Deadwood


#221

Brett, you’re nuts. I agree with some of your points – Deadwood’s biggest problem was a truncated schedule and several episodes in the can without knowing if there would be a second season - that’s why they killed Wild Bill arguably too fast, breezed through the Smallpox too fast, and felled the Reverend too fast – but a lack of plot?

Jeez!

In the other posts you were complaining about too many side plots that you didn’t care about. You’re real problem here is that Deadwood doesn’t have what you consider an overarching plot. But it does, it’s about a town being born and the mostly bad people inside it scrabbling for power and scrabbling to keep it.

Also, you’re the one arguing that “my show is better than your show” tactic.


#222

Jesus, there is a plot - several. This isn’t Seinfeld we’re talking about here.

Could you be any more of a pompous asshole?

I’m sure I could.

I mention that I fell asleep two weeks in a row during Deadwood and that I nodded off during the first two incredibly long and dull Harry Potter movies and you act like I’m the only person on the planet who’s ever fallen asleep at a movie or in front of a TV before. Fuck. Off.

I’ve never, ever fallen asleep in the middle of a movie I’ve paid money to see, and while yes, I’ve fallen asleep with the TV on, I never have during a show I’ve wanted to watch. In the former case, it’s a waste of time and money, in the latter, it’s just time - in either case, falling asleep during something - unless you happen to be old, which I don’t think you are - is just a few steps below showing utter contempt for the program. You make it sound as if it were a sign of critic’s pride.

Sure, whatever helps you count sheep better <poke>

— Alan


#223

Like Desslock said, I’ve stuck with it because it was right after The Sopranos. And I really thought the show was going somewhere for the first six or so episodes. I was loving it for a while.

Bub, you’re the last person on her who should be accusing anyone of being nuts. The plot problems, as I’ve clearly shown, have to do with the lack of a coherent story structure. Deadwood’s a mess structurally. You may love the individual scenes and the characters, but there is no structure, no sense that the show is going anywhere. Do you have any idea how the show will wrap up this week, for instance? Was any dramatic tension built by last week’s episode?

And just writing “it’s about a town” over and over again is meaningless. Deadwood could be about the town being born without straying all over the map into minutiae that nobody gives a damn about. And how does a lot of this crap even fit into the “it’s about a town” theory? What the fuck did the tavern’s gimp floor sweeper looking for a leg brace have to do with the birth of Deadwood? How does a deranged preacher endlessly wandering the streets tell us about the start of a town? The Al, Cy, and Bullock stuff I’ll give you, and the Alma gold mine, too, if the writers ever actually get back to it. But the rest is just filler that doesn’t advance the plot you want or the plot that I want.

Anyhow, enjoy your show.


#224

Did you fall asleep last week when we met Alma’s father or something? I disagree with pretty much everything you’ve written. I find these “useless” subplots and “filler” - “meaningful” and “interesting”! I can’t wait to see what happens on Sunday night and I can’t wait for the next season. I’m not trolling you or jerking you around, this really is my favorite show on television and I think you are totally and completely wrong about it.

Is there anything else you want to spend time convincing me not to like?


#225

Brett why do you get so angry that others are enjoying the show? You clearly no longer enjoy it but many others do.


#226

I really liked the 1st season finale of Deadwood. Wrapped up a nice deal of plot threads, while setting the stage nicely for the 2nd season conflicts.

Spoilers and thoughts:

  • Wow, that may have been the most satisfying beating in of a man’s face I’ve ever seen on TV. I was surprised Alma’s father didn’t end up looking like the pretty boy from Fight Club, although it was a good attempt.

  • Likewise, Alma’s father is going to cause some real problems for her and Seth next season. I’d give good odds that the Pinkertons will be involved somehow.

  • Well, they finally relieved some of the sexual tension between Seth and Alma. Molly Parker is pretty gorgeous.

  • Sad affair with the Reverend, but I had the feeling something like that would happen.

  • Both the Doc and Swearengen showed just how great they are as characters this episode.

  • I guess Silas Adams is going to be a regular cast member next season.

  • Can E.B. Farnum get any more smarmy and annoying? Doubtful.

  • I can’t wait to see Sheriff Bullock beat the piss out of more people in complete righteous fury next season.


#227

I thought it was a great finale. keeps me interested for next year, after all.


#228

Awesome finale; Crook was an interesting persona, played with a tired humanity. I liked how all the others seemed to flock to Bullock (or associates thereof) when he confronted Alma’s father - was done very nicely.

Molly Parker’s hot! :)

— Alan


#229

Incredible finale. I’ll be back next season, too, at least for a look. McShane deserves an Emmy for his performance as Swearengen tonight. I still think there was a huge amount of filler this season and too many meandering plots that never came to anything, but that was one hell of a payoff after quite a few boring weeks. Great characters, even with the wandering stories. Show has fantastic potential. Just hope they give Bullock a lot more screen time next year. That’s what I missed the most the past few weeks. When his role decreased after Wild Bill was killed (the whole plot that started the show–the opening of Bullock’s general store–was ignored after they got the building put up), I thought the show lost its focus. Timothy Olyphant is almost as intense as McShane. Nice to see what he’ll be able to do with more lines and a more central part in the action.

Molly Parker’s looks are all make-up and lighting. You should catch her on something low budget, like Twitch City. I mean, she’s not ugly or anything, but she’s miles away from the babe you see on Deadwood.


#230

Desslock and Brett, I’m surprised you guys watched it last night. I mean, without the Sopranos lead in? (just kidding)

I agree. Great ending, though I thought the finale gave the Chinese and Sy short shrift. I suppose the racial tension problems are going to be a focus next season - and that they’ll become Sherriff Bullock’s problem.

