Top 35 Shows of 2013: No 7 Boardwalk Empire

The only thing you can count on is blood. The blood that’s in your veins and the blood that’s in mine.

Boardwalk Empire has never been a show about happy endings, not just because it is rooted in real life history but because events in the show are all about the brutality of the 1920s. The characters are trapped in a cycle of violence and when someone as powerful as protagonist Nucky Thompson can’t get out then people in way worst circumstances have no chance.

When characters try to better themselves it usually goes wrong, look at loyal dependable Eddie who just wanted a bit more respect and responsibility and ended up taking his life. Or Richard Harrow, not the most likely of heroes considering he was an assassin for hire the majority of the time but a man the audience loved and wanted to be happy with his new wife and family but of course this couldn’t happen because getting out is impossible.

Gillian is another person desperate for her fairytale ending and the saddest thing about her storyline this year is that she came so close to it, she actually even decided to let Tommy go for his own good and hers but alas she had to pay for the sins of her past and everything came falling down. Even Chalky White found happiness outside of his family and his dream of running a club but at the end of the series is a completely broken man with a dead daughter and the woman he loves far away.

Now this all makes Boardwalk Empire seem like a very downbeat show but despite all of the sorrow and deaths it is still hugely entertaining. The ever expanding cast of characters and locations means that even if one storyline isn’t really working for me another one usually is. The show has also become adept at unusual pairings; even though she spent minimal time on screen this season I can’t wait to see what Margaret’s partnership with Rothstein will bring or Eli working with Al Capone and Van Alden.

Boardwalk Empire really enjoys reveling in the atmosphere of the 1920s, it will happily spend countless scenes dedicated to Daughter Maitland singing and that really brings the show to life.

It is also a rare show where every new season truly is better than the previous. It has its own formula of the slow burn, of spending time with characters which seems pretty pointless at first but gradually everything comes together. Boardwalk Empire isn’t’t a show I obsess about all year round but when its on air there is something so compulsive and wonderful about it.

Favourite Episodes: Erlkönig / Farewell Daddy’s Blues

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