As Seen On TV
On Sunday night, as Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were making history as the first two women to successfully elbow out a male host for the Golden Globes, audiences took in an unprecedented display of girl power. With Lena Dunham winning for Best Actress in a Comedy, Girls taking Best Comedy, and Julianne Moore winning for Game Change, we trumpeted a new era … one in which women could not only captivate an audience but do so with an unlikable protagonist. (Hannah Horvath is no Tony Soprano, but she can be plenty unappealing at times.)
Many of the night’s other nominees, including the stars of Veep and Nashville, fit into the same category, as did the un-nominated (but still there in spirit) Edie Falco in Nurse Jackie, Laura Linney in The Big C and Laura Dern in the criminally under-watched Enlightened, which premiered its second season this week. This last is perhaps the best example of these hard-to-watch heroines, with Ms. Dern playing the most delusional, self-righteous and self-martyring female antihero ever to traipse through premium cable.
It was a great night for rude, crude, progressive women. Unfortunately, it was an even better night for Bad Men.
The Emmys, television’s slightly-less-glitzy answer to the Oscars, are this Sunday, and we have some relatively uneducated guesses as to which of the nominees will bring home an oddly spiky statuette.
Well, it’s no unicyclist requirement, but HBO’s “Atlantic City by way of Greenpoint” period drama, Boardwalk Empire, is currently casting for male background extras. Must be comfortable with a haircut and fake cigarettes.
If you had Downton Abbey or Girls mania this spring, you were in exalted company: both of those water-cooler-y series were among the ever-more-nichey Emmy nominations. PBS’s Downton Abbey joined a slew of cable shows (Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones on HBO, Mad Men and Breaking Bad on AMC, Homeland on Showtime) in the Best Read More
When The Observer visited Steiner Studios earlier this year for a profile of the film production facility’s founder Doug Steiner, we all dropped by Terence Winter’s office on the third floor of the 20-acre complex‘s main stages. It is there that each episode of Boardwalk Empire is painstakingly crafted by the former Sopranos writer, now showrunner.
Mr. Winter’s office is packed with paraphernalia from his past and the real past. Two huge Boardwalk Empire posters, one in Korean, one in Czech, frame a flat-screen TV. On the facing wall, a Mad magazine poster of The Sopranos hangs, signed by the entire cast; “Fuck you. -James Gandolfini” it says next to a caricature of the actor, who felt the artists made him look especially fat. Two plates hang nearby: a commemorative one of The Honeymooners, a favorite of Mr. Winter’s growing up, and a dinner plate from the original Calissimo’s restaurant in Chicago. It was actually used in the first episode of Boardwalk, in the scene where Al Capone shoots Jim Calissimo. “A good find on eBay, that was before Calissimo became real popular,” Mr. Winter said. “I’m sure it would have been much more expensive after the show.”
Alongside the old photographs, posters and props is an unusual painting of a snub-nosed revolver on a beige background. Below it, in cursive, “Cesi n’est pas un pistol.” The story of this mock Magritte is a wild one, as outlandish as the artwork itself. Being the fantastic storyteller that he is, who other than Mr. Winter should share the tale than he himself, in his own words.
At the ribbon cutting for Steiner Studios earlier this month, The Observer caught up with Voice of the City Lena Dunham, who had just moved production for the second season of her feverish hit Girls to the studio in Brooklyn. Gretchen Mol of Boardwalk Empire was up on stage, looking radiant beside the mayor and Doug Steiner, but Ms. Dunham hid in the back of the sound stage.
It was actually her first day at the studios, she said, but her experience helps underscore why the city needs more and bigger studios if it is going to continue to grow its film and television industry. (Also, there wasn’t room in our profile of Doug Steiner for Ms. Dunham, but we figure giving her her own post should drive some good Google hits to Observer.com, what with the ultra-buzz humming around Girls at the moment.)
“I’m very excited to be here,” Ms. Dunham told The Observer of her arrival at Steiner Studios. “I love the Navy Yards, it’s such a cool, historic place.” Somehow we could not help but think of that scene from Tiny Furniture where she has sex with the chef inside a giant pipe somewhere in nearby Dumbo.
New York World
The Transom was all set to interview Nelson Johnson, a New Jersey Superior Court trial judge and the author of Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City, the little history book that inspired the big television show of the same name. Then a strange message arrived in our inbox from Mr. Read More
It begins with a close-up of a ticking old-timey pocket watch, the shot widening to reveal a man on a boat bobbing on night-darkened waters. There’s a heap of atmospheric silver-blue haze. A foghorn sounds in the distance. Moments later, we see the shining lights in the distance that we’re told is Atlantic City, 1920. Read More
Remember that logjam of likely never happening film projects that Martin Scorsese had waiting for him on his Google Calendar? Well you can cross one off the list: Scorsese and Mick Jagger are teaming up for a new HBO series that would chronicle the lives of two friends through 40 years of the music Read More
Yesterday, when HBO announced that they were going ahead with a series order for Luck, most of the internet met the news with a collective shrug. Not because Luck isn’t poised to be one of the most highly anticipated shows of 2011 — spoiler: it already is — but because of course HBO picked it Read More