Quite sadistic. But remember, Jeff Probst is the one who wanted to do a show that granted dying people their last wish. That woman who filled some guy's shoes with sand and then sank them in the water -- that was stupid. But she was even more stupid when she confessed to doing it.
My main concern with Boardwalk Empire isn't the over-fancying it got for its first episode...that will disappear. What makes me wonder is whether Steve Buscemi can carry the show as its lead. He's a fantastic character actor, but the few leads he's played were in movies that went nowhere fast. (Let's see a show of hands here! How many of you rushed out to see Ed and His Dead Mother?) The last shot of the episode, showing Buscemi holding a bunch of flowers and standing in the doorway of the new widow's hospital room...he looked like a goofball.