This did not have a Sopranos feel to it. In fact it was free of that heavy (anti?) Italian-American sentimentality that permeates gangster movies. I was impressed by Buscemi who never seems to get a lead role where he's not a nutcase. The sets and props are very picturesque. That 1920s grit is there. All that's missing is the smell of wool and wood and vices. All the characters were believable including a young, ugly Capone. I'm not rooting for anyone as I think there was nothing noble or romantic about either side of the Prohibition years. I would like to know (not that it would change my rating) how realistic are the props and situations in this series. Hope to see the rest of the season as soon as it's out for rental.
Great first episode it definitely reeled me in. HBO is never afraid to spend money on a good series and this is no exception. The Sopranos feel is no accident since Terence Winter also wrote for that show and they hired no less of a director than Martin Scorsesse. Steve Buseemi does a wonderful job as the crooked politician/bootlegger with a heart.
This definitely looks like another winner for HBO.