – well, at least part of his gang – will be around for a fourth season.
HBO announced Tuesday that it has renewed the award-winning Prohibition/gangster drama “Boardwalk Empire” for another season. No surprise. “Empire” is the darling of HBO period pieces. The costumes alone – flapper getups, impeccable suits adorned with fresh boutonnieres and those great fedoras - can seduce any viewer into becoming a regular.
Set in the 1920s in Atlantic City, the show focuses on Atlantic County Treasurer Nucky Thompson, his bootlegging operation and corruption in general. There probably isn’t an “Empire” fan alive who doesn’t know that the series is based on a wonderful book written by now-Judge Nelson Johnson. (I’m proud to say I was one of the first to have my book signed by Judge Nelson, way before it was even considered to be the foundation for the series.)
According to Zap2it, “Michael Lombardo, president of HBO programming, announced the renewal Tuesday. “Terry Winter, Martin Scorsese and the rest of their outstanding team continue to produce a stunning show that never fails to surprise and entertain. We are excited to bring this unique series back for a fourth season,” Lombardo said.
That means another season of following Nucky (a fictionalized character based on the real life Atlantic County Clerk Nucky Johnson (no relation to the judge), his cronies and how his they interact with the mobster gangs in New York and Chicago.
Steve Buscemi, who already had a cult following (think “Fargo,” “The Big Lebowski,” and “The Sopranos,” has stolen the leading man part, hands down. Buscemi himself will tell you he’s not traditional “leading man” material if you’re going strictly in the looks department. But we’ve watched in wonder as his Nucky character blossoms effortlessly from corrupt politician to gangster to murderer.
As great as Buscemi is, he is surrounded by a gaggle of wonderful character actors. And, let’s face it - character actors add the spice to the soup. There’s no shortage of secondary actors or subplots here. Nucky’s wife, Margaret, (Kelly McDonald) is making peace with her Catholic faith and how it wrestles with Nucky’s “transgressions.”Look for Nucky’s mysterious mistress, Billie Kent, to throw gas into the fire.
Perhaps the most intriguing addition to this season’s cast is New York gangster Gyp Rosetti, played by the wonderful Bobby Cannavale. He’s a scene stealer. A violent psychopath, Gyp is a joy to behold. I just hope they keep Gyp around for the fourth season. As we learned from the murder of Jimmy Darmody, not even main characters should skimp on their life insurance. No one is guaranteed life from one episode to the next. This was the same modus operandi used by the writers of “The Sopranos.” It keeps viewers guessing and on the edge of their seats.
"Boardwalk Empire" airs Sunday nights at 9pm on HBO.