Deadwood, What Was I Waiting For?

So after noticing that Justified won an Emmy for best supporting actress in a drama, my anticipation of Season 2’s release on dvd became somewhat heighted. A female character worthy of such honour is just what this series required. Since the DVD’s won’t be available until the New Year, I have no choice but to wait. However, I recalled reading some comments about the similarities between the character Marshall Givens and another one that Olyphant portrayed in the critically acclaimed HBO series Deadwood. True confession time, I own way too many DVD’s, many of which I have not yet watched. Usually they are on sale and I have heard good things about them but I haven’t found the time or mood to sit and watch. I know the mood will strike, eventually, and when it does, I am ready! Well, I have owned Deadwood on DVD for 5 years and have never watched it. The mood finally struck me and I devoured it. Even though it was prematurely cancelled, and talks of concluding the saga with TV movies went nowhere, it mattered not. I really enjoyed it. However, it is not necessarily for everyone. It is certainly not something to watch with children around as the language, sexuality and violence are extreme, at times.

Deadwood is a story about an “illegal” town that was built on land near South Dakota that belonged to an Indian territory. It was outside the rule of U.S. law but the toens people arrived to search for their fortune in the gold mines. It is the story of the pragmatism of bringing order to chaos in a dog eat dog world. The characters are complex; no one is simply “good” or “bad”. The alliances and backroom dealings are intriguing. The themes are many and include, racism, misogyny, violence, child abuse, prostitution, women’s rights and roles, politics, capitalism, business, family, honor, and immigration. Adding to the fun is the poetic dialogue that is peppered with vulgarity and punctuated with profanity. This may offend some viewers (indeed some of the characters in the show protest the coarseness at times) but it does not seem gratuitous, rather it is apropros to the characters involved. There is violence as well which can be graphic at times. Yes, my eyes were covered many times. However, the most graphic scenes IMO were those that showed a character die a slow death over several episodes of a medical disorder. Medicine of the time had no way of providing relief and that was really hard to watch.

The series concluded without a cliffhanger, yet it left me wanting more. It was fun to see familiar actors shine (Anna Gunn from Breaking Bad, Jim Beaver from Supernatural, Molly Parker from every Canadian film I have ever seen, Keith Carradine from Dexter, Geri Jewell from The Facts of Life). If you are not bothered by the coarse language, violence and sexual nature, it is worth checking out. And yes, I did see similarities between Olyphant as Sherriff Seth Bullock and Olyphant as Marshall Rayland Givens. And I did get a bit of delight from the fact that Seth Bullock stated that he was from Etobicoke, ON, several times during the show. Yay Canada!

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Black Sails: a Review of the 1st 2 Seasons | What is Ann Watching?

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