Deadwood

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Title: Deadwood

Genre: Crime, Drama, Western

First aired: 2004-03-21

Creator: David Milch

Cast: Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, Molly Parker, Jim Beaver, W. Earl Brown, Dayton Callie, Kim Dickens, Brad Dourif, Anna Gunn, John Hawkes, Jeffrey Jones, Paula Malcomson, Leon Rippy, William Sanderson, Robin Weigert, Sean Bridgers, Titus Welliver, Brent Sexton, Bree Seanna Wall, Powers Boothe, Geri Jewell, Keone Young, Gerald McRaney

Overview: The story of the early days of Deadwood, South Dakota; woven around actual historic events with most of the main characters based on real people. Deadwood starts as a gold mining camp and gradually turns from a lawless wild-west community into an organized wild-west civilized town. The story focuses on the real-life characters Seth Bullock and Al Swearengen.
 
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[SERIES][TVPOSTER] View attachment 134155 [/TVPOSTER][SERIESWRAP][EPISODENAME]Deadwood[/EPISODENAME]

Genre: Western, Drama

First Aired:

Overview: Deadwood is the story of the early days of Deadwood, South Dakota; woven around actual historic events with most of the main characters based on real people. Deadwood starts as a gold mining camp and gradually turns from a lawless wild-west community into an organized wild-west civilized town. The story focuses on the real-life characters Seth Bullock and Al Swearengen.[/SERIESWRAP][/SERIES]

Since I signed on for HBOGO to watch Game of Thrones, I noticed Deadwood was on it, which I always wanted to watch but never did.

Anything I should be aware of before watching? Like a weird order I should watch them in or anything?
 

Grumpus

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#3
The first thing you need to know is to not make Deadwood threads that get people hopes up that Deadwood is coming back
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Alex

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#5
I don't think Deadwood lives up to the hype. I just finished it within the past couple months but it took me around six months to finish the show even though it's only three seasons. If there are no other shows on your radar and you're looking to watch something new, I'd give it a go. But it's not going to live up to Boardwalk Empire/Game of Thrones/The Wire/Breaking Bad/Mad Men standards. Many reviews indicate that it's worthy of that level, but I disagree.

Swearengen is a great fucking character though.
 

Gask

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#6
I don't think Deadwood lives up to the hype. I just finished it within the past couple months but it took me around six months to finish the show even though it's only three seasons. If there are no other shows on your radar and you're looking to watch something new, I'd give it a go. But it's not going to live up to Boardwalk Empire/Game of Thrones/The Wire/Breaking Bad/Mad Men standards. Many reviews indicate that it's worthy of that level, but I disagree.

Swearengen is a great fucking character though.
Not all of the main actors are up to par with Al's quality and range, it hurts the show sometimes. Apart from that HBO shot themselves in the foot when they seemingly let the writers have a contest to see how many expletives they could cram into each episode in the shows run. I am sure that a great number of people who would have otherwise watched and enjoyed the program did not because they found the use of language irritating or just tiresome. The story itself, when things didn't completely revolve around Seth anyway, was quite enjoyable for me and brought that period of time to life in a way that was rather memorable.
 
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#7
Deadwood for me is the hands down best series ive ever seen. So many interesting characters, so much subtle nuance mixed with blunt force trauma. Many excellent sub-plots. Yeah, the dialogue is filthy but it is also excellent.

Like others may have mentioned the series was never really ended properly. The HBO beancounters convinced the brass that while the show was the 2nd most loved/popular HBO show ever (at that time at least, behind The Sopranos), HBO would make more money if they didn't renew the actors' contracts (to keep them from making movie deals or other show contracts in the offseason). Sadly, this effectively killed the show before it was meant to be over. Still a great 3 seasons though.

The show they replaced it with was 'John from Cincinati' or some such horseshit that no one watched.
 

Lithose

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#8
But it's not going to live up to Boardwalk Empire/Game of Thrones/The Wire/Breaking Bad/Mad Men standards. Many reviews indicate that it's worthy of that level, but I disagree.

