Boardwalk Empire’s Terence Winter on the surprising effect of truth in television.
He says that killing one of his key and most popular characters was “the hardest decision I’ve had to make in my career.” But he did it because he feels he owes audiences a truthful show. “First and foremost you want to be truthful as a storyteller. So I said if we are going to tell this story truthfully and not as a ‘TV show,’ then he has to die. Even though it was very inconvenient for me as a showrunner, I felt I had a duty to be real so I had to do it. Anything less would feel phony. ” In fact, just before Nucky shoots Jimmy in last season’s finale, they have this exchange: