Wednesday 27 May 2015

My Top Twenty Favourite Characters in THE WIRE

... I'm currently watching all five series all over again, and seeing so much more in it than the first time round ~ all the parallels between the streets and the corruption in politics/the upper echelons of the police force, and how there are good people the wrong side of the law, and evil people the right side, etc etc etc!  I'd recommend watching it again if you loved it as much as I did.  I tried to start making my list for a top ten, like I've done before with Boardwalk Empire, The Walking Dead and Mad Men, but soon realised I needed a whole twenty, like I did with 24.

Here goes (and I've put my most hated at the end!):

20.  Dispensing words of wisdom to Omar at number 20 ~ there was something about the relationship between Mr 'Rip and Run' and 'mostly blind' Butchie, played by S. Robert Morgan, that was kind of touching, wasn't there?  Butchie's death was soooo sad, especially when Omar left his happy life in rural simplicity with Renaldo, to avenge it.

19.  At number 19 is Bow Tie himself ~ Michael Potts as the ice cool man from New York, Brother Mouzone.  I admire anyone who can stay that unruffled, even at the moment of possible death.  Loved his and Omar's mutual respect, and the sight of them teaming up against the charismatic but detestable Stringer Bell.

18.  I had a certain amount of time for Aiden Gillen as Mayor Thomas Carcetti.  Sometimes totally self-serving, as is par for the course, but the only politician in the whole show who had something genuine going on as well.  Or perhaps he was just not quite as awful as the rest of them!  Quite liked the scene in series 3 which caught him naked at the sink with a random female, too...

17.  Hanging around on the corner at number 17 is poor Dukie, played by Jermaine Crawford.  Didn't you just want to take him home and look after him?  If only Mr Prezbo had....  

16.  Doing that secondary-character-who-grows-on-you thing at number 16 - Corey Parker Robinson's Leander Sydnor, for no other reason than he's a sound guy.  

15.  I kind of liked Nick Sobotka.  Played by Pablo Schrieber, he was about the only one who gave his appalling cousin Ziggy any time, and although his choices were way off beam he saw the error of his ways in the end (albeit too late for the unfortunate Frank).  Nice cameo appearance heckling Carcetti in Series 5, but I liked him best when he pointed out to Frog, who talked more extravagant Baltimore street drug talk than Bodie, Poot and Snoop put together, that he was actually white.... 

14.  Mending a toaster at number 14, I present Proposition Joe.  One of the many smart criminals of Baltimore who would probably have excelled in a legitimate way if the stork had dropped them elsewhere.  Pretty reasonable chap, mostly.  For a drug baron.  Loved his quiet way of making a point.  Played by Robert F Chew.

13.  A late favourite.  Made me want to work on a newspaper with him.  Gus Haynes, editor of the ever failing Baltimore Sun, played by Clark Johnson.  Ethical dude, high fives to him for slamming down the awful Templeton, who tried to build a journalistic career for himself based on lies.  For we ladies of a certain age, he's got it going on, too.

12.  Look, I know he killed Wallace, but he so didn't want to, and it wasn't easy for him.  I grew fonder of Bodie, played by JD Williams, as the series went on - and I think the Western District cops did too.  I enjoyed his banter with Carver and McNulty.  I won't talk about his end...  sooooo sad.

11.  Pushing along a supermarket trolley full of whiteys at number 12, one of the most tragic characters in the show.  Everyone loved Bubbles, played by Andre Royo.  Weren't you just rooting for him to find a way to turn his life around, all the way through it?  Of course he wasn't without chances, but the pull of the smack was always too strong.  So glad the writers resisted what must have been a temptation to make his end sad, too.  And remember the hat game?  Genius!

10.  Into my top ten - you've gotta love Bunk MorelandWendell Pierce did a marvellous job with him.  The ultimate fat drunk guy who still thinks he's a bit of a catch, but does it with such charm, and I did like the drunken conversations with Jimmy, at night by the railway line.  And their ploys for pulling women.

9.  Talking sense at number 9, another one of those who stayed in the background at first but I got to really like - Slim Charles, played by Anwan Glover.  Earned a place in the top ten for dealing with the detestable Cheese, right at the end ~ "That was for Joe".  He was sharp enough to change allegiances when the time was right, mild mannered, reasonable, and someone who, like Prop Joe, might have been a thoroughly decent guy if he'd been born elsewhere.  I loved the dressing down he gave the two who shot Omar's grandmother's 'crown'.  Not on a Sunday, right?!

