I know that Ray and I seem to always watch television shows long after they’ve gone off the air, but with the advent of Netflix and other viewing options, it’s always good to hear of exceptionally well-done series. Deadwood falls in that category. It ran from 2004 – 2006 and is a HBO series about the gold rush, Wild West and the people who came to populate the camp of Deadwood in the late-1860’s. This was a settlement that was not part of any state or territory at that time and was therefore completely lawless. One of the primary themes is what people do and how they act when they don’t have laws governing their behavior.
Timothy Olyphant portrays the sheriff and moral conscience of the town, Ian McShane is the tough-as-nails saloon owner/crime boss and Keith Carradine is Wild Bill Hickok. There is a wide range of women characters who are either prostitutes or “nice” women and then there is Calamity Jane, who is hard-talking and capable of holding her own with pretty much any man she encounters. If you shy away from graphic language, then this is not a series for you. I don’t think I have ever heard more swearing on any other tv show or movie. However, don’t let that discourage you unless you are a real stickler since the characters are complex and the episodes full of realistic stories of what life must have been like in that part of the Western US before there was a Western US.
Two thumbs way up so far on this series. It is a highly entertaining look into American history with what may be the real stories of that time rather than a glamorized version. People swear like sailors, the streets are muddy, and the men working those gold claims arrive into camp dirty and looking for fun. The women are tough and suffer no fools. People are murdered at the least provocation and their bodies fed to the hogs. There’s double crossing and love and loyalty and betrayal. In other words, there’s lots of material for great storytelling.
Again, this series is well worth your time if the American Wild West piques your interest. I believe I can safely say you will not be disappointed.