Swearengen is a great fucking character though.
I think you're absolutely crazy. There are certain episodes of those shows that are superior but Deadwood is one of those few shows that EVERY episode is great--while it might never hit the highs of those shows, it never hits their lows, either (BB Season 1 or any episode with Skylar in it a lot, Boardwalk's slowest of the slow burn mid-seasons, Mad Men Betty-Don-emo parties.) The characters and dialogue in Deadwood is always so colorful and so engaging I honestly can't think of any time that I was thinking "god, can we get back to X storyline?" It's that aspect, of almost nothing being "weak" in the show, that makes it amazing.

Like for example, BB/Mad Men/Boardwalk/Wire, all have great crescendos to their seasons (Usually) where the earlier episodes, which had some slow pacing, pay off in big ways--and it makes the whole season just better. A bunch of story-lines will intersect, and things become clearer or said culmination rounds everything out and you look back and say "Thatseasonwas great" (The Wire personifies this, it doesn't hit you how good it is, until you get through a whole season.)--but the reality is, it was great because it was complete, some of the individual episodes though were akin to eating your vegetables to get to the better part of the meal (Lots of people give up on BB in season 1, for example--or the Wire after the first few episodes, it's only after say, they see Kima get shot, or see Walter White drop the "stay out of my territory" line that those "slow burn" episodes pay off in an elegant, amazing way.)

Deadwood doesn't really have those crescendos--it does "kind of" build to the finale, but not nearly as much. However, there also doesn't ever really feel like a "build up" episode...There aren't very many episodes just dedicated to laying work for the story--each episode is a rich story in and of itself, thatALSOlays some work for the rest of the season (Not saying it's episodic). Which, might make it's overall story less "epic", but man, each episode isgreat--and for me, I really enjoy that in a show, when I don't feel like an episode (Or sometimes whole seasons) was just a building block. Don't get me wrong, shows with those building blocks pay off with splooge worthy ends, that color my whole perspective on the show and make it great but it's great in a different way, and Deadwood really deserves some credit for how even and full it is.
 
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#9
What Lithose said, couldn't have said it better myself.

Basically, people that don't acknowledge Deadwood as one of the pinnacles of television suck cock by choice!
 

Alex

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#10
It doesn't have any build up episodes?

Everything that had to do with the elections and Hearst attempting to take control of the town was a slow ass build up. One whole episode would be about people talking about what they're going to run for and some dude who has a hard on for being a firefighter saying he should be fire marshal. Another episode would have Hearst writing a letter to get sent out. Al intercepting that letter and getting pissed and then the letter goes out. This show is the pinnacle of slow burn.
 

McCheese

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#11
Since I signed on for HBOGO to watch Game of Thrones, I noticed Deadwood was on it, which I always wanted to watch but never did.

Anything I should be aware of before watching? Like a weird order I should watch them in or anything?
Never watched Game of Thrones? Never watched Deadwood? What else haven't you seen, have you purposely been avoiding the best TV shows of the past decade?

In a way I envy you. I wish I could watch all of these great shows again for the first time.
 

Lithose

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#12
It doesn't have any build up episodes?

Everything that had to do with the elections and Hearst attempting to take control of the town was a slow ass build up. One whole episode would be about people talking about what they're going to run for and some dude who has a hard on for being a firefighter saying he should be fire marshal. Another episode would have Hearst writing a letter to get sent out. Al intercepting that letter and getting pissed and then the letter goes out. This show is the pinnacle of slow burn.
You're describing small parts of episodes that were catalysts for future stories. But each episode also had it's own flair that didn't leave you thinking "wow, can't wait to see the conclusion of THIS" but instead said "oh, we're back to this character, good."--It's very different. How many times in Boardwalk, or BB, does the series go off on a tangent character, meant to explain some conclusion or aspect of the main story, but is, in itself, a story "dead end" (And very boring), is not meant to build the current character into a new story but provide backdrop for themaincharacter/story to be resolved in the conclusion--I give you, Skylar flirting with her boss while pregnant for BB, or Margaret's affair on Boardwalk. (Both ultimately done to show some more depth of the protagonist when they learn, and deal with, of the new plot in their own story's crescendo.)

