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4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 16 December 2012
After the epic ending of series two with the demise of one of the key characters the question was where can the series go from there?

The answer is of course into an area of even greater quality. With hindsight there was the argument that Nucky Thompson in series two was so slick that you never thought he was in peril. Series 3 very much puts him in the firing line (at times literally). Saying that while he is the core of the series its the ensemble cast that makes the show so compelling. Margaret, Al, Chalky etc are all here again, scheming and keeping things entertaining in the sumptuous 1920's setting.

Personally my favourite character is Richard the disfigured veteran now grieving over the loss of his best friend and the only woman who had shown him any kindness. His faith in humanity is now symbolised in Tommy the 6 year-old son of Jimmy, can he save this child from the world he inhabits? It's a great story thread leading to moments of sweetness and sheer terror.

Yet more key characters over the series die, sometimes in completely unexpected ways making the storytelling ever more compelling. Like Game of Thrones, just because you like a character or are an interesting character doesn't mean they won't be taken out in an explosion or a hit gone wrong.

And finally step forward "Gip" Rosetti Nucky's new nemesis and amazing character who is so full of fury you have no idea in any secene if it will end with a laugh or someone's murdered corpse on the floor. One scene where he is having a very kinky encounter and is then shot at leads to a scene worthy of an oscar- amazing camera work, direction and screen writing make it the most cinematic scene I have viewed on the TV. He is the villain you love to hate and adds some much needed danger to Nucky's occassional air of invulnerbility.

If you haven't seen the other series go back and start there, if you're wondering if the quality continues, the answer is an emphatic yes.
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on 24 September 2013
The greatest series in my opinion if not the best ever series every episode is like a great movie its keeps fresh with different characters,you go from the very start on a journey with all the characters.I would recommend all the series you need time to watch them but once you start watching you will get so engaged in it you wont want to miss it,it doesn't hold back violence sex you get it all absolutely brilliant,every actor is outstanding if you could give out Oscars for a series you wouldn't have enough to give out.
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Enter Gyp Rosetti, a psychotic mobster quick to take offence. (Even wishing him good luck can provoke a speedy, painful demise.) In church he harangues Christ on the cross when all does not go his way, for good measure thumping the priest as he leaves. Now he intends to rule Atlantic City, which is bad news indeed for Nucky Thompson.

Arguably this is the most powerful season yet, with twelve episodes ever intensifying their grip - scriptwriters and directors adept at springing major surprises. As always, the cast is terrific. Steve Buscemi's Nucky veers from the heights to complete vulnerability, deserted by allies who regard him a risk.

This is by no means a one man show, all concerned with memorable moments. Relish, for instance, when bullied Nelson literally turns the tables, and when disfigured Richard heroically determines to rescue his young friend.

Not all is violence (although it does tend to dominate). Note the stylish extravagance of the New Year's Eve party, sundry evolving family emotions depicted in the Easter Day episode. Also to be savoured are the one-liners. (Example? Nucky thrusting money into someone's hand with the words, "Go buy a personality".)

Fine bonuses include a helpful fourteen minute summary of Season 2 (for obvious reasons, best watched first). The main directors interestingly reflect on what they achieved (a chance to see again key sequences). Martin Scorsese considers the latest developments.

With no signs of flagging, the series continues to recreate with style the decadent Twenties. Prohibition more than ever proves a ghastly mistake, many to perish as gangsters engage in a bloody battle for supremacy.

