Quick Recommendation: Any Cocksuckers Out There Ain’t Seen Deadwood?

I know, Deadwood (2004), David Milch’s brilliantly profane western HBO show, has no place on a cinephile’s blog… or does it? I genuinely believe that Deadwood is a 36-hour film experience, conveniently broken up into episodes to allow for viewing in between work and meals and family junk. I’ve heard it described as a visual novel, with each episode representing a chapter of the story. After spending the last few weeks revisiting this burgeoning civilization, I feel the need to shout its praises to a wider audience.

Deadwood is the story of Deadwood, South Dakota, in 1876 as it makes the transition from lawless gold-mining camp to civilized town. It’s a rough ride. Seriously. It’s bloody, brutal, funny, wrenching, witty, smart… It’s modern-day Shakespeare (in so many ways, one being my need for multiple viewings to grasp all the dialogue), filled with complex, flawed characters. And with a shitload of swearing. I honestly can’t overstate the extent of the profanity. It’s an art form in itself.

The one frustration is that HBO is stupid and never gave Milch a chance to finish his vision. But it doesn’t matter – the three seasons we got are worth their weight in gold. Until the next,


~ by K. Harker on February 1, 2011.

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