To give a counter example, Luciano's and Al Capone's stories ALSO affect Nucky, but they are being told for resolutions in their own right, too--that's the difference. They aren't purely slaves to the main story, that if the main character didn't exist, we'd instantly stop caring about them at all. Even if Nucky died and we never saw Jersey again, Capone and Luciano's stories would be good enough in their own right for us to continue watching. However, many stories in these shows, are NOT like that, they are simply there to pad the protagonist and if it wasn't for that interaction, they'd be completely useless.

This typically does not happen in Deadwood (can only think of a few examples), and when it does, each character is so interesting and engaging, that everything else in the scene can easily distract you from it. Like for example...

When Hearst was scheming for the town--he was also actively engaged in several other plots that filled up his scenes. It wasn't JUST about rigging elections, it was also about fucking over Al, asserting his dominance over his henchmen, harassing his cook ect. His plots were not just something that propelled the other characters forward--it also explained him, made him an important character that was interesting, dynamic and had tons of little sub stories we ended up caring about and watching their conclusions play out during the actual build up--like again, when he's taking over the town, each episode you see how he attempts to break another individual, one episode it's Farnum (Mayor), another it's the news paper guy and another is Tolliver--each episode ALSO has it's own plot, that is resolved at the end of that episode in it's own build up.

That said..Even if Al/Seth's reactions didn't exist, Hearst's stories would still be important in their own right. That's the difference. Would anything Skylar did in BB be ANYTHING but banal if it wasn't for how Walt would react? No, Skylar's story would be essentially Desperate Housewives, Arizona edition. But I'd watch all of Hearsts scenes even if I never got the "pay off" of Al's reaction, they were just great in their own right.

Also, hah--sorry man, if you're saying Deadwood is a "slow burn", you may just be too out of touch to reason with. If you look up slow burn, under opposites it would have Rome and Deadwood.
 

Lithose

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#13
Since I signed on for HBOGO to watch Game of Thrones, I noticed Deadwood was on it, which I always wanted to watch but never did.

Anything I should be aware of before watching? Like a weird order I should watch them in or anything?
Also...The Wire is on there...So is The Sopranos and Rome....No idea if you missed these shows as well, but they are all in the same league. You won't be disappointed with any of them if you enjoy GoT.
 

Araxen

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#14

RIP The greatest western ever made..movie, tv, or otherwise.
 

MsBehavn_sl

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#15
The cancellation of this show still hurts me.
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Gask

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#16
The cancellation of this show still hurts me.
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I remember how disappointed I was when I got to the end and found out that that was it... I also remember the excitement and false hope when HBO started rumoring about a Deadwood film to wrap the series up a few years ago... cocksuckers.

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Grimmlokk

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#17
Deadwood is the last show I can think of where I intentionally sat aside time to make sure and watch every episode during it's first airing. There's nothing special to know before watching it, except maybe to prepare for the hair about to grow on your chest finally.

Also, better have my fucking syrup.

 

Sterling

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#18
Absolutely love this show. One of my alltime favorites.
 

Tananthalas

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#19
Alex_sl said:
I don't think Deadwood lives up to the hype. I just finished it within the past couple months but it took me around six months to finish the show even though it's only three seasons. If there are no other shows on your radar and you're looking to watch something new, I'd give it a go. But it's not going to live up to Boardwalk Empire/Game of Thrones/The Wire/Breaking Bad/Mad Men standards.
I have no idea how you can say that I seriously don't. Seasons 1 and 2 of Deadwood so far outpaces Mad Men/Boardwalk/Breaking Bad that you should feel bad for even making the comparison. Arguably Season 3 goes down hill some in my opinion but Al's interactions with the "Chief" in the 3rd season are fantastic. I love Brad Dourif in Deadwood as well. The best part of Deadwood to me is that it got the drama/action/comedy mix ratio right. It's not 90% drama like half the shows you list. I couldn't even get past season 2 of Breaking Bad with all the goddamn whining going on. Fuck that show is overrated as hell.
 

Alex

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#20
I know my opinion is massively unpopular. There were just a good number of characters that pissed me the fuck off. I wish Joanie Stubbs and Jane got 1/8 the screen time. Bullock started to piss me off as the show went on too. My feelings on Deadwood are similar to that of Bob Dylan in the music genre. Overwhelming critical acclaim and highly respected, but I don't get it.
 
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