Years ago, I watched an episode of the HBO series Deadwood on a motel television and wondered “what the hell is this?”. A Western overflowing with mud and filth, brutality and extraordinary profanity.
Now, having watched two of its three seasons on DVD, I know what Deadwood is. It’s one of the best television series ever made. Personally speaking (of course), I think it’s better than The Sopranos, The Wire and Breaking Bad. I’d rank it right up there with I, Claudius.
The series is beautifully made, the acting is superb, the characters are fascinating and the writing is out of this world. It’s shocking and funny and beautiful. I can’t believe that the residents of an American mining town in 1876 truly spoke as directly and as eloquently as these characters do, but that doesn’t detract from the pleasure of listening to them speak. If you enjoy the spoken word in all its variety, both coarse and elegant, consider becoming addicted to Deadwood, if you haven’t already.
A few selections:
Calamity Jane comes looking for Wild Bill Hickock but doesn’t stay long:
Saloon owner and force of nature Al Swearingen discusses a troubling event with Mr. Wu, a local service provider:
Seth Bullock, unofficial sheriff, delivers a very strong message to an unscrupulous visitor:
E. B. Farnum, sleazy but well-spoken owner of the town’s hotel, bemoans his fate:
Later, the cultured Alma Garret toys with E.B.:
And finally, Doc Cochran and Jewel are both as nimble as forest creatures: