12. The Borgias
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There are few shows on primetime television that can rival this one, which follows the Borgia family’s rise to the top of Roman Catholicism’s highest ranks, the Vatican. A lot like Nucky and his struggle to keep control of the Boardwalk, the Pope family is trying to gain and keep power by any means necessary. Politics and religion are vastly more dangerous than the drug trade, as the Borgia family demonstrates with their bloody rise to the top of the Italian aristocracy.
11. The Untouchables
Eliot Ness was an FBI agent in Chicago during Al Capone’s rule in the 1960s, and he was the subject of a popular television show. Even if you haven’t seen the series, you’ve probably seen Kevin Costner’s Ness. But he’s back! This time as a prohibition enforcement officer, cracking down on illegal liquor. Anyone in particular comes to mind? Nelson Van Alden, the agent who was a constant source of friction for Thompson throughout the course of the show. To see prohibition through another lens, this is the show for you.
10. Sons of Anarchy
To watch this show, viewers will need to be patient because it has already lasted seven seasons. This is one of the highest rated television shows, a rambling saga of a biker gang that explores themes of corruption, lawlessness, and racism. After his father’s death, Jax Teller takes control of the outlaw biker gang in a small town, and his transformation into a man is portrayed in this film. The gang battles rivals and potential competitors, many of whom appear to be businessmen, as they try to retain their territory. Like Nucky’s operation, this gang is a law unto itself in an environment where money is at stake. Emotional roller coaster and engrossing show about families, feuds, and cheating in life and business.
Providence, Rhode Island serves as the backdrop for a story about two brothers, one of whom is a member of the Irish mob while the other is a member of a political party. It’s a different story when it comes to this duo compared to the Thompson brothers, where they’re both involved in criminal activity. This show is remarkably similar to Boardwalk for its loyal viewers to enjoy, despite the sibling tension set against the backdrop of a life of crime and politics.
8. The Sopranos
These two shows introduced the idea that television shows could be considered high art. James Gandolfini does an outstanding job as Tony Soprano, the ruthless mob boss. New Jersey mafia boss Tony has a lot in common with Nucky when it comes to balancing the needs of both his mob family and his married family. In addition, Tony must contend with a slew of rivals and unwanted attention from the New York mafia. Even Nucky had to deal with the Rothstein-Luciano-Meyer trio, if viewers recall. There are numerous references to food, and the show has a unique ending wherein the credits play music as the final song is sung by Tony. There may be some readers who wonder why I’m bringing this up, but if you watch the show and are perplexed by the final episode, consider what I’ve written and you’ll come to a conclusion about how brilliantly the show concluded. When it comes to crime shows, The Sopranos is one of the best, and its similarities to Boardwalk Empire should be enough to get viewers hooked.
This show depicts a US Marshal who is a modern-day gunslinger from the Wild West, living in Kentucky. Is this show about a man who lets his bullets speak for themselves? Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) returns to the town of his birth, where he must reconcile himself with the people he used to know while still keeping the law in place. Some of his childhood friends are involved in illegal activities, which isn’t helping his situation at all! One of the most popular television shows of all time focuses on an unhinged man on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
6. Peaky Blinders
Everyone in this family is involved in criminal activity. Despite their efforts to justify it, the crimes put a strain on their personal relationships, and we see them disintegrate in the subsequent seasons. Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy, and Adrian Brody form an impressive cast, and the show is based on a Birmingham street gang that existed after World War I. The music selection is excellent, the sets and costumes are well-designed, the plot and narrative are compelling, and the acting is outstanding. The Peaky Blinders, like the Thompsons, are trying to keep Small Heath, Birmingham, from falling into the hands of outsiders. These two shows have a lot in common with each other, and viewers will enjoy this London gang as much as they have enjoyed Nucky’s gang.
5. Hell on Wheels
The first transcontinental railways are the subject of this five-season series. As a confederate soldier tries to find his family’s killers, the story is narrated like a western, and one is sure to come across a motley crew of shady characters while following the construction of the railroad across the Great Plains. Similarly to Boardwalk, this show explores a development project’s seedy underbelly, just like Boardwalk did with Atlantic City. It’s a must-see for anyone interested in television.
4. The Wire
Breaking Bad overtook this show as the greatest television show of all time. Is there anything else I can say? The show is a dark and edgy look at Baltimore’s criminal underworld. The storytelling is much more realistic, despite the fact that the narrative line spans over five seasons. To further illustrate this ongoing battle between law and criminality, police officers and drug dealers have different perspectives. You have to admit, crime on Boardwalk must be something of a draw for you if you’re watching it. If you’re interested in organized crime, don’t just look at it from the top. This show provides a more realistic depiction of the harshness and ground realities of a life of crime, as well as what motivates people to engage in it. The Wire is an excellent example of a well-documented case study.
3. The Knick
This show is based on a hospital in the 1900s that tries to attract wealthy patients but also has financial difficulties. As in Nucky’s Atlantic City, there’s a strong desire for financial success. Dr. John Thackeray, on the other hand, is a character who must balance his various drug addictions while attempting to win the respect of his peers. This is a striking resemblance. At the same time, it’s an insightful look at society at the time. Viewers who enjoyed Boardwalk Empire should definitely check this out.
Prohibition, nudity, and manipulative cutthroat villains in the 1800s. Isn’t that interesting? The show is set in a mining town in the state of Dakota, where morality is thrown out the window and everyone is fighting for their lives. Swearengen, a saloon owner, rules over a lawless world. Look no further, you won’t be disappointed if setting is what drew you in to Boardwalk in the first place. It’s also strikingly similar to Ian McShane’s Al running the Gem Saloon in terms of how Nucky wields power over his empire. Take a deep dive into this gripping story of drugs, violence, and passion and you’ll forget about Boardwalk.
1. The Shield
This may be another underrated show, not critically, since it has won numerous awards, but in terms of viewership, not many people talk about this show. Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis) leads a strike team in Los Angeles that is based on the Rampart police department’s real-life incidents. From the point of view of the strike team, a corrupt section of the police department, the series provides an in-depth look at the criminal underworld. The show’s brilliance comes from its depiction of violence, police corruption, and the haunting moments of humanity that shine through Vic Mackey, the protagonist. Vic Mackey is like a cross between Nucky and Eli Thompson rolled into one character. It’s no secret that Farmington or Farm is Mackey’s domain, much like Atlantic City is the domain of the Thompson brothers. In this brilliant show about corruption, Mackey serves as both an investigator and an executioner.