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Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The all TV post

Look! A post that is not about my new house or my fertility. Dedicated to my dear husband John, who is even now ferrying his extremely British cousin Gerard back to his hotel in Georgetown as I lounge around on the couch in my pajamas. I would be busily reading other people’s blogs or checking email, except that for some reason about half of the Internet appears to be down.

So instead, the post that John has been bugging me to write about our new favorite show, Deadwood. Have you seen it? I’m sure it is not to everyone’s taste. First of all, it is a western. That threw me off for a little while and I thought I wouldn’t enjoy it. I was wrong! Second, it is violent. Seriously violent. And dirty. Not sexy dirty – literally dirty. I find myself wishing that the characters would just grab a washcloth from time to time, thinking for the love of God, just wipe the dirt off your face! And the swearing! Wow, is there a lot of swearing in this show. I had no idea there were so many ways to use the words “fucker,” “c*cksucker” and “c#nt” in dialogue. Swearing aside, the show is very well written. I’m always surprised when we get to the end of an episode because I get that caught up in the story.

And the characters are actually multi-dimensional, which is a nice change for TV. One of the main characters is the saloon owner who runs the town – Al Swearengen. When you first see him, you think, ok, obvious bad guy. He’s got a million scams going. He orders people killed. He beats up one of his whores because she shoots a customer who was hurting her. But then bit by bit, they reveal more about him. He saved a crippled woman from a terrible fate and hired her to cook and clean in the saloon. He shows mercy and compassion for the minister who has seizures. He is actually looking out for the town of Deadwood even as he looks out for himself.

The main good guy, Bullock, has layers too (like an onion). Yes, he’s all noble and sheriff-y, but he also cheats on his wife, and takes other actions he later regrets. He’s got the greatest clench and stare-down since Clint Eastwood. But even the lesser characters are really well-drawn. Swearengen’s main henchman, Dan (a Ronnie Van Zandt lookalike) had some great lines. And the weasely hotel owner/mayor of Deadwood (who was in Blade Runner and had two brothers named Darryl on Newhart) is just appalling in his underhandedness and scheming, but you also feel sorry for him sometimes. The actress playing Calamity Jane is awesome. So are the actors who portray the town doctor, the prospector Ellsworth, Bullock’s business partner Sol and Trixie the whore who wants to become a bookkeeper.

I’ve already said way more than I meant to about this show. See, that’s how good it is. I was also going to talk about my growing addiction to Television Without Pity and how I’m still pissed off about them killing Boone off on Lost. But I’ve already gone on for long enough.

Edited to add: This was written Tuesday night, before I realized that blogger was one of the many, many sites I could not access.