As a writer I enjoy a good crime novel or screenplay with well hashed out characters, and although they are few and far between today, there have been some worthy of note in the last decade.
The series Boardwalk Empire is a historical crime series set during Prohibition that premiered on HBO in 2012. It ran for 5 seasons and ranks right below The Sopranos in terms of writing and acting IMO.
In terms of Characters, it has some of the most interesting Character studies of ANY crime series of recent memory. In fact I would go so far to say it was a CHARACTER DRIVEN show.
As a writer you can learn a lot from series like this, the primary thing being: ALWAYS make your characters interesting so people CARE what happens to them!
One of my favorite characters was a WW1 Veteran named Richard Harrow.
He was a sharpshooter during the war and he came back permanently disfigured after a Germans sniper bullet took away half of his face, forcing him to wear a mask in public which was held on by a set of wireframe glasses. Like a lot of WW1 vets during Prohibition, Richard put his martial talents to work as a trigger man for Gangsters. Despite being a cold-blooded killer, Richard was also a man of principle and honor and one thing he cared about more than anything was his fellow solider and late friend James Darmody’s young son Tommy, whom he had promised to watch over.
The scene below is Richard rescuing Tommy from his demented grandmother in a brothel full of well armed gangsters in Season 3.
On a side note, the production team went to great lengths to get the weaponry period correct all through this series.
For a full description of all of Richard’s weapons click HERE.