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Dead Tired Wood

Yet another night I’m up way past my bedtime, and I have Deadwood to blame.

I’ve been hearing great things about this series . . . miniseries? Maxiseries? What does one call it? In any case, everyone whose judgment I trust and who had seen Deadwood spoke highly of it. Now, there are a couple of possibilities in such a situation. One such possibility is that I would not be in synchronicity with all those others, that I would watch this series and wonder why so many loved it so much. It’s happened before—books, movies, TV series that others have highly recommended have failed to make an impact on me.

Not so with Deadwood. I imagine I was predisposed to enjoying it. Like Rome, it comes from HBO, is historical, and while it plays with history, delivers the proper sense, the proper atmosphere—it makes one believe in the experience. Also like Rome, it has gripping characters. Even the characters you hate, you want to see more of, learn more of. You sympathize, or perhaps empathize with even the darkest of characters.

Almost all of the characters are villains of some sort or another, with a few exceptions. Those exceptions are, of course, the point of view characters. We all see ourselves as the good guys, yes? None of us wants to believe we are Al Swearengen, or Dan Dority, or E. B. Farnum. No, we all want to be Seth Bollock, or at least Sol Star.

Me, I’m more of a Charlie Utter. I digress.

I enjoy a good western. I can’t say that I’m a fan or follow them closely, but I count SilveradoTombstone and Wild Bill among my favourite movies. And wouldn’t you know it, both Wyatt Earp (haven’t seen him yet) and Wild Bill Hickock (saw him) make appearances. And Keith Carradine, who plays Wild Bill in Deadwood played Buffalo Bill Cody in Wild Bill. Connections, connections.

But, listen, all that aside, Deadwood delivers on everything I want. It’s got a grim sense of corruption, it’s got a stoic hero, it’s got great writing, three –dimensional characters, absolutely stellar acting—it’s addictively good.

Tomorrow night, I’ll likely be up late again, and be drinking hefty amounts of coffee during the day because I can’t just sit down and watch one episode, I’ve got to keep going until I’m ready to drop. I’m totally hooked, totally addicted. I’m almost through Season 1

Now I have to go find Season 2.