Watching an episode of Boardwalk Empire is like attending a Sunday evening gathering of the Most Important Men in Town. Ragtime is playing on the gramophone. Everyone’s drinking, talking, laughing, singing. Someone insults Woodrow Wilson and his silly League of Nations, before the talk turns to the more pressing issue of how best to steal money from the New Jersey government. Nucky says, "Election year! Election year!" Sheriff Eli says something stupid and everybody says, "You’re stupid, Eli." European racial slurs are tossed about with impunity. The town doctor stops in to proscribe cocaine for a bug bite. Arnold Rothstein calls from New York City, just so he can have one scene in the episode. You realize that you recognize that one guy who was on The Sopranos. By evening’s end, Paz de la Huerta is buck naked, and someone’s head has been blown wide open.
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