Boardwalk Empire is a prohibition era gangster drama set in Atlantic City. As a whole the show is good but never quite seems to know if it wants to be a historical or romantic series or a gangster serial.
Steve Buscemi is Nucky Thompson, the man who controls everything and everybody in Atlantic City. Boardwalk Empire opens on the eve of Prohibition and Nucky is already playing both sides. As time does on, Nucky’s illegal business become more and more profitable. This allows the series to introduce secondary characters like Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, Arnold Rothstein and others.
Margaret Schroeder is a woman Nucky takes a shine to. Jimmy Darmody is a war hero and Nucky’s on again off again protégé and muscle. There is also Nucky’s brother who is sheriff if Atlantic City, and his valet.
Special Agent Van Alden is the G-Man in Atlantic City. The character is a badly defined nut job and is the series’ biggest weakness. He is not much competition for Nucky Thompson so there is not much tension there.
Boardwalk Empire Season One ends with an election and a conspiracy afoot.
Special features are plentiful and include a picture-in-picture timeline with lots of background information. This is best enjoyed during a second viewing as there are quite a lot of these bits available.