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New Pender Series

The Pender County Mob Boss.

David Chase, has done it again. The creator of the Sapranos which was the HBO hit series is bringing us a new show which is appropriately called the “Pender County Mob Boss”. No longer is Tony hanging out in New Jersey. He and his crew have moved to the South. The character names have been changed to reflect the “good old boy” personalities of the area. The new series now takes place right here in Pender County, NC. That’s right. No more Jersey accents. And if you are new to the area then brush up on your southern because it’s a wild ride.

The show is a modern day morality tale about the Pender County mob boss, Commissioner George Brown, as he deals with personal and professional issues in Pender County Government. Silvio Dante, Vito Spatafore, Artie Bucco and Adriana Le Cerva all have new character names. Some of these new characters are Trey Thurman, Rick Benton, Jason Leary and Reberta Bost. And yes the new character Commissioner Jimmy Tate does a tremendous job as he replaces Paulie “Walnuts” Gualtieri. The word is, for Jimmy it’s a definite trip to the podium to pick up an Emmy.

The main story line consists of George Brown’s quest to become the Pender County Mob Boss by any achievable means. His character has no remorse as he and his crew consistently knock off all of their opponents by the use of the most unimaginable means throughout every single show in this series.

Commissioner Jimmy “Walnuts” Tate’s character is definitely good for a laugh or two. But don’t let his sensitivity fool you. And don’t turn your back on him. His character certainly cannot be trusted and is definitely deadly. And when his arms start flapping as if he’s trying to fly, watch out! Such a great character Walnuts!

Two other characters, County Manager, Rick Benton and County Attorney, Trey Thurman play major roles in the series. The orders to knockoff someone is started at the top by the Mob Boss George Brown character. It’s the job of these two goons to follow through with all the hits. In one of the earlier shows, Mob Boss George Brown has them knocked off a County Planning Director and then in one of the later shows they knock off another. I just don’t understand what it is with Mob Boss George Brown and these County Planning Directors? But I guess the Mob Boss has his reasons.

It’s funny to watch the little Rick and fat Trey characters stand in the same room together. They play off each other very well and seem to be right on cue with their acting in their seedy underworld. I do see Rick Benton as a short lived character in the series. I’m sure Mob Boss George Brown will find reason and a means to knock him off as soon as Rick has done all George’s dirty work.

It becomes known later in the series that Mob Boss George Brown has his eyes on the Environmental Services Department in Pender County. That’s his goal and if he wins control of ESD then he is then Mob Boss King George. It is later established that Mob Boss George Brown has control of the local print and TV media. One of the scenes has Mob Boss George Brown and a local reporter sitting at a bar sipping a cold beer on a hot summer day. One of the patrons observes Jimmy “Walnuts” Tate walk in and join them then overhears a conversation as Mob Boss George Brown tells the reporter how to write his story. It’s a well written scene. And it was so believable as I watched this scene. The acting is very natural.

I would also suspect that the character County Attorney, Trey Thurman will end up disbarred and in a federal prison at some point before the series comes to an end. I’m sure he’ll try to rat out the Pender County Mob Boss for a lesser charge and sentence. Mob Boss George Brown would surely have someone like Jimmy “Walnuts” Tate attempt the hit and of course he ends up in prison as well. I think it is established in one of the shows that Mob Boss George Brown has something on “Walnuts” Tate and so “Walnuts” will do anything to protect this little secret. It would be hilarious if the writers decide to somehow get the Jimmy “Walnuts” Tate character and the Trey Thurman character somehow sentenced together in the same prison cell. Every show needs a little humor.

Reberta Bost, the BOH Chairperson has an interesting role play as a character. As a viewer, you really never know which side she stands with. She can be a gentle little kitty cat when looking for information to hang her opponent with. Then bang! I’ve seen a preview of one of the shows where she was taking someone down. She is crazy scary.

The first scene opens at the Pender County Health Department and introduces the members of that organization. The Director of the Health Department is played by Dr Jack Griffith. Dr Griffith portrays a wonderful man in his seventies who came to the Health Department after retiring from the Center for Disease Control and the EPA. He brought with him his knowledge and a willingness to care for the indigent and the misfortunate. The Dr also creates a shelter the abandoned animals. What a wonderful character. I only wish we had people like this in real life. Only in the movies!

It is reveled in the first show of the series, with the use of flashbacks that the Health Department was only a facility that passed out birth control pills and gave VD shots and was headed up by the shady character, Nurse Shirley Steele.

As Health Director, Dr. Griffith takes the Health Department in a different direction. He sees the lack of income in certain parts of the county for proper health care. He is determined to change things for the better. He hires a dentist and starts an in house dental clinic. He then hires another dentist and buys a mobile dental clinic which can drive to the schools and help young students in need of proper dental care.

Dr. Griffith also brings on an Internist onboard to help with needed primary care and a Pediatrician to care for infants and young children. These Doctors are all interesting characters. The introduction does a good job of setting up the beginning of the show as an environment of bliss, but not for long. And good things don’t last forever. Nurse Shirley Steele’s character is quickly reestablished and she decides to take Pender County’s utopia down.

The story has Mob Boss George Brown’s character slated as having hatred for the unprivileged and that providing any health care for them is a waste of the County’s budget. It’s also established that the county is in a budget crunch because of the economy, but what he doesn’t understand is the economy is improving. It won’t be long, but taking away its health care will eventually create harm. But why would Mob Boss George Brown care about what happens to the poor and the indigent. His focus is elsewhere. He wants control of it all. Mob Boss George Brown plays this not so bright character very well.

Nurse Shirley Steele was introduced in the beginning and then becomes incognito for a bit I guess for some creative reasons. Its Ms. Steele’s character and her little “girl gang” that set up the main premise of corruption for the series and then befriends the Pender County Mob Boss George Brown and somehow convinces him to help her take over the Health Department Organization. It seems her VD shot flare is becoming boring and at the same time she is not enjoying a new Medical Dr looking over shoulders or questioning her motives. You have to remember, in the storyline she was there first. It’s the old dog territorial syndrome. Mob Boss George Brown agrees, thinking he will get something good out of this as well. This relationship between the two characters is not really defined for the viewer. At least not in the beginning and it’s not until later in the storyline that the truth is finally revealed. I won’t waste my time spoiling it for you so stay tuned.

The one flaw I have with the series is the lack of face time for certain characters whose names were brought up only in conversation as written in the scripts. It’s the remaining commissioners I’m questioning. As a viewer we never really see much of them.

Commissioners, Williams, Blanchard and Rivenbark must be imaginary or in some of contractual dispute with the studio. Or maybe their characters are just too weak to stand up to Mob Boss George Brown and Jimmy “Walnuts” Tate. Anyway, I really wish we could see more of them. It might make for a more interesting series. The truth is that I’m for good over evil and I would enjoy seeing them come and kick butt. Where is John Wayne?

I am looking forward to the ending. I understand Mob Boss George Brown may have his day in ………, but on the other hand, I don’t want to give too much away. The series is airing now so check your local guide. You won’t want to miss this one! And it’s in 3D. It’s not just another reality, this is real!


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