Deadwood – HBO

It looks as though HBO is keeping on track with this newest series. The casting promises great things. Timothy Oliphant –seen here — is the cynical Seth Bullock, an ex-lawman from Montana (look for a romance or two in this story line), and Keith Carradine projects just the right amount of quiet menace as Wild Bill Hickok. The writing is excellent and the pacing perfect. The cast of characters is, of course, predictable; bad guys and good guys and girls gone bad; the stupid rich man from a big city is duly duped right up front, and his wife (addicted to laudanum) is in a fog about the whole thing. I think she may turn out to be the more interesting character.

Two things which bothered me enough to note: first, enough of pigs. Three books and/or films in the last few years have featured bad guys who toss their victims to the pigs: Hannibal, Snatch (which I loved, so I’ll forgive the pigs), and now Deadwood. The second thing is the nature of the cussing. I’m not prudish; no problems here with the way fuck is tossed around on shows like The Wire. Realistic dialog is not always pleasant. But language evolves, and word taboos evolve, and it’s only in the last thirty years that fuck has made its way out of the absolute taboo into the daily use category. That kind of anachronism really bugs me. Next thing you know, somebody will tell Wild Bill that he’s being neurotic.

12 Replies to “Deadwood – HBO”

  1. I agree about the anachronisms. I heard them use the phrase “trench mouth”, which is from WWI. I also think the villian’s anti-semitism has a modern feel as he expresses it. (More subtle would have been to make him NOT anti-semetic, it being bad for business.)

  2. love the show deadwood on hbo. especially sunday ,april 11, 2004 the one where bill was killed. elizabth sarnoff, you write great shows!!!! very good acting. marsha hoffman

  3. I too agree about the anachronisms. Every other aspect seems realistic for those times. But, just how many times, did the average cowboy, say “cocksucker” in a day?

  4. Will HBO be re-broadcasting Deadwood from the start? I just starting watching and missed the first episodes. Help! M. McMahan

  5. The language is comically overly cussive (a word?). What is the point? Let’s desacrate Sundays as much as possible? The treatment of women, and everyone else with human life is hellish. Why place yet more negative images af twisted humn relationships in the screen? People, real, living, people are being bombed, shot and humiliated. Hate is alive and well and taking more life away from people than we can count bodies. And yet we freedom-loving, self gratifying Americans are fascinated by pitiful human relationships and vacuums of love and mercy, enough to keep HBO reaching for more. We are a sick folk and we have yet to learn how to care for each other and value life for all its fragility. It is, of course, well done, however. No excuse. Think of something else. Please. Money is not everything, is it?

  6. THE STORY IS PRETTY BELIEVABLE, THE TOWN LOOKS QUIT REALISTIC, ACTORS ARE DRESSED WELL FOR THAT TIME. THE ONLY THING THAT REALLY TURNS ME OFF IS THE CONSTANT CURSING I CAN NOT EVEN STAY IN THE SAME ROOM WITH THIS FILTH…SORRY OR NOT YOU LOST A VIEWER, CLEAN UP THE LANGUAGE SO FAMILIES CAN WATCH THIS TOGETHER………
    DON’T WANT ANY E-MAIL FROM YOU IN REFERANCE TO MY FELLINGS

  7. Love the show I think the cursing is overdone but funny. This show is not for “The Whole Family”
    Great writing and good acting. Two thumbs up and a yippee cocksucker!!!!

  8. Come on, this isn’t a family show. It was never marketed to be a family show. Its a realistic view of an old west mining town. If you want it cleaned up for the whole family then why not just go watch Bonanza reruns. I like it just the way it is.

  9. I just wanted to say I agree with you about the pigs. It seems like there’s a new badguy cliche around these parts… Did “Snatch” come out before the book version of “Hannibal,” I wonder?

    Either way, “Deadwood’s” writers were being lazy using the Hannibal/Snatch “evil villain” way of disposing of the bodies.

    Something tells me we will all be seeing the “feed ’em to the pigs” cliche again… there’s a lot of hack writers out there!

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