Even though “Boardwalk Empire” received countless accolades and critical acclaim over the last year, I sometimes forget how much I enjoyed the HBO drama’s first season. It was excellent television that I took for granted — an essential part of my Sunday viewing, yes, but not a show I particularly missed after the season ended.
However, my appreciation of Season 2 begins right f’n now with the new teaser (next page), featuring a heavily armed KKK, a justifiably unhappy Chalky White (Michael K. Williams), nighttime standoffs, Al Capone, a cheerful but menacing butcher, half-faced sniper Richard Harrow (Jack Huston), and Steve Buscemi’s Nucky Thompson saying, “I will ruin you. All of you.” There’s no sight of my beloved Paz de la Huerta, but we do get a glimpse of the deranged Agent Van Alden (Michael Shannon) waiting in what looks like a maternity ward, penance for the Season 1 hate sex that ended with him crying in the fetal position. Hey, we’ve all been there.