Deadwood


#161

Yeah, he’s pretty clearly all about himself over the long haul. He knows that as Deadwood grows and people come/go, he needs to change how he operates. It’s obviously not just coincidence that he has toned his shit down as Bullock/Hickok arrive in town.


#162

Like I said weeks ago, I think we’ll see Al and Cy playing bad guy at different times through the season, depending on motivations and so on. This is one of the things I’m really liking about Deadwood. Everybody’s being shown with good and bad points. It’s been that way right from the start, when Bullock came off as a by-the-book lawman at one moment and a quickie hangman the next. The only character who hasn’t shown glimpses of a good side is Cy, who’s been pretty nasty from day one.


#163

Like I said weeks ago, I think we’ll see Al and Cy playing bad guy at different times through the season, depending on motivations and so on. This is one of the things I’m really liking about Deadwood. Everybody’s being shown with good and bad points. It’s been that way right from the start, when Bullock came off as a by-the-book lawman at one moment and a quickie hangman the next. The only character who hasn’t shown glimpses of a good side is Cy, who’s been pretty nasty from day one.

One thing that separates Cy and Al though is loyalty, and I forsee a lot of conflict coming from this. Even though Al has to deal with Farnum’s bull, he has the pretty devout Dority and Johnny, and there’s a certain connection between Trixie and him. All I’ve seen from Cy’s subordinates and friends is constant disgust. After the beating of the kids out in public, I think it’s evident he’s going to isolate himself the community and any allies and Swearengen will take advantage of this.


#164

Yeah, Cy left one of his oldest friends in the wood to die. All of his employees now know that. Plus Al now has a big hold over Cy - he knows where the smallpox came from.


#165

He actually had someone TAKE him out to die.

Though I don’t think the origin of the smallpox will matter in the long run, because it seems to have been taken care of fairly painlessly (as far as plagues go).


#166

And that was mostly because Al knew how to deal with it in the first place, as he’s been through it before.

I see Joanie and Ricky Jay perhaps doing business with Al in the near future, much to Cy’s chargrin.

Sol attempting to get close to Trixie will set Al off. Cy will get word of this, and attempt to employ Bullock/Star to do something to Al or his businesses.

Oh well, it’s been hard to predict the show so far…

— Alan


#167

I guess it’s Powers Boothe’s turn to be the evilest guy in Deadwood. The conversation with Ricky Jay was kinda rough.


#168

Motherfucking cocksuckers.

Sorry, any topic related to Deadwood should have that randomly thrown about.


#169

Deadwood’s what’s been keeping me enthralled with HBO’s Sunday Night lineup, as I’ve been finding The Sopranos fairly lackluster this season.

Everything in this week’s Deadwood was incredible and nuanced.

The interaction between Bullock and the Widow Garret is really, really fun to watch. When that smoldering lust finally bursts into flame, whoo-eeee. I think it’s gonna be a good’un. I was actually convinced that straight-laced Bullock would never cheat on his absent wife, but now that we know that she’s actually his brother’s widow… Lots of potential.

Sol’s relationship with Trixie is also likely to be tumultuous, especially considering the Swearengen factor. Al’s the kind of man who would easily have a rival for his affections rubbed out, but Sol has hidden depths if I don’t miss my mark.

Special kudos this week to the preacher and the doctor (Brad Dourif) for their amazingly turned in performances. Especially Dourif, whom I remember fondly as particularly creepy in Lynch’s “Dune” movie and of course his more recent time spent as Wormtongue in the LotR.

Really enjoying Deadwood, not quite as much as I loved Carnivale, but still really fantastic stuff.


#170

I’m already wondering how Swearengen can use the eventual affair between Bullock and Alma Garrett for his own best benefit.

Cocksuckers.


#171

… and we learn that the Doc has been caught graverobbing, what was it? 7 times? That fits. A genius and excellent doctor frustrated by his lack of access to bodies to explore (cadavers weren’t all that common back then). Like in the first episode when he stuck the instrument through the man’s head.

I love that character more and more with each episode!

I’m also interested in what’s going on with the Preacher. It looks like the Chinese get some screen time soon too… Deadwood has so many ancilliary characters to explore.


#172

I dunno. Maybe it’s just because I was tired on Sunday night, but I found this week’s Deadwood, um, dead. Really dull. Just MOTS, with more sexual tension between Alma and Bullock, more Trixie standing up to Al and Al taking it, more drunken Jane, more Joanie talking about getting away from Cy. Good character development, but a whole episode of this? That never really went anywhere? I liked the insanely long dream sequence in The Sopranos better than this, and that’s saying something.

