New Boardwalk Empire Teaser: 'All I Want is an Opportunity'
HBO's most expensive pilot ever, Boardwalk Empire, established its must-see creds early via affiliations with director Martin Scorsese and ex-Sopranos writer Terence Winter. Its first teaser didn't hurt much either. So if Empire's new teaser feels a little like it's merely piling on the epic scale and gilded pedigree of the whole enterprise, you're forgiven for asking it to lay off maybe just a bit.
Don't get me wrong: I don't really see how this can go bad for anyone involved, whether it's Scorsese getting back to kinetics or Michael Pitt scrambling for a foothold in the Atlantic City crime empire run by gangster Steve Buscemi. (For those of you watching in your cubicles, Buscemi has a NSFW response to Pitt's earnest plea for "an opportunity.") Then there's Kelly MacDonald as a Depression-era dreamer in thrall to the casino pageantry, which seems intended to reflect our own viewing experience watching the spectacle unfold onscreen.
But it's a little presumptuous, maybe? It feels pushed-on rather than turned-on, more rootless Aviator than organic GoodFellas in sensibility and command. Only when we get that curt exchange -- that ball-busting firecracker of a grand-finale -- does this spot achieve what the last one couldn't: Spirit. Even $50 million and a couple A-list creatives can't buy you that. And that had better not be all of it.
VERDICT: Nervously sold.