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Mini Caps of Boardwalk Empire, Mad Men, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, and The Spin Crowd
Boardwalk Empire: Alejandra
It would be a crying shame to reduce “Boardwalk Empire,” an incredibly rich snapshot of the beginning of Prohibition in Atlantic City (the town that talk Vegas how to drink) to simple summary of what went down. So I’m going to provide some character background on our major players (of which there are a few), so everyone’s not totally fucking lost come the full recap of a show that allowed for very few introductions.
Enoch “Nucky” Thompson: Treasurer and boss of AC. Historically he managed to nail down every aspect of city government from the council to the mayor to the cops during Prohibition to ensure the city’s continued nose-thumbing at temperance. That’s pretty much exactly what he spends most of the episode doing, along with gladhanding the New York and Chicago mafia, inspiring his underlings, rescuing a battered wife, and having sex with this awesome chick named Lucy. He’s just starting to realize what kind of violence his position during Prohibition will entail, and he’s not sure he’s comfortable with it.
Jimmy Darmody: One of the underlings mentioned above. Used to have a future that involved Princeton, but since he’s returned from WWI, all he seems to be interested in is making a quick buck stealing booze and being an enforcer. When Nucky tries to teach him some patience and offer him positions that don’t involve driving a car and bodyguarding, Jimmy refuses, convinced the war has made it impossible for him to be anything but a killer. Oh! And he meets and hangs with Al Capone in an awesome cameo moment.
Margaret Schroeder: She hears a hilariously inspirational speech given by Nucky at a Temperance rally, and that gives her balls enough to stop by Nucky’s office, all pregnant and beat down to ask for a job for her drinking and gambling husband. Nucky is totally touched by her story and gives her a shitload of cash for her family in lieu of a job. However, when her husband discovers it, he beats the crap out of her (in front of her kids and while she’s pregnant) and takes the money to go gamble at one of Nucky’s casinos. Needless to say, this does not end well for him, and Margaret’s story is a little happier at the end of the episode.
The Probies: I’m not sure if that’s how it’s spelled, but the new Federal task force formed to try and regulate Prohibition (referred to by Nucky as “dogcatchers”) gun straight for AC the minute they’re formed. They snatch Jimmy Darmody in for questioning and offer him a job for some information on Nucky, but Jimmy, loyal to a fault, pulls a bait and switch on the Probies so awesome they don’t even know they’ve been fucked.
Atlantic City: The political beast that is run by Thompson. The mayor’s in his pocket, the council’s in his pocket, and one of my favorite characters so far? His brother, Elias Thompson, Sheriff extraordinaire. He’s got a temper, a sense of humor and a gun. He’s gonna be fun to watch. There’s also this rather mysterious Commodore that seems to Nucky’s only boss. He seems like he’s some kind of smartassed father figure, but he also appears to have enough money to be dangerous.
New York: Lucky Luciano (Charles for most of this episode) and Arnold Rothstein are the tag team of muscle and brains that come visit AC to see about getting New York supplied with booze. Luciano is a young hothead that rubs Thompson the wrong way from the start, and Rothstein is a genius gambler, who at first charms Thompson, then screws him right on up the ass by cleaning out one of Thompson’s casinos 16 hours later. But never fear, Jimmy Darmody has the last word in that particular argument, and the resolution is pretty sweet. So is Rothstein, by the way. He’s got the kind of evil that’s lovely and seductive in such a way that you don’t even know he’s lifted your wallet until the morning after.
Last but not least, Chicago: The other crime syndicate that came out to visit Atlantic City along with New York. One of their brethren is an immigrant Italian in a fur coat who isn’t really interested in scoring booze – he believes prostitutes and prostitutes alone are all the sin Chicago needs. Please feel free to guess his life expectancy in episodes. As for the rest of Chicago, they’re an older breed and Thompson is way more keen on doing business with them than upstart New York. Or at least he will be until he discovers just what Al Capone gets up to in the pilot. If you know your history, you’re probably way ahead of me, but if you don’t, let’s just say it involves, booze, guns, stealing, stockcars and murder.
Add loose women to that and you’ve got your episode summary.
Mad Men: Loula
It’s all about the ladies this week on Mad Men, and some come out better than others. Alas, the BlankenShip has sailed. The Queen of Perversions meets a dignified end behind her cataract surgery goggles, wrapped up in Harry’s afghan (“my MOM made that!”) and wheeled out of sight lest her inconvenient passing distract the racist clients of the week. We learn that Douchey Howser MD has already been called to Vietnam, right after Basic – that plotline is progressing so exactly perfectly according to my secret desires that I’m starting to fear they’ll throw us for a loop. Regardless, it was really nice to see Joan have a real conversation with a real friend. (And then some other real stuff. Real hot stuff.) I was just wondering last week about Peggy’s bohemian pals, and hey, here’s Joyce, and she brought that cute guy Peggy made out with in the closet! But he’s kind of an ass. Ah well. Don’s gentlemanly chastity toward Dr. Faye is predictably short-lived, which is fine, because it’s refreshing to see Don have some sex that isn’t shameful or gross or blacked out. But Sally Draper steals the show, as she so often does, as her attempts to extricate herself from her bitter, resentful mother get more and more desperate and heartbreaking. Fun game for second viewing: Count how many times people ask the troubled miserable little girl what’s wrong! (Hint: It’s zero.)
Keeping Up With the Kardashians: Swellmel
In last night’s episode, Bruce decides to intervene when his dog Rocky faces the neutering squad.
Meanwhile Fry Girl (Kourtney) is tired of her family and especially Goth Ronald (Kris) treating Scott like crap so she and Scott look into moving to NYC. Imagine it now…Scott and Mason shopping on Fifth Avenue and people watching in Central Park.
Scott – “Plastic surgery victim at 10 o’clock.” Mason – “That is a face only a paying John could love after some 151 Proof.”
Check back Tuesday for the complete recap.
The Spin Crowd: PottyMouth
Last night The Spin Crowd arrived in the big apple for Kim’s gorilla party. Simon is ready to work, but Jonathan is more concerned about his new apartment.
Jonathan’s new digs were started before he left for L.A. and now that they’re done he wants everyone to see. Most importantly, his mommy. That’s right Gasmi, Jonathan is a momma’s boy (as if there were any doubt). According to him his mom is very picky and he really wants her to like his new place.
So Simon works on Kim’s party, while Jonathan steals the girls to work on his housewarming party. They are under strict orders not to tell. Guess who does?
Will Simon make the gorilla party a success? Will Jonathan’s mom give her approval? Does Erika miss Coco Puff? Come back for the full recap and find out!