8.  At number 8, Sonja Sohn as Kima Greggs.  Kind to Bubbles, dedicated to the job, not afraid to say what she thinks, a match for any man and bored shitless by all that baby stuff - that's my girl!

7.  At number 7 the often fiery and impulsive but thoroughly decent Carver, played by Seth Gilliam; he climbed the ladder in my estimation when he tried to help poor Randi Wagstaff.  So many great scenes with Hauk, too; a real straight man and buffon comedy double act.  Excellent.  I won't mention the fact that he's quite cute, of course.

6.  This is in the top five most tragic, too - D'Angelo Barksdale, played by Lawrence Gillard Jnr.  Yes, he'd just killed some poor guy in the opening episode, but he soon showed his truer and much more deep thinking colours ~ he tried to make the luckless Wallace go back to school, and seriously wanted out by the end.  If only he'd been born into another family; his speech when he described to McNulty why he wanted a different life was one of the most moving scenes in the show.  And didn't you love his demonstration to Wallace and Poot about how the game of chess was just like the Barksdale organisation?  Mos' def. 

5.  Ah, dear Prez - Roland Pryzbylewski, played by Jim True-Frost.  Started off as Valchek's cocky son-in-law, blinding a relatively innocent bystander in episode one, then turned his wordsearch puzzle aptitude into genius with the 'paper trail' - and he earned a place in my top five when he became the best sort of teacher any disadvantaged kid could hope for.  

4.  At four, the lovely Bunny Colvin.  Yes, Hamsterdam could have worked, it really could!  His experiences typified one of the main themes of the show - that those who tried to do good were thwarted at every turn by politics and the self-serving theories of those in charge.  Liked him most when he tried to get through to the hopeless kids in Series 4.  If only he could have taken on Randi, Dukie and Michael, as well as Namond...  played by Robert Wisdom.

3.   I dunno, I didn't like Dominic West's Jimmy McNulty so much when he went all straight in Series 4 - I wanted to see him waking up in his bedroom that looked as if he'd only just moved in, coming to work with a hangover, drinking with Bunk.  Though I felt so sorry for Beadie in Series 5 when he started being an arse again - and was in two minds over the mock serial killer thing - but there's something so engaging about someone who does and says what he wants without fearing the consequences, is there not?  Maybe we all wish there was a bit of McNulty in us...  (I have already anticipated the answer to that!)

2.  Carefully painting his dolls house miniatures in second place, the wonderful Lester Freamon, alias Clark Peters.  The voice of reason, always with something intelligent and wise to say, quietly singled minded and focused throughout.  Don't think he said one dumb thing in the whole five series.  One of his most hilarious moments was in Series 5 when, much to Bunks's surprise, he started to advise McNulty on how to do the serial killer scam to greater effect.  Just loved him.  Lucky old Shardene, I say!

1.  Who else could be Number One but the sensational Omar?   Michael K Williams has created one of the best fictional characters ever, I reckon.  So many snippets of TV heaven - the trip out for the honey nut cheerios, the court scene when he testified against Bird, his 'high noon' thing with Brother Mouzone.  Stroke of brilliance on behalf of the writers to make him gay, too.  Indeed.  And he never shot no citizens.

I found a wonderful video on Youtube of all his finest moments, but you can only watch it on that site, so if you'd like to see it, it's HERE.
The first bit is not very good quality, but don't be put off, the rest is fine.

Want to see my most hated, too?
Here they are, in no particular order, though the last three pictures definitely show the most evil...

Lying journalist twat
I don't care how old he is - he KILLED OMAR
Bell and Barksdale ~ they may have been clever, charismatic and both kinda hot, but still a pair of evil bastards!
Nasty piece of work or what!
Loved seeing his downfall..

The woman who saw drug dealing as the best career move for her son
I can't forgive him for the duck...
The shot in the head - served him right for robbing nice Dennis Wise
Omar got his shotgun, Levy got his briefcase...
They'll pop you off if Marlo doesn't like your face ~ it's all in a days' work
True evil, with no saving grace at all

It did occur to me that I've hardly mentioned two of the main characters, Stringer Bell and Avon Barksdale, but I imagine much has been written about them elsewhere, and they didn't quite fit into my 'most detestable'.  

 ....and, lastly, the prize for most ludicrous hairdo goes to....

Friday 22 May 2015

Would you BUY or PASS? (2)

My contribution to Rosie Amber's weekly Friday Five Challenge!

