Boardwalk Empire : Season 1

  • Network: HBO
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 19, 2010
Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 629 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 24 out of 629

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User Reviews

  1. Apr 2, 2013
    6
    Coming from HBO Boardwalk Empire focuses on Atlantic City in the 1920s. Prohibition has just come into effect and the city's corrupt treasurer Nucky Thompson, seeing a business opportunity, begins working to tighten his already firm grip on the city. Unfortunately for Nucky he will have to deal with equally violent rivals and determined FBI prohibition agents if he is to succeed.

    Being
    Coming from HBO Boardwalk Empire focuses on Atlantic City in the 1920s. Prohibition has just come into effect and the city's corrupt treasurer Nucky Thompson, seeing a business opportunity, begins working to tighten his already firm grip on the city. Unfortunately for Nucky he will have to deal with equally violent rivals and determined FBI prohibition agents if he is to succeed.

    Being created by Terence Winter Boardwalk Empire is always going to be compared to masterpiece that was The Sopranos. In this regard the first season is certainly lacking in the emotional complexity and tight script that made The Sopranos the show it was with some of the violence and sexual scenes not always feeling essential to the plot. Despite this Boardwalk Empire does have enough going for it to forge its own identity and by the series end it was safe to say it that it had earned its early season 2 renewal. Being a character based drama it obviously relied heavily on its cast and it was here that this opening season excelled. Lead by the always excellent Steve Buscemi the supporting cast were equally as successful at bringing the interesting characters and plots to life and ensuring audiences stayed tuned in. While Boardwalk Empire hasn’t exactly reinvented the gangster genre it is has certainly shown enough potential to bring me back for another watch next year.
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  2. Oct 9, 2013
    4
    I can understand why people might enjoy this show, I can. But if you're like me, and you find it hard to watch a show about an entire cast of criminals and villains wherein the best thing they do still amounts to "not completely evil" as opposed to "good", then this show is not for you. It's about gangsters, and gangsters aren't the best people. Many people like interesting characters, butI can understand why people might enjoy this show, I can. But if you're like me, and you find it hard to watch a show about an entire cast of criminals and villains wherein the best thing they do still amounts to "not completely evil" as opposed to "good", then this show is not for you. It's about gangsters, and gangsters aren't the best people. Many people like interesting characters, but being a villain doesn't automatically make you interesting. I found this show very difficult to watch because nobody ever did anything that made me want to like them, and thus I saw no reason to continue watching it. TV series are about getting behind the characters you like and rooting for them. You want to find out what happens to them and see how they react to certain situations. Well, Boardwalk Empire has many characters, and many situations, but none of them are good. If you like the Soprano's and Son's of Anarchy, you'll enjoy Boardwalk Empire. Expand
  3. Feb 11, 2011
    6
    The acting is great and the writing is great.

    I hated the first episode but it has grown on be to a great extent and I will be tuning in for the future episodes on Sky Atlantic!
  4. Aug 18, 2014
    4
    i guess it would help to be right into the gangsters theme, im finding it very slow and full of forgetable characters. after 2 seasons im not invested in anyone, apart from the handful of main characters i have trouble remembering who everyone is, the ones i do know are pretty dull.. like i said not really a gangster fan, a couple of years ago watched underbelly razor set in sydney in thei guess it would help to be right into the gangsters theme, im finding it very slow and full of forgetable characters. after 2 seasons im not invested in anyone, apart from the handful of main characters i have trouble remembering who everyone is, the ones i do know are pretty dull.. like i said not really a gangster fan, a couple of years ago watched underbelly razor set in sydney in the same time period as BE, i thought it was excellent, figured this would blow that out of the water, was very disappointed. really didn't engage me , gave it 2 seasons, cant do anymore Expand
  5. Oct 2, 2010
    6
    Not bad but not to good either. It has the atmosphere of that time but the characters are poorly made and the plot is rather slow-paced. I expected more out of this but who's to say it won't get better.
  6. Nov 2, 2014
    4
    Started well and was very interesting..............2nd season was boring............3rd season better but boring...................4th season things actually got interesting and characters became interesting.................5th season was rush, disjointed and simply terrible.
  7. Oct 20, 2010
    5
    Pros: Personal preference to historical contents, decent performance by supporting characters

    Cons: Painfully slow, incoherently awkward plot at times, almost cg like boardwalk set, main actors including buscemi quite disappointing Overall, I feel this is so far quite disappointing given I expected somewhat more given the names involved. The plot is dry, dialogues are mundane,
    Pros: Personal preference to historical contents, decent performance by supporting characters

    Cons: Painfully slow, incoherently awkward plot at times, almost cg like boardwalk set, main actors including buscemi quite disappointing

    Overall, I feel this is so far quite disappointing given I expected somewhat more given the names involved. The plot is dry, dialogues are mundane, characters lack depth, and above all no clear adhesive to glue all elements of a fine piece. I guess i gotta wait for it to develop further to see if I want to continue to watch this. 5/10
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  8. Oct 27, 2010
    6
    Scorcese is getting old, no question about that. He's not trying anything new as far as i can see, it's pretty much Goodfellas revamped into a tv-series. I still like it though it's well made with nice costuming but the costumes as well as the atmosphere is a little bit to clean and well polished to be considered authentic.
    The acting is more then decent and the story has some nice
    Scorcese is getting old, no question about that. He's not trying anything new as far as i can see, it's pretty much Goodfellas revamped into a tv-series. I still like it though it's well made with nice costuming but the costumes as well as the atmosphere is a little bit to clean and well polished to be considered authentic.
    The acting is more then decent and the story has some nice intrigues and turns.
    It could have been so much more though with this budget and these actors, there's so much talent out there just waiting to to something amazing out of something like this. Still they go with the safe and proven formula and it's a good show compared to what else there's to watch this fall , that doesn't really say much though.
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  9. ajr
    Apr 6, 2011
    5
    Yep...agree with Frumplestein....very disappointed with ep 1...clunky dialogue, and the un-lived in sets make the whole thing seems stagey and theatrical. I am not convinced that Scorsese can direct TV....remember the beauty of the economical tight scenes in Sopranos, sharp dialogue, no meandering with zero impact on plot....thems were the days. Hope it gets better...
Metascore
88

Universal acclaim - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. 70
    [The first three episodes] contain no evidence that it'll rival or exceed season four, an intricately wrought and unexpectedly spare and bluesy batch of hours whose quality exceeded anything that Terence Winter's gangster saga had given us in seasons one through three.
  2. 90
    The show isn't easy to warm up to, to be honest; it's draped in--and at times stifled by--meticulous period detail and too-perfect lighting, especially in Scorsese's premiere. But in episode two, the characters and the script begin to prevail, and the drama becomes more emotionally distinct and fascinating.
  3. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    100
    As with the best of these broad canvas series, the players and their allegiances become clear within an episode or two. And from that point on, Boardwalk Empire becomes everything that HBO (and I) had hoped for it.