One year ago TV critics, bloggers and insiders were eagerly awaiting the premiere of a new project that paired Sopranos scribe Terence Winter and Oscar winning director Martin Scorsese with an HBO budget. Tonight, as I write this report, Boardwalk Empire is poised to win several Emmys tonight including Outstanding Series (Drama) and Best Male Actor (Drama).
On September 25th, Boardwalk Empire will premiere it’s second season on HBO but 150 Seattle fans were given the VIP treatment with an early screening of the first episode. A Seattlite himself, HBOWatch was lucky enough to attend the event along with a few friends. The invitation asked patrons to arrive donning their best twenties themed outfits and many invitees, including this blogger, jumped at the opportunity to dress like their favorite prohibition gangster.
The premiere party took place in Seattle’s Belltown district and began at The Big Picture, a smaller cinema venue featuring a full bar and luxury seating attached to El Gaucho, a spendy downtown steakhouse. Before the show, actor Shea Whigham who plays Sheriff Eli Thompson on the show, spoke to the audience of 50 lucky fans about his thoughts on the show this season and how it has become a huge part of all of their lives.
The episode itself left no doubt that any magic recipe followed last season was being adhered to again in the second. MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD FOR THE FIRST EPISODE OF THE NEW SEASON: Concerned about losing his grip on Atlantic City, Nucky (Steve Buscemi) deliberates a countermove while trying to learn who in his inner circle betrayed him. As agents scour the Treasurer’s office for incriminating evidence, Margaret (Kelly Macdonald) strikes a pose from the past to help Nucky avoid further trouble in the present. In New York, Arnold Rothstein (Michael Stuhlbarg) puts Jimmy (Michael Pitt) on hold, but Meyer Lansky (Anatol Yusef) and Lucky Luciano (Vincent Piazza) loom as possible trading partners. Chalky (Michael Kenneth Williams) is badgered in prison by Dunn Purnsley (Erik LaRay Harvey), a jailmate with an ax to grind; Owen Sleater (Ted Rooney), an advance man for Irish nationalist John McGarrigle (Ted Rooney), scouts the Thompson residence; the Commodore (Dabney Coleman) introduces Eli (Shea Whigham) to “the men who made this city.”
After a standing ovation we broke into groups and were escorted to three different pubs (The Rabbit Hole, Rob Roy and the Sarajevo Lounge for those familiar with the area). Each of the stops had complimentary food and drinks for the guests with Boardwalk Empire themed festivities including photos, prizes and a meet and greet with Shea Whiggam.
HBO sure knows how to throw a party! HBOWatch would like to thank HBO along with all the people and venues that made this event possible. If you’re worried about Boardwalk Empire’s second season and wondering whether or not it can live up to the first, don’t bother. This season keeps up the pace, doubles down and throws in a little humor for spice. You won’t be disappointed.
Don’t forget to set your DVR and tune in to the Boardwalk Empire Season 2 Premiere on HBO at 9PM next Sunday, September 25th.