Gripping fare.
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on 26 August 2013
I have watched this from the beginning after my daughter bought me the first dvd as a present. It is compulsive and totally gripping with the plot having so many twists and the characters are really deep. It is well written and the whole setting, costumes and period feel is spot on. I love Nucky as he is so wicked and then can be so moral at the same time. This is real quality drama and great to watch with a glass of wine in the evening.
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on 19 October 2013
in a way, this is the bootlegger Sopranos (sprawling, twisted narrative and strong characters, wives brothers lovers and kids included) meets Martin Scorsese's noir imagination and smooth stagecraft.
not for the faint of heart, nor for children for that matter - the sex & violence quota is always met and then some; there's some fairly brutal stuff here, artfully staged though it may be.
the look of it all is beautiful, beautfully shot and art-directed down to the last gritty, or glitzy, detail;
the cast is superb and exhuberant, anchored by Steve Buscemi who at times seems to be in "Stan Laurel as an evil mastermind" mode as the "you can't be half a gangster" prophecy from season one comes definitely true.
on the other end of the scale, you have this larger-than-life villain who verges on parody at times but is as scenery-chewing as they come (alla salute, Bobby Cannavale!). the same can be said for the two standout female perfs: Kelly McDonald as the resourceful, strong-hearted woman looking for a way to redemption, and Gretchen Mol as the high-class, manipulative maitresse with a mother's weak spots both deliver top-notch work here.
supporting roles are good throughout; it's so cool to find the Omar guy from The Wire as Chalky White here; and the Michael Shannon character is especially memorable, although he was way more integrated in previous seasons than he is here. the parable of the special-agent gone rogue has an impressive climax in this series, but he is almost isolated in a story of his own, making no major dent in the main storyline. still it's always interesting when he's around and somehow you feel they're having him bide his time for some later development in this Hbo epic.
altogetherm it's engrossing, high-quality, hardboiled Prohibition-era brew, but with a well thought-out human side.
you'll find it especially satisfying if you have a strong taste to begin with.
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on 4 December 2012
This superb series continues to broaden its outlook whilst at the same time it deepens our understanding of characters and the impact of their actions. Nucky's life is one of increasing isolation from his adopted family. The meaning of "you can't be half a gangster anymore" is made explicit by showing that the harder Nucky becomes the more distant he gets from Margaret and the children. When Nucky's away, the children miss a father figure, when he's there the influences of his gangster world poison the family. The impact this has on young Teddy is portrayed in his fire-setting and blaming the fires on a scary gypsy.
Speaking of which, Gyp Rossetti is pretty scary, and possibly the last word in psycho-gangster. So the lesson is clear - if you want to play at gangsters you will lose an important part of your humanity as well as damaging your family.
Margaret occupies herself with being a modern woman and fighting to change the world into a better place. At the beginning we see an aviatrix reminiscent of Amelia Earhart. The male responses are typically dismissive and allude to the fact that she should spread her legs and leave the spreading of wings to her husband. Margaret has intelligence combined with grit and she starts setting up a pre-natal care unit steam-rolling over any opposition. She also finds that maybe she doesn't need Nucky.
Richard Harrow finds time away from polishing his guns and doting on Tommy Darmody to find romance also.
Van Alden is on the lam in Chicago with his former nanny turned formidable wife Sigrid, and he gets mixed up in the gang wars there. The stand-out scene of the entire three series for me is when he cracks and discovers just exactly what he is good at. And it is not selling irons.
I couldn't say if this series is better than the other two but it is cleverly written and slowly builds tension to a fabulous twisting ending with several characters lives hanging in the balance (poor Eddie). This season is also full of clues as to what might be coming in the fourth series but all I can tell you is Cicero look out.
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on 2 December 2012
This series goes from strength to strength. Nucky Thompson is no longer 'half' a gangster, if indeed he was in the previous shows, and gets a whole lot nastier this time around. Great character developments with Nelson Van Alden, Margaret Schroeder and Richard Harrow too. A chilling bath scene with Gillian Darmody and a new 'unbalanced' bad guy in Gyp Rossetti add to the enjoyment. You can't beat gangster movies or tv series and this is one of the best.
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on 22 May 2016
It is all about the good, the bad and the ugly and how much we mess up even though we want the best for ourselves and those we love. A story of relationships that go wrong when we struggle to make it in life by turning to crime
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on 11 August 2013
After the end of season 2 I wondered where the adventures of Nucky Thompson et al. could go. It's been nearly a year since I last watched season 2 but helpfully there is a season 2 recap to bring you up to speed on the characters you may have forgotten about.

Season three focuses mainly on the storylines involving Nucky, Margaret, Gillian and Richard Harrow. Characters like Al Capone, Rothstein and Eli are still there but play a much smaller part within the series arc.

This series is a great addition to the first two, and the pace really steps up in the final three episodes where you don't know what will happen next. As usual my plan to watch only one episode an evening just didn't happen as I kept saying 'one more episode' and before I knew it the box set was completed in four days.

The blu-ray quality is fantastic, the menus are easy to navigate and there are plenty of features containing 1920s newsreels and documentaries if that interests you as well as the usual commentaries. The picture quality is as usual fantastic really taking you into the look of 1920s America.

If you've enjoyed the previous two series you won't be disappointed. I just now can't wait for season 4!
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on 17 February 2014
This show just keeps getting better and better. There are some surprising and sad departures of characters, one of whom was a particular favourite of mine. (No spoilers here). Steve Buscemi leads an exceptional cast. The plot keeps getting more convoluted and I was really sad to get to the end of the season seemingly very quickly. I wanted to search for another disc in the hope that there was more and I'd missed one.

One complaint... I do wish that HBO would setup their discs to allow the 'Resume play' function to work. It really is frustrating to have to go through the copyright info, the studio indents and the menu when you restart a disc that you've been watching the previous day. (The same gripe applies to Game of Thrones discs).
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