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.