It's an interesting exercise for writers ~ it shows the little things that can put potential readers off that click-buy

Anyone with a blog can join in ~ here's what you do:


1) Go to any online book supplier
2) Randomly choose a category
3) Speed through the book covers, choose one which instantly appeals
4) Read the book bio/description, and any other details
5) If there are reviews, check out a couple
6) Make an instant decision: would you BUY or PASS?

You can check out others' contributions on the #FridayFiveChallenge hashtag on Twitter (click link!)  This week I chose the subject 'rock humour' (and was, ahem, delighted to discover my book FULL CIRCLE on the second page!!).  I had a five minute browse up and down, and was eventually attracted by this cover and title.

Dispatches from a Dilettante by Paul Rowson (links to book)


I loved the cover - it makes me think of a much travelled journalist drinking a cool beer outside a rundown bar in Cuba, or similar!

Here's the blurb:

Dispatches from a Dilettante’ is a rampage through a chaotic career, encompassing rock music, religion, royalty and renegade kids - stretching from the Caribbean to Cambodia.
It’s a memoir on the absurdity of endeavour and a restless lifestyle spent working exceptionally hard trying to avoid it.
There are close encounters with Jimi Hendrix, the Prince of Wales, ex footballers and the current Head of the Catholic Church in England, together with bar room brawls and board room bitterness.
Whether it’s the drugs and desperation of life on a Welsh housing estate or discussions in the Gardens of Highgrove it’s a life lived whimsically, from the higher echelons of business to the gutters of Phonm Penh.
It’s about a music-loving meanderer who has never quite got over being at Woodstock.


Hmmm.... reading between the lines I suspect that the close encounters with people like Hendrix were but fleeting, and the 'gardens of Highgrove', etc, is careful name-dropping, added to impress the potential reader.  Cynical, moi?  It all sounds a bit smug and 'oh, I'm such a hilarious and fascinating maverick'.  I have an inkling it might be much made of nothing much all the way through; the reference to 'the gutters of Phnom Penh' doesn't mean he was actually in them - and it's spelt wrong!  Actually, the more I read the blurb the more I find it a tad nauseating.  

Reviews:  Six, all glowing five stars, five of them written shortly after publication.  I got the impression (by looking at what else they've reviewed) that at least four of the reviewers are friends of the author.  I'm the first one to say that there is nothing wrong with real life friends reviewing your book if they've genuinely enjoyed it, but six five stars and nothing else at all means that either he's rubbish at marketing (fair enough), or nobody else considered it worthy of review.

Price: £5.10 ~ you're having a laugh!  At that price, perhaps it didn't sell well enough for anyone else to know if it was any good or not.

So would I buy or pass?  Pass, for sure!  Memoirs by unknown writers are all over Kindle, for a couple of our English pounds or less, and many of them are about stuff you really want to read about, not just some bloke telling you how wacky he is.

Now, I must go to #FridayFiveChallenge and read everyone else's... 


Thursday 14 May 2015

Would you BUY or PASS?

.... with Rosie Amber's Friday Five Challenge!

Rosie's post from last week HERE 
and Barb Taub's HERE 
You can look on the hashtag #FridayFiveChallenge for more!  And anyone can take part.

Rosie's Friday Five Challenge is this:

1) Go to any online book supplier,
2) Randomly choose a category,
3) Speed through the book covers, choose one which has instantly appealed to your eye,
4) Read the book Bio/ Description for this book, and any other details.
5) If there are reviews, check out a couple,
6) Make an instant decision, would you BUY or PASS?

I chose 'Satire' category on Amazon... the first book that caught my eye was LEFT ON PARADISE by Kirk Adams.

Here's the blurb:

Despondent over George W. Bush’s theft of the 2000 U.S. Presidential election, Hollywood luminary Ryan Godson embarks on a journey that will do what could not be done in a country founded by Puritan fanatics, Yankee traders, and Southern slavers: he will show what it means to be … Left on Paradise.

Along with his beautiful wife, Kit Fairchild, and 100 fellow travellers, Ryan leads a coalition of environmentalists, feminists, pacifists, and progressive multiculturalists of every hue to a pristine tropical island—where they establish a State of Paradise, harvest the bounties of nature, and enjoy a tranquil repose from the strictures of life in America.

