Forget the wild west, television is the new frontier, where some of the most interesting and cutting edge writing is occurring, where rules are being broken and taboos are being tackled. Not convinced? Just count the number of penises in Oz next week. Yet it’s more than just the number of phalluses that makes these shows so cutting edge. It’s the ability to craft and develop characters over twelve or so episodes and slowly meter out important aspects of their personalities over a long period of time and in doing so mess with our acceptance of the two dimensionality commonly offered in feature films. Finally television is playing to its strength: time. Deadwood is more than accomplished at achieving this. It’s steeped in Western mythology, unashamedly reverential to the Spaghetti Westerns of Sergio Leone and his more sadistic compatriots Sergio Martino (Django Kill) and Sergio Corbucci (The Great Silence), yet somehow it seems contemporary. It’s set in 1876, two weeks after Custer’ last stand, in a town without law, where greed and violence go hand in hand. It’s populated by schemers, sadists, drug addicts, whores amongst honest citizens trying to make a go of it in this corrupt new world. The personalities are larger than life and watching them bounce of each other is gripping, often nail biting stuff. Of course every good western has a hero and this case it’s ex lawman Seth Bullock, attempting to fight his moral righteousness and leave well enough alone so he can build a hardware business. And the villains are too numerous to mention, everyone is Deadwood has an angle, and just when you think it can’ get any more violent along comes an episode like Suffer Little Children where you’re positively willing against the actions on screen. The production values are unashamedly cinematic, even the muddy streets look gorgeous, and the expletive ridden dialogue is brilliant. You’ll find yourself calling everyone “cocksuckers’ and “hoopleheads’ in no time. It’s gold..