Deadwood – The Complete First Season (Paramount)

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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..

EXTRA FEATURES:
Nothing cocksucker…

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Bob is the features editor of Cyclic Defrost. He is also evil. You should not trust the opinions of evil people.

4 Comments

  1. Unfortunately the rumour is HBO didn’t pick up the 4th season, and instead offered the producer a half-season (6 episodes) which was rejected. Lets hope it doesn’t end there (like Firefly), as it is simply superb.

  2. It will be such a shame if it ends after Season 3. I heard that all the actors have been released from there contracts so there is a good chance that this is the way it will be.

    Nothing beats Season 1 though – it was by far the best.

  3. Yeah I’d agree with that. Season 1 was excellent, and well worth the buy. But season 3 has such a build up; to leave it high and dry would be a huge let-down. I don’t watch a lot of tv lately – I prefer to listen to music – but deadwood is part of a shortlist of very watchable dramas. I’m sure I’ll be sad when I hear it’s fate.