TV Show: Boardwalk Empire

2115 Words9 Pages
Nelson Johnson’s Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City is the story of Atlantic City and how it came to be, during construction, high times, and obvious political corruption. The famous television show Boardwalk Empire, starring Steve Buscemi, centers around his characters’ role, Enoch “Nucky” Thompson, rather than emphasizing the growth of Atlantic City. Although Nucky Johnson was instrumental in the high times of Atlantic City, the book focuses on the city itself and how it attracted many.
The television pilot of Boardwalk Empire takes place in 1920 Atlantic City. The audience is exposed to a flash forward as the opening scene. The pilot then goes on to reveal the character known as Nucky Thompson. Widower, political figure, powerful: Nucky embraces his role as a “boss” of Atlantic City, providing many with the illegal alcohol, and making a fortune in the process. From the pilot episode, we see Nucky as the stereotypical mob boss, a bad boy, one that can kill and not feel anything. He plays his political side by telling a tear-jerking rags-to-riches story to the Women’s Temperance League, making them all swoon with admiration as his ability to persevere through the hard times his father put him through. But then another side of Nucky is seen. We see the powerful Nucky, one who parties all through the night, supplying illegal alcohol to those who pay for it. This contradiction of Nucky is fascinating because you first see Nucky as a strong, upholding figure of the law, but then you are quickly introduced to his sly and cunning ways, sneaking around the law, with the assistance of his sheriff brother, to avoid jail for many of his crimes. We are also brought back to Nucky’s generous, political ...

... middle of paper ...

... a place of illegal activity and political corruption. While shifting bosses from the beginning of Kuehnle, to the more powerful Nucky who reinvented Atlantic City, to Farley who finished at the corruption, Atlantic City was a powerhouse for New Jersey because of it’s high political corruption. The highly acclaimed television show Boardwalk Empire revolves around Nucky “Thompson” and shows off his royal lifestyle and high power control, and his interactions with people. Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City is the story of Atlantic City, including those who shaped it to be what it became.

Works Cited

"Boardwalk Empire."A Boardwalk Empire. Writ. Terence Winter. Dir. Martin Scorsese. HBO, 2012. DVD.
Johnson, Nelson. Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City. Medford, NJ: Medford Book, 2002. Print.

More about TV Show: Boardwalk Empire

Open Document