I’m sad I was wrong about my insane predicition that the Reverend would survive. But his end was touching, especially coming from Al. I liked what he said when the man expired. “You can go now brother.” I now suspect it was Al who killed his own mentally challenged sibling. At least they gave me the Doc dancing with Jewel. That was nice.

Also, man, did Alma’s dad have that coming or what? It’s great to see a character spew that much evil shit, thinking he’s untouchable, and then getting what for in spades!


#231

Whee-ooo, that was a great season finale.

I loved that Bullock’s seething anger came to a boil, including the way he was squeezing the Sherriff’s badge while, effectively, putting out a hit on Alma’s father. I was expecting to see blood flowing.

The show has a lot of potential for next year. The Chinese problem, the annexation by the US, the return of Calamity Jane, the continued cold war between Cy and Al, and the arrival of Bullock’s wife. I also suspect that Alma’s father, along with Brom’s family, will be a source of much heartache and woe.

I’m not sure how many history buffs we have here, but Seth Bullock is famous for a close friendship with a certain man who will become a very important US statesman. I don’t want to say anything further to avoid spoilers for those who don’t know the details, but that certainly should introduce some television worth watching. I don’t know if it’ll happen next season, or in one to come…

I’m curious: How were Deadwood’s ratings? Anyone know offhand?

/Eph


#232

Yeah I know about Molly Parker; she has a crapload of freckles, most of which they seem to have blotted out one way or another, but there’s an air about her (or maybe just her character) that I really like.

In their defense both Brett & Desslock said that they would watch the finale and decide for themselves.

The possible plot points I’m guessing are (as mentioned above):

  • Alma’s father and/or Brom’s family returning/arriving, possibly with Pinkertons in tow

  • The Cold War between Tolliver and Swearengen grows, probably over the Chinese alley

  • Bullock’s wife & child arrives - how is this gonna work with Bullock & Alma?

  • I still think Ricky Jay (forget his character name) & Joanie will find a way to team up with Swearengen, especially as the Cold War heats up - nothing Al wouldn’t like better than to stick it to Cy via proxie any way he could.

  • The killing of the magistrate (or his disappearance) will probably have complications in the future.

  • Bullock will immediately clash with Swearengen about a recent murder in the very first episode :)

Quite a few interesting folks show up in Deadwood at one point or another, and I’m sure they’ll get written in as things progress. The relationship between Swearengen (which I’ve agreed for a long time, McShane not only deserves an Emmy nomination but the whole trophy to boot) and Bullock is extremely interesting and very unusual. It’s not really mutual respect but understanding - Al knows exactly what he’s getting in a sheriff with Bullock, and Bullock knows who really runs the camp and seems to understand the power struggles within.

— Alan


#233

That was a tremendously satisfying scene. I really liked the fact that they didn’t dub in a bunch of the loud “punching” sound effects that they always use in network TV - the hits sounded real, despite doing damage far beyond what you’d typically see, again, on network TV.

I didn’t realize Bullock was a real historical figure. Other than Wild Bill, is anyone else?


#234

Sol Star (his partner), General Crook, Cy Tolliver, Swearengen, Tom Nuttal, E.B. Farnum, Calamity Jane, Dan Dority… not sure who else. I’m pretty sure Wyatt Earp will make an appearance next season.

Edit: also Charlie Utter and Jack McCall.

— Alan


#235

I absolutely loved the confrontation between Swearengen, the magistrate, and assorted killers. Very well played- did you notice that no one so much as blinked when the inevitable occurred?


#236

The town itself. The Doc. I wouldn’t be surprised if Alma Garret was based on someone real. Oh and the Cavalry brass was real. My wife swears, by the way, that the Captain who dealt with EB to get food and such was named “Captain Bub”. It sure sounds like it but I can’t find an episodic cast list to confirm. I can’t even find the name of Reverend Smith.

If he is named that, that has to be real. Or as author John Steakley (Armor, Vampire$) told me: “Bub? Shit, I can’t use your name in a book. No one would believe it.”


#237

Desslock:

It’s my understanding that basically everyone other than the minor characters (e.g. the two ‘kids’ that planned on scamming the saloons) are real, historical people.

I’m a bit of a history fan, so I know a little bit about Deadwood. In a way it ruins a lot of the surprises (e.g. Bullock was historically known as Deadwood’s first sheriff, which is why the appointment of that first guy last night threw me for a loop). And of course Wild Bill’s death at the hands of McCall was also not really a surprise to me, nor anyone else familiar with Deadwood’s past. Nor was the smallpox outbreak.

I guess I don’t really watch Deadwood for the plot surprises, it’s more about the characters and their interpretation. I remember reading that many historical documents were used as source materials for the first season. It’s why I love the interactions between the characters the most, it’s all about my enjoyment of the performances, rather than my need to see the plot advance. I do, after all, know generally where all the big plot threads will be advancing towards…

I will say that knowing the historical fate of certain characters is a bit like being an oracle, but it’s still fun to watch them march towards the inevitable!

/Eph


#238

Disclosure: My wife has an ancestor named Swearengen. Now she’s going around muttering “cocksucker!” when she’s pissed.


#239

The Captain was I believe “Captain Bub”. He was pretty funny - “I’d sooner get supplies from the fuckin’ Sioux.”

— Alan


#240

That makes me more interested in the show. Sorry for having to ask a stupid foreigner question, but US history post-Civil war up to the Spanish War is basically blank to me.