Wednesday, March 16, 2011

TV Series of the Month - Deadwood

This month’s series is Deadwood (2004-2006).

The series is set in the late 1800’s Black Hills of South Dakota, when the land still was annexed to the Sioux people, in the up-start mining town of Deadwood. The series deals with themes of corruption, crime and friendship. It is essentially a show of plots and schemes for control of the camp. The dialog and language is among the best ever (TV or film), not to mention that is also a fantastic Western, though it does dispel most of the typical ideology and stereotypes of the genre. The series is down and dirty, gritty and pulls no punches with its material, and is all the better for it. Creator David Milch had a ton of success with an earlier show, NYPD Blue, but this is his masterpiece. Sadly, however, its authenticity made it an expensive show to make and thus did not make it longer than three seasons. And even sadder, it was cancelled without a true ending – but what is there is magnificent and one of the best shows ever made. The cast is top notch both on paper (with fine actors such as Ian McShane, John Hawkes and Timothy Olyphant leading the way) and in practice. Everyone is wonderful in the series, from the regulars to the reoccurring guests (especially the work of Keith Carradine and Garret Dillahunt among the guests). Many of the series stars have gone on to do great work in film and television. McShane really is at the center of the show and his performance is utterly amazing. This is an absolute must see for fans of Westerns and great dramas. I cannot say it enough – this is about as good as they come. Check out the trailer.

Available on Blu-ray, DVD and to Rent

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