I just don’t have as much of an attachment to these characters yet, so episodes like this get my mind wandering. Also, there’s no one character to latch on to. This is really an ensemble show, and I think that’s going to cause serious problems with popularity in the long run. Makes the show more of a soap. A strong central figure would really make a difference. The Sopranos, for instance, would never have turned into a phenomenon if not for the focus on Tony. One of the big problems of the past couple of years with that show is that it’s gotten off-track with too many supporting characters and plots. Deadwood’s already got that problem, and if there isn’t some sort of dramatic payoff tying together all these plot threads or a more singular focus soon, I think people will start to drift away. I know that I will, anyways.

Only moment that stood out for me this week was Cy’s attack on whatsisname with the cards. That was one intense scene. Powers Boothe has been fantastic. Talk about an air of menace. He steals every scene.

Oh, yeah, almost forgot. Cocksucker!


#173

Because it’s not entirely character driven. The show isn’t called “The Swearengens” or “The Bullocks” or “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.”. Some episodes will have character plots, others will have story plots, or even town plots. The town itself is practically a character and the story drawn into one.

1x09 is a plot-builder episode; it sets some things up, before getting entangled in perhaps bigger messes down the road.

— Alan


#174

[swearengen]Episode 1x09 is where a bunch of random cocksuckers have to form a motherfucking government, so as to show the government cocksuckers that the fucking town can run itself, but not so fucking much that the government thinks the cocksuckers in town are fucking seceding. Plotwise, it sets up some motherfucking threads whereas certain cocksuckers with “official” fucking titles now may let their phantom-fucking-powers get to their fucking heads, re: E.B. Farnum. Sure, the interpersonal-fucking-relationship threads progress at the same fucking rate, but it does show just how much a scary fucking cocksucker that Bella Union cocksucker can be. It also shows that Swearengen may not, in fact, be the nastiest fucking cocksucker in the whole motherfucking town.[/swearengen]


#175

lol, i could practically hear his voice as I read that :)


#176

No shit. I wasn’t trying to argue that point. I was saying that the show will suffer because of this, because the average viewer wants at least one strong, compelling character to follow week after week. Somebody has to step away from the ensemble cast and be the central figure, or the show’s going to bleed viewers. How do you get people watching now, for instance? How can you come into a show like this, with at least a dozen characters sharing screen time and motivations and plots, and have a clue about what’s going on? Miss one show and you’re lost. Soaps at least air every day, so people can get caught up easier.

You can incorporate most of the other characters and plots, by the way, and still feature a central character or two. You just have to keep an overall story arc dealing with one person and a central dilemma or two and tie a lot of the ancillary stuff into this. Maybe Deadwood’s still going to do that. But right now, everything seems really scattered. Good overview of a town and all, but way too episodic to keep everyone’s interest for 60 minutes.

I mean, did anybody give a damn about Joanie this past week? Charlie Utter’s a great character, but has he been involved in anything interesting so far? What was the point of his conversation with Joanie? What was the point of yet another freak out by the preacher? How many times do we have to see Jane try to leave town? Yes, we get that everyone hates the hotel owner. And that Bullock and Alma want to get it on. And that Cy is a prick.

And so on and so on. Nothing but set up after set up, and all of this stuff’s already been set up again and again. We’re seeing variations of the same scenes over and over. This past week’s episode almost seemed like a repeat.


#177

Its not TV, its HBO!!


#178

Keeps my interest, and co-workers, so either it just hasn’t hit on them yet (maybe like when we get to season four and we see a lot of these I’ll get your point) but currently - I’m lovin it.

Hell, episodes of The Wire seemingly had little going for it but it was still great - I’d even go so far to say the best series on HBO last year. Not because they had filler but because the filler had purpose.

— Alan


#179

I think that because the season is only 13 episodes long, people are much less likely to be “bored” by the lack of a central character. In a 22 episode run, you need a recurring focus. With only 13, you can have two or 3 characters with a smaller focus (Cy, Bullock, Al) and get away with 1 or 2 truly group shows (like it’s been said, this one was about the town).


#180

Would I be far off base if I said The West Wing has thrived for 5 seasons with no central character, and like Deadwood, is about a place (the White House) and the many characters that inhabit it. Not to mention it’s done in 22 episode seasons.