As I take my seat for the screening of HBO’s brand new television series, Boardwalk Empire I am filled with a sense of anticipation. I'm rifling through the free goody bag when I notice all the crew decked out in 1920s gear and the bag itself is full of paraphernalia from the period. This and the premiere itself, all designed to help publicize the launch of the new channel from Sky, Sky Atlantic. The programme itself is clearly in the vein of other HBO shows such as Mad Men and The Sopranos, whose writer, Terence Winter, also wrote Boardwalk Empire. The costumes and overall feel of the period comes across in waves as the audience is immersed in the world of US prohibition-era Atlantic City, and with tens of millions spent on its reconstruction, you'd hope so.
The first episode, directed by Martin Scorsese, is gritty and full of violence. It really gets this gangster drama off at a pace. However this pace slows dramatically and although the acting is thrilling throughout, though I am still yet to be convinced of Steve Buscemi as a lead actor. The gratuitous violence and sex scenes provide some thrilling moments, but the episode just couldn’t capture and enthrall me, or my friends, entirely. Although there is nothing notably wrong with this show, and fans of Don Draper will undoubtedly argue its inherent value, this was a double header of episodes that never truly pulled me in. Despite this I am extremely pleased to see some of my favourite American shows coming to British screens and I eagerly await the true arrival of Sky Atlantic. Sky Atlantic will begin airing on February 1st on Sky