Deadwood, an HBO Original Series
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Waaal, Ah must say, pilgrum, this here's a series worth hangin' fer.
Right up front in the pilot of the series, a man hangs right off the marshall's porch and does the dance... until the marshall 'helps him with the drop' and finishes him off - the only disappointment in an otherwise powerful and fascinating, nitty and gritty, fictionalized historical action-drama that really kicks your ass. Guns'n'whiskey, fellas. Belly up.
Deadwood is based on the real-life events and historical landmark locales of Deadwood, South Dakota. In the mix is even Wild Bill Hickock and Calamity Jane, both superbly acted - especially Calamity Jane, in the most human and believable representation I've ever seen of the real-life buster of gender-roles.
People die in droves in this show. At least twenty four characters have died thus far in the first season, at least one by hangin'. (Love that!) They also have a habit of allowing a herd of voracious pigs (owned by a Wild West-stereotypical Chinaman) devour human corpses. Unfortunately the first to get et' is a fellow Irishman but I got past it.
Molly Parker is in this show! My Canadian goddess, Queen of Sexual Deviance! The star of 'Kissed' who ... loved the dead! Yes! However she's a very respectable character in this series, a grieving widow from New York. (Her husband was a casualty himself, thrown off a cliff and his head bashed in on a rock.) She's also one of about two sole characters that never uses a foul word referring to ... those who perform oral sex on men. Think three syllables beginning with 'c'.
That's my one complaint with the show: almost every character is constantly spitting out the word 'c***sucker'; I feel as if I'm watching an entire cast of patients with Tourette's Syndrome. The 'F' word of course figures highly but it's simply amazing that HBO's original series, especially this one by far and away, features 'c***sucker' as if it's the catchword of the decade. They can't get through a script without it. If you don't want to wind up explaining c***sucking to your kids (and don't want to risk adding it to their vocabulary, especially with all the mnemonic reinforcement), you can't let'em watch this.
If you like the flavor of the Old West, and you're looking for something to watch on television (without the kids), this is a serious treat. This show is particularly great with on-demand. At this writing I can access the first five of the twelve episodes so far broadcast.
I can't gush enough about how successful the makers of the series have been in creating the atmosphere and 'grit' realism of the Wild West. It's cinematic-quality, as you've expected from HBO since their powerhouse offerings 'The Sopranos', 'Oz' (both of which I love) and 'Six Feet Under' (which I no longer find as interesting since they've been... screwing it up).
You owe it to yourself to try out 'Deadwood'. It should certainly succeed in making you a fan if you like Westerns.
I give it 5 out of 5 stars.