I’ve had spare time and an Amazon Prime password, so I’ve been devouring Deadwood for weeks.
I missed it the first time around on HBO and find myself all the worse for it.
I’ve rarely seen a series where the characters evolve as much as they do here. If you haven’t seen it yet—I was pretty sure that I was the last sensible person on Earth to watch it, but I might be wrong—watch it quickly.
The first season is about carving out a life for yourself in a place without laws or easy answers.
The second is about civilizing an uncivilized society.
The third is about money and its ability to overwhelm a society that values it above all else.
And all seasons come with John Milch’s gorgeous, lyrical dialogue.
THINGS I LOVED ABOUT THE SERIES (SPOILERS AHEAD):
Dan Dority’s solution to every problem, namely cutting someone’s throat. And yet somehow, Dan remains lovable.
Ellsworth and Charlie Utter, Deadwood’s true white hats. Ellsworth witnesses a murder and ends up taking responsibility for the murdered man’s widow. Charlie shows up as Wild Bill Hickok’s conscience and stays to become Bullock’s.
Al’s metamorphosis from chief antagonist to Deadwood’s last, best chance against an overwhelming force.
Bullock’s ever-unpredictable temper and the epic beatdowns that result.
Farnham, after being named mayor, tossing around fifty-dollar words.
Tom Nuttall: “Those who doubt me suck cock by choice!”
Gerald McRaney as George Hearst. The big bad so threatening that Bullock and Al drop their mutual strife to join forces. The voice of unfettered capitalism. What money wants, it gets.
The moment in season 3’s premiere when Al and Dan first realize that they might be in over their heads.
Powers Boothe as Tolliver, ever more frustrated as he becomes ever more impotent.
The weariness of Keith Carradine as Wild Bill Hickok. A man exhausted by his own legend.
Brad Dourif as Doc Cochran, the man in charge of saving lives in a town hell-bent on taking them.
Fuck, everybody in the cast. John Hawkes as the opposite of every other role he’s ever played. Trixie. Alma. Calamity Jane. Mrs. Bullock. Joanie Stubbs. Jesus, so good.