Now, the secular pilgrims of New Plymouth must strive to implement their ideals. Will their New World prove an island paradise or an unattainable pipe dream? Will progressive principles flourish or collapse in the face of internal dissent and external threats? Will their colony survive its first summer? 102 idealists must answer these questions even as they face obstacles and terrors that none of them could have imagined when they sailed west from San Francisco Bay.

Well, that REALLY appeals to me!  I am not quite sure why it's in the 'satire' category, but the subject matter is right up my street (shades of The Beach by Alex Garner, one of my favourite books, and I've read a couple of things about that particular election rig, too), and the blurb is well written and well thought out.  

Reviews?  None, but it's an American book that's only just been published, so that's not much of a surprise.  

The Price?  £3.23 which is a bit much for a Kindle book by a writer I've never heard of (I hesitate at more than £2.50, having wasted money in the past), but not excessive, especially considering the length of the book - this one is going to take some serious commitment!  I looked to see if he'd written any more to find out if they'd been well received, but the only other books by anyone called Kirk Adams are 'Top Boobs Vol 1' and 'Top Boobs Vol 2'.  I do not know if it's the same Kirk Adams, but I shall presume it isn't!  Even if it is, I shall not hold it against him (unless he looks like actor Josh Holloway).

Buy or pass?  Yes, I'd buy.  I haven't, because I have at least 20 books to read before I allow myself to get any more, but if I was browsing looking to buy, I'd give this a punt!  

Summing up: I've actually written it on my to-read list - which shows that people CAN discover your book via an Amazon browse.  The cover made me take a look, but after that it was all down to the blurb.  If the subject matter hadn't appealed, it would have been a pass.  If it had been badly written (sloppy, badly punctuated, etc), it would have been a definite pass.  Over 4 quid might have made me think twice, too.

Actor Josh Holloway.  Wouldn't mind being 'left on Paradise' with him, hur hur hur!

Sunday 10 May 2015

Why I have totally gone off Facebook

..... and have been doing so for some time.  I still go on there to keep up with people with whom I would lose touch if I didn't use it, but that's the only reason.

My first three points are just minor irritations:

In order to get any 'reach' on my author page, I would now have to pay.  I don't, of course.  Thus, my author page posts now get seen by about 150 people instead of over 1000.  Don't Mark Whatsit and all his shareholders make enough money out of advertising, etc, anyway?

I hate that the privacy is negligible.  I hate that 'liking' pages is all just a ruse for your details to be passed to data mining companies.  However, all this has been written about in great detail elsewhere, and I'm a bit bored with it now, so I won't go into it any further.

It's banal.  I know this is such a cliché now, but clichés are born of truth and it seems that the majority of people who use it all the time really do just post photos of their kids and dinner, or stuff like "Better go to work then lol".

The main reason, though, is that I find it rather limited.  And limiting.  This is what I don't get:  I get friend requests from people all the time, friends of friends who I know by name only, friends of friends who I don't know at all, and writers who didn't start using the site until they self-published so don't realise it's not just another promotional tool.  I share their posts on Twitter, I'm not going to share all those endless book promos with my real life friends, too.

I used to accept most friend requests because I felt rude not doing so, but I decline most of them these days.  Here's why.  It's because I don't understand why they've been sent in the first place.  It seems that most people's posts are either book promotions (because I mix in the online world of writers) or updates on their immediate domestic life, family, etc - stuff that only interests those already close to them.  

Do I really care that they've just eaten Sunday dinner and are putting their feet up?  No, I scarcely know them apart from an occasional auto retweet on Twitter.

Do I feel the need to enquire why they're 'feeling a bit meh...'?  No, not really; I last talked to them in a pub about six years ago.  

Do I care that little Emily loved her new *insert name of child's toy here*?  No, I didn't even know little Emily existed, or indeed who she is. 

If this is the sort of stuff they're going to post (and that's fine, your Facebook account is yours to do with as you wish), why not just keep their page for those close friends and family, in order to share photos, etc?  

If I post an article of general interest on Twitter, it's retweeted, favourited, commented on, etc.  If I post it on Facebook, it's largely ignored.  From that, I deduce that the people who choose Facebook as their 'go to' social networking site are mostly just interested in things close to home.  I think I've got about 250 'friends' on there.  I'd have a job to list more than 100, because I have no communication with the others and cannot remember who they all are, so what's the point of it all?  If we were interested in each other, wouldn't we have maintained more of a friendship in real life?

