Deadwood: Season 1

I just noticed the different seasons have different taglines – season 1 is “A hell of a place to make your fortune” and that’s a pretty good summary. Deadwood as a town is a large heap of mud and dirt on top of a heap of gold, Deadwood as a show is a large amount of HBO fuelled expletives on top of an amazing show.

To be honest, I think the number of expletives is a little much, there’s a great website that has calculated the average “f’s per minute” on the show is 1.56. Throw in the other expletives and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the number rise as high as 2 per minute. You get used to it as the show goes on, but it seems ‘unnecessary’ (as my grandmother would say) at first. But you can get away with a lot on HBO and whatever you think of the swearing the violence and nudity make the show vibrant and more realistic than the PG13 you see on network tv.

The writing, plots, cast and direction are all superb. It’s quite hard to make comment beyond that; it’s hard to explain perfection, easy to criticise. Ian McShane is the stand out, mostly because of my awareness of how far he is from Lovejoy, but the rest of the cast is brilliant too, playing realistic characters held within the constraints of history. It’s just a shame not all the characters last long as everyone is interesting to watch from the series leads to recurring bit parts to one off body count fuelling guest stars.

The plots amble around, the episodes blur together in hindsight rather than having the neatly wrapped up plot-per-episode format. My one complaint would be that if I’d watched the show on TV week by week I’d have been driven to distraction by the abrupt, almost random endings of each episode. I strongly recommend watching the show in chunks on DVD instead.

DVD Special Features
It’s a nice box… that’s about it; there are absolutely no special features. Maybe that’s for the best as you stay in the history and with the characters more if you don’t see the behind the scenes. Maybe. Actually now I come to think of it, the box is pretty but the glue isn’t very good so it comes apart, so even the box is a bit disappointing.


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