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Published:September 6th, 2013 08:38 EST
As Boardwalk Empire, Season 4 Premieres Sunday Night, I`m Frantically Playing Catch Up!

As Boardwalk Empire, Season 4 Premieres Sunday Night, I`m Frantically Playing Catch Up!

By John G. Kays

There sure is a lot of frivolous drinking in speakeasies and other gone wet establishments in Boardwalk Empire, along with some really great Twenties music framing many of the scenes! Well, it looks like I`m cramming crazily for the Season 4 premiere, which starts Sunday night (8 PM CST) on HBO; I`m way behind, but just viewed Blue Bell Boy this morning and was troubled by the sit down between Masseria and Lucky Luciano, where the loyalty to his people angle comes into play.

Oh, and I was fascinated by the way Al went over to a bar and roughed up one of Dean O`Banion`s men, who in turn had beaten up one of Capone`s soldiers. What I know about Dean O`Banion comes mainly from a really great special on The Saint Valentine`s Day Massacre, which I`ve seen many times on the History Channel. The SVD Massacre is actually just the culmination of many years of conflict over territory, between Chicago`s South Side and the North Side. These are just the beginnings of the wars, since Season 3 takes place in 1923.

This is where it`s at for me; studying the history, the entertainment angle as well, and then checking out how the writers use the history in Boardwalk Empire. Then, of course, I want to see if they`re accurate with the existing record, or whether they take liberty with the facts, possibly, in order to boast ratings. I`m of the opinion, that if they are more true to the history, the ratings will take care of themselves, since people (such as me) want to channel the Twenties and experience, really relive, those zany times as if it were in the present.

Well, as you might imagine, I have a great deal of burdensome homework to do; I`m hoping I don`t just drift off into the Mob stuff, but I know there will be some of that. After reading a biographical entry on Enoch L. Johnson this morning, I`ve already noticed many liberties were taken with Nucky Thompson`s character; Johnson didn`t kill anyone, nor did he order anyone killed. So it`s understandable why Terence Winter decided to spice Nucky`s character up quite a bit, for the sake of drama and therefore ratings. That reminds me, I haven`t seen the last episode of Season 2, when Jimmy exits the series, gets whacked by Nucky, I understand.

To back up for a moment, I just purchased Season 1 on the 1st of August and picked up Season 2 towards the latter part of August, favoring the Blue Ray version this time around; I`m still trudging through the special features, though, examining the characters, reviewing the episodes, checking out the sets, the period clothing, and naturally the music. If the final exam is today, I`m going to flunk miserably; I prefer to peruse things with a fine tooth comb, such as Prohibition, seemingly the cause of all this brouhaha. I need to see that series again, that was running on The History Channel.

I think what I like most about Boardwalk Empire, in spite of the fact I`m barely through lesson one, is that it rewinds the tape back to the very beginning of the 1920s, with the approach, let`s go all the way back in time to when the GIs returned from Europe and when lots of immigrants (especially the Irish and the Italians) were just now adjusting to American urban culture, with its exaggerated notion of Capitalism, with the idea they could get ahead in pursuit of what we refer to these days as The American Dream. The way this all plays out in conflict and in consolidation of power, is what I most prefer to indulge my idle time in; and if there`s some Bix Beiderbecke spinning on the Vitrola in the background, that`s all the better!