1. 'Boardwalk Empire' season finale

Season 2 of HBO's gin-and-gangster saga has been shocking in all the right ways. There's the (thankfully) heightened pace, the chills-inducing violence, the compelling power-play struggle between Nucky (Steve Buscemi, as good as ever) and Jimmy (the criminally underrated Michael Pitt). Across the board, "Empire" is damn-near perfect this season. Let's raise an illegal glass to many, many more. 9 p.m. Sunday. And stay tuned after the episode for an early screening of the pilot for the new horse-racing drama "Luck," with Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte. "Luck" doesn¿t officially launch until Jan. 29, but HBO apparently has decided it can no longer keep a yelling Hoffman to itself.
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