I finally watched the whole run of Deadwood. What follows is rambly and incoherent thoughts about it. I liked it. I loved some parts of it, I found others hard to watch, and overall it's not a show or fandom I fell madly in love with, but I did really enjoy it.
The language takes getting used to. I understand the reasoning behind WHY they decided on modern language to get the point across about just how rough the place and people were, and it was effective in a way, but in another way it more or less completely numbed you to it so that you start to barely notice all the cursing.
What I liked about it was that it was a very unforgiving show. We were introduced to Seth Bullock with Seth more or less being the good guy/protagonist. A sort of anti-hero who had his demons but would do the right thing. Which is not at all a novel concept. Al Swearengen was set up as his antagonist - ruthless, amoral, manipulative.
And then the show spends the remainder of it's run instead showing us how ALIKE they were. They come to mirror one another more and more, with Al STILL being a ruthless bastard, but you see his human side more and more, and you see just how callous and dark Seth can be. At the start of the show, these are two men that loathe everything about one another and can barely manage a conversation.
By the end, they're two men who loathe one another and what the other makes them see in themselves, and still can't hold a civil conversation - yet Seth stands by more or less without protest while Al murders one woman to save one he likes better. And Al goes out of his way to protect people he really doesn't have to, in his way.
Most of the people in this show are MISERABLE AWFUL PEOPLE. Compelling, well acted, but AWFUL. The nicest people in the show were all more supporting than main characters, and most of them suffered for being soft hearted. Sol got off easiest, but he had a few asshat moments too. Joanie, Ellsworth, Trixie, etc - they all got beat down in one way or another, or came to a bad end.
Speaking of Joanie and Trixie - this show is so abysmally hard to watch sometimes. The casual violence against women is astonishingly brutal and while I think most of it was a DELIBERATE choice by the show, and not romanticized for the most part . . . still incredibly hard to watch. There isn't a guy on the show who doesn't use his gender and power (whether physical or otherwise) to AT LEAST intimidate a woman, if not outright beat on her.
I felt horrible for Alma, by the end of the show, but I never really connected with her to love her, while I did kind of love Trixie, by the end. I was also really fond of Jane, by the end, though I had a really hard time understanding her at the start. (She does the drunken slur really well.) And I liked the Doc, with his crankiness.
I watched some of the behind the scenes stuff, and was kind of amused by how many things they had about Mister Wu and his relationship with Al. The actor playing Wu seems to be an incredibly thoughtful, talented, eloquent actor. . . who pretty much got a TON of screentime during the show and mostly only got to say "Swearengen" and "cocksuckkkkkkkkerrrr!" The guy made the best of it thought, I'll give him that. I did think the sort of grudging respect/friendship he and Al had was interesting, given the massive inequality in the relationship.
Ian McShane really made the show, I'll admit. I'll watch that guy in anything, and he was awesome in the role, managing to make Al both fascinating, frightening, and at times oddly endearing. I love Timothy Olyphant, but I didn't feel he was as compelling as Seth as he is now on Justified.
The cast was really, really massive. It was hard to keep track of who was who, and I felt at times that the show suffered from too many minor side plots. But then I also thought that some of the more minor characters slowly gaining more screentime and complicated storylines was organic and interesting, so I don't know. I think they could have stood to follow a few less storylines though.
I like the Western genre without actually having SEEN all that many westerns. My dad likes them, but he's more of a sci-fi, monster movie geek, so I grew up seeing more of those than I did westerns. I loved The Young Riders, obviously, and in more recent things there've been quite a few movies I liked. I can't think of them offhand, but the Y-10 to Yuma remake comes to mind, despite having Russell Crowe, who I am mostly meh on. So in that regard I was a pretty easy sell for Deadwood.
I don't know. I think I'm still forming opinions on it. Difficult as it was to watch sometimes though, I think it was definitely worth it, and I enjoyed parts of it. Part of me wishes that more people got their comeuppance, because SO MANY deserve a serious ass kicking at the very least, but still. And part of me wished they'd done Bill Hickok's death later, because I LOVED him. Keith Carradine did a great job with him.
Also, SURPRISE BRIAN KINNEY. HEE. I'm sorry, I know Gale Harold has been in lots of other stuff, and is straight and probably married with kids, but HE IS ALWAYS BRIAN TO ME. I was just like "BRIAN! WHAT ARE YOU DOING? YOU SHAVE THAT BEARD AND STOP FEELING UP THAT WHORE (literal whore, since it was one of Al's working girls, not me calling her a whore for touching Brian) AND GO HIT ON THE HOTTEST GUYS, AS IS PROPER!"
Most of the people who showed up in Deadwood I knew were going to be there going in, but I had no idea about Gale, so I missed all his first dialogue and had to rewind because I was too busy going "OMG BRIAN!"
I am so deeply immature.
I'm not sure what new show to watch next. (New as in "on DVD but new to me".) I'm watching Sherlock first, since there's barely any anyway, and after that I think The Good Wife, Treme, or The Wire? Or possibly actually start Justified over and finish it since my DVR screwed me up and I didn't finish. I still want to watch Caprica at some point, too.
For the moment though, I'm just going to do some canon reviews.
This entry was originally posted at dreamwidth, and has comments.