What used to be discussed over the garden fence, in the school playground, down the pub and outside the post office now appears on Facebook.  And I'm not remotely interested in the gossip of people I don't know - look, I even stopped watching Corrie!

A while back a friend on there made a remark about people who send her friend requests on Facebook but do the 'fly in the eye' thing if they see her in Budgen.  Another wrote a very sad post about all her friends on Facebook who give it all this 'luv ya hunni xox' stuff, but didn't turn up to her mother's funeral, when she needed real support.  
The very fact that you're reading this means I'm not talking about you, I hasten to add.  There are some people I've met online over the past 8 years and have remained friends with, even if we don't communicate all the time (Andrea, Mike, etc!).  New online friends, writers whose books I read, readers of my books.  There are those who have become real life friends, too (Phil, Lisa, Carol, Michelle!).  Lovely. There are some old friends I've found again, with whom I have renewed contact (Andy, Johnny, Mick, Richard, Sue, Kate, etc etc etc!).  That's FAB.  But, mostly, my friend requests are from people who think, 'oh yeah, I remember her', or 'oh, isn't that Terry Tyler?' (I use a pretend surname on my personal page).  After the initial 'hi' we never speak again.  They don't share anything that I might want to look at, have no interest in anything I post, so what do they want me on their friends list for - to swell their numbers?  What are we, fourteen years old?

I love Twitter because it's the whole wide world, whereas Facebook is groups of small communities.  I won't even call it a 'network' of small communities, because most people on it only interact with their personal friends.

Recently, a member of my family had a serious operation.  I've been able to keep in touch with all of our relatives and mutual friends in one place, via Facebook, on the subject.  This is GREAT, and made me really glad the site exists.  But that's what it is, mostly, I think: just a family and close friends connection site.  I've had bad experiences in the writer groups (which appear to be just for self-promo and oneupmanship), and any writers I know who've paid to advertise on it have reported rubbish results, which I think is because people mostly just go on it to keep in touch with their families and friends, not to be sold to.

I suppose it's all about finding the social networking site that is right for you - so long live Twitter and all who post a ton of interesting stuff on it, I say! 

For a hilarious look at translating Facebook into real life, please see THIS POST by Lynn Gerrard, one of the most entertaining people I've 'met' on Twitter! 

(Update on Monday May 11 ~ I just 'unfriended' 22 people, most of them writers.  I am sure they won't even notice.)

Here's a totally unrelated cartoon, just because I like it....

Tuesday 5 May 2015

My Top Ten Favourite Characters in Boardwalk Empire

Oh, the joy of Netflix!  I watched all of Boardwalk Empire when it was on real telly, and loved it so much that we are currently watching it all over again; I have a five episode a night habit.  If you haven't seen it yet and love anything to do with gangsters, American history, political skullduggery mixed with complicated personal relationships, and just totally excellent drama, I can't recommend it too highly.

Although I know what happens I'm enjoying it even more this time round; I'm noticing more subtle nuances of plot and dialogue (a bit like you do when you read a book for the second time) and appreciating the terrific locations, clothes, atmosphere ~ and the carefully chosen song at the end of each episode (yes, we have the soundtrack...!) even more.  Choosing my top ten favourites characters was difficult but great fun, so here they are!


10.  Dancing across the stage in her best flapper gear at number ten is every feminist's worst nightmare, showgirl and professional girlfriend Lucy Danziger, played by Paz de la Huerta.  Completely over the top, calling all the men she slept with 'Daddy', but didn't you feel kind of sorry for her near the end of her run in the show, when she revealed how she she wanted to mean more than just 'a bit of whoopie' to someone?

9.  My choice for number 9 is a more minor character, but I think she's great ~ Sigrid Mueller, she of the over the top Norwegian accent, played by Christiane Seidel.  What I like about her so much is that she's quietly got her head screwed on, and susses out exactly what she and Nelson/George must do in times of dire circumstance.  Like when she whacked that poor cop over the head, then realised their only choice was to kill him ("I will hold his legs"), and started up her own sideline when she and George/Nelson had to start distilling in their flat for O'Banion.  I went off her in the last series when she had a personality metamorphosis into a total bitch, but I loved her before that.

8.  At number 8, I am delighted to present the best totty in the series, the gorgeous Owen Slater, played by the even more gorgeous Charlie Cox.  I never liked Margaret Schroeder/Thompson (far too self-serving and sanctimonious, mostly), but I loved the restrained passion between them, and so wanted their plan to run off together to work....

