Hello, My Friends!~~~
Lately we got an offer for free HBO for three months. That also included getting the on-demand HBO. I browsed the offerings remembering that some friends had highly recommended "Boardwalk Empire." The first two seasons were availble on-demand and I decided to give it a try. Now, when I am crafting I like to have the TV on and usually I leave it on reality shows becuase they are better for background "noise" and the occassional place to rest my eyes. And they are such a guilty pleasure. "Hoarders" anyone? Or "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo?"
Well, with 24 episodes of "Boardwalk Empire" ahead of me, I thought that if I liked it, it would be plently of "noise" while I crafted. Weeks worth, in fact. I didn't know much about the show other than it starred Steve Buscemi and Kelly MacDonald, both actors I remember from various Cohen Brothers films ("Fargo" and "No Country For Old Men"). I even thought the "boardwalk" in the title was in Coney Island. I quickly learned it was in Atlantic City, New Jersey and that the show took place in 1920 and 1921. And there is lots of shooting, beating, stabbing and sex, sometimes at the same time. Crazy stuff, and if the show holds any truth to the temper of the 1920's, I know why it was referred to as the "Roaring 20's."
My grandparents were teenagers in 1920 and three of them lived in the Virginia countryside, a far cry from the more boisterous 1920 Atlantic City. One of my grandparents grew up in Brooklyn, NY and hung around Coney Island in the 20's before going off to dental school in Virginia. I wondered if my country Virginia grandparents ever "roared" in the early 20's like the folks in "Boardwalk Empire." Being that they were Baptists, I highly doubt it, or if they did it was kept to a very dull "roar".
As episode after episode of this acclaimed show unfolded, I found myself so very interested in the history of this time and how the writers masterfully wove it in with the stories of the individual characters. Zeitgeist, "spirit of the age", as seen through the eyes of the "Boardwalk Empire" characters. Prohibition being the main driving force that gave rise to the gangster and organized crime--and did the government really think they could outlaw such a thing back then? It was repealed in December of 1933, the month and year my mother was born. If there was no Prohibition, there would be no "Boardwalk Empire". But I also found Women's Suffrage interesting as well and how women of all of America got the right to vote in August of 1920. Both of my grandmothers, teenagers during the time women were allowed to vote, once told me that they never voted. Being an "I am woman, hear me roar" 1970's teenager, I couldn't believe that was true, but now looking back I realize they were raised with the feeling that women were second-class citizens and that voting was a "man's game".
Another thing I adore about "BOardwalk Empire" are the sets, built and matte background combined. I would love to walk around in them, to breathe the sea air, feel the soles of my shoes on the planks of the boardwalk, and chew on sweet taffy. I know I could go to Atlantic City and do this now, but to see how this seaside city was back then would be wonderful. Of course, I could do without the violence, the smoking, the racism, and having to wear a dress all of the time (I am strictly a jeans and t-shirt kind of gal).
Well, I hope I have not bored you with my praise of this show that has been out for two years, but one I just discovered. I guess because I work with vintage things that I appreciate such a show based on a historical time, for the same reason I adore "Mad Men" and "Downton Abbey." Instead of taking weeks to watch all 24 episodes of seasons 1 and 2 of "Boardwalk Empire" as I had originally planned, I became obssessed with the story lines and took about four days to see all of both seasons. I crafted a whole lot during that time, which is a good thing considering the Williamsburg holiday craft show I will be participating in is less than 3 months away.
So, now that I have seen all HBO has to offer me now with "Boardwalk Empire" until the new season starts on Sept. 16th. I hope I don't go into withdrawals. I wonder now what to have on while I craft (and I don't watch TV unless I'm doing something else). "Game of Thrones" is available on-demand, all of seasons 1 and 2, and I have heard it is quite good although I'm not a big fan of fantasy TV, but I will give it a try. The fact the Peter Dinklage is in it is a huge draw for me as I really like him after seeing him in "The Station Agent".
So, if you watch TV while you create, what do you watch? Please comment and tell me. I'd love to know that I'm not the only one :)~~~~XXOO, Beth