Today HBO announced that it has renewed Boardwalk Empire, its period Prohibition drama, for a fourth season of bloody, occasionally boring bootlegging. This is good news for the show’s fans (HBO reports that up to 7.2 million flappers and nogoodniks watched the third season premiere in one time-shifted form or another), not to mention New York City–based character actors and the contractor responsible for Steve Buscemi’s summer home.
But I can’t help but think that HBO might have picked up the wrong show. As the clip demonstrates, there’s room for more birds in Atlantic City than those lolling about in Gillian Darmody’s flophouse — or should that be flaphouse? Birdwalk Empire, from the Muppety minds of Sesame Street, perfectly captures the flightless conflict at the heart of Boardwalk, but with a lot more humor and, interestingly enough, the exact same amount of wild-eyed gesticulating and compelling female roles. Are you reading this, PBS? I’d love the opportunity to recap the weekly squawkings of Nucky Ducky, his rival Clucky Luciano, and their mutual foil, the remarkably Michael Shannon–like Agent Cuckoo (who, no doubt, once drowned a scrawny ziz in a birdbath). My only question: Wouldn’t all those illicit packages of Saltines get soggy?