My Top 10 TV Shows of All Time – No. 2: Deadwood
To celebrate the return of Jack Bauer kicking ass in the newest season of 24 I decided to do my first list/countdown for this blog. Every day starting from No. 10 I’ll count down my top 10 shows of all time. Now this is my list, and believe me I know people will disagree with it, but I’ll try and justify my choices with a spoiler free summary of my thoughts and feelings.
2004-2006, 3 Seasons, HBO, Created by David Milch
The West as reimagined by Shakespeare. Okay thats kind of a bloated statement regarding Deadwood because to be honest, Deadwood is better then anything Shakespeare ever wrote (Oh no he didn’t says English teachers everywhere) because along with the lyrical language (beautifully punctuated by some of the best profanity to be spoken by an actor) we have a human story about life in a frontier town that engages the audience through out and draws them in, like an audience at a play, yet accomplishes more with the story telling then any play could.
Guess you can tell that I love Deadwood a helluva lot huh? Well I’m a huge fan of Westerns, golden era to the spaghetti’s so really liking Deadwood for me was a foregone conclusion, but Loving it as much as I do comes round to the mentioned incredible storytelling. Mixing reality with a fiction based alternate history storyline, we get the Sherif, the bar keep, the journalist, the rich widow but it’s done in such a refreshing way with humor, hubris and good deal of the foulest language you will ever hear that it’s mesmerizing. Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, Powers Boothe and so, so many others give the performances of their lives, matching the rugged, stunning backdrop of the Blackhills vistas.
Deadwood only lasted 3 seasons, many pointing to a 4th season being cancelled due to money being used from the Deadwood budget to prop up the cast fees for another show (the No. 1 on my list) and the promised 2, 2 hour movies haven’t come to fruition (the popular comment from the creators and HBO is that it’s possible but unlikely) but the 3 seasons we have are perfect, in fact the unexpected ending of the show allows for an interesting closing to what would become the final episode. Like peeking in to a point of history, we see a place for a few months and then we move on wondering what happened to the characters we met and left behind but always treasuring the moments we got to spend with them.
I’m not going into detail with the characters and story because I want you to explore it for yourself. Deadwood the complete series is on DVD and Blu Ray from HBO and believe me, you’ll find that Deadwood is one Helluva Place To Go. The following is a collection of scenes showing the deft mix of humor, violence and horror that Deadwood weaves so well.