Oh, go on then, shall we have another picture of Charlie, girls?

7.  I've edited my original post because I was only on series 3 when I wrote it, and had forgotten about the fab Sally Wheet, played by one of my favourite actresses, Patricia Arquette, who has adapted so well to playing older parts and not gone down the 'botox and trout pout to try and look as if I'm still twenty-five' route.  I LOVED Sally - the sort of woman most of us wouldn't mind being at some point, I think!

6.  The King of New York City is at number 6 ~ Arnold Rothstein, played by Michael Stuhlbarg.  The man who always wins, working out his plans to defeat his enemies, and giving strategy lessons to his underlings, at the snooker table.  How could you not admire a guy who fixed the World Series, and got away with it?  So cool, like a super confident, clever snake, but somehow likeable, too.  Wonder if he really was that charismatic...

"Do you think I entered into this arrangement because I value your companionship? You are a convenience, of geography and supply. You promised a quantity and a price. You have failed to deliver! And now, owing to your inability to manage your affairs in New Jersey - a state I have little interest in or affection for - you expect me to start a war? In New York? Where things actually matter?"

5.  Yeah, I know she's a murderer, a liar, probably insane, and actively encouraged her son's Oedipus complex, but I can't help liking Gillian Darmody.  Not sure what that says about me...  anyway, with a start in life like that (being pimped out at the age of thirteen), her story was bound to be tragic.  Maybe I just like her because she's so beautiful in that delicate, cat-like way, and looks so fab in all her clothes!  But she was clever, too, when it came to dealing with men like Luciano and the monster Gyp Rosetti.  I could have seriously gone off her when she murdered that poor lad Roger, but I couldn't help feeling sorry for her when she finally got her comeuppance.  Played by Gretchen Mol.

4.  Yes, strolling along the boardwalk at number 4 is the unofficial boss of Atlantic City, our very own Enoch Thompson.  Some reviews/articles have said that he's the least interesting character in the whole show, but I disagree.  Nucky's as multi-faceted as they come, one minute revealing his insecurities to Margaret, the next showing how ruthless and calculating he really is.  I've just finished watching series 3 in which it all goes tits up for him, for a while, and he becomes even more 'human', but then his clever negotiating skills win through.... a round of applause for Steve Buscemi.

3.  How could you not love Richard Harrow?  Played by Jack Huston, he's probably the most likeable character throughout, and not just because he's a war hero with a broken face.  He's got the monopoly on those moments that bring a tear to your eye, a thoroughly decent chap who always does the right thing, but no pushover.  Love that he's a sharpshooter, too.  When Nucky asked him how many people he'd killed he answered "63" straight away, totally deadpan.  His demise was so sad... but kinda nice.  Saddest and most tear-inducing of all was his scrapbook of family photos.  One of my other favourite scenes with him was when he went into the woods to shoot himself, but got talked out of it by the wise old woodsmen.

2.  Ah, deciding on which would be number two and which would be number one was hard, but here's my runner-up ~ the fabulous Nelson Van Alden.  His story, played so cleverly and not without a little humour by Michael Shannon, runs alongside that of Nucky's; I could have done a neat little 'contrast and compare', I suppose!  I'm sure everyone loved the way his straitjacket finally came off; he's one of those characters you're willing to smile all the way through.  Last night I watched the bit when he finally tore the ghastly Faraday Electric Iron Company apart.  The 'Prohi' who ended up very much on the wrong side of the law and seemed happier for it - love it. 

1.  My man!  Totally worthy of the number one position is the wonderful Michael Kenneth Williams, one of my favourite actors, as Chalky White.  Last night I watched him talking to Nucky about his plans for the Onyx Club, in which he said he was going to have "chandelabras" all over the ceiling.  Nucky says "You mean chandeliers".  Chalky replies "I'm going to buy 'em, not spell 'em".  I love the way he dresses, the way he's scary but oddly sweet, too, and his relationship with Nucky is sometimes curiously touching.  Oh, and as for his pride in the Onyx Club, and his falling in love with Daughter Maitland ...  

Nucky: I didn't know you were so sensitive. 
Chalky White: As a baby's ass, motherfucker

....just outside the top ten were Mickey "How come you're still alive?" Doyle, Meyer Lansky, the curious Gaston Means, the Fed who pretended he was in love with Gillian, Frank Capone (because he was so lush), Johnny Torrio, the grown up Tommy Darmody....

If you haven't watched it yet, you should!