Saturday, November 22, 2008

TV: Deadwood

We don't pay for high-def TV, so I've never seen "The Sopranos". The material is available in the racks of DVDs of most cable shows, the issue is which are worthy of hours of the time they consume. A few years ago we got into Six Feet Under's great first season, but like almost any American TV show that has to keep going, the second season petered out into soap opera machinery — who sleeps with who, which relationships fall apart, what quirky plot points happen, etc. — and we stopped watching. (Unlike the insanely great Prime Suspect non-series, where between 1992 and 2006 a long TV movie would appears about the same characters, and not an hour feels like it was produced only because season 3's commitment was for 12 hours.)

Deadwood felt like it might be fall into TV series doldroms. We rented it as a travelogue after some exposure to South Dakota. Great start as you meet the characters (including an incandescent Calamity Jane), but after Wild Bill Hickok departs you're afear'd maybe it'll just be a collection of characters fightin' and whorin' and dyin' in a Western town. I'm glad we stuck with it, because the language is so great and the characters strong enough.

It's not perfect, David Milch doesn't walk on water no matter how many kisses are bestowed on his ass in the DVD extra features. The pathetic co-dependence of the two whores Trixie and Joanie on their masters is depressing and phony when it happens twice; you never see the mining that delivered vast wealth to the town; the Gem saloon in real life had vaudeville acts and singers, not just faro and whores. But I'm still eagerly watching.



  • Big +1 - Sarah and I just wrapped up watching Deadwood on DVD. I loved it, although I'm having to really fight the impulse to inject 'cocksucker' into everything I say...

    By Blogger Seth Hodgson, at November 26, 2008 12:59 PM  

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