Deadwood: Deadwood   Rewatch 
December 5, 2016 7:55 AM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

In year 1876, after executing a last act of justice as a Montana marshal, Seth Bullock relocates to a gold mining camp known as Deadwood, where he and partner Sol Star look to start a hardware business. Saloon owner Al Swearengen contends with a bungled robbery turned mass murder that threatens to incite mob violence throughout the camp. Wild Bill Hickok and his companions arrive in Deadwood.
posted by torisaur (24 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best cold-open ever. I was hooked even before the opening credits.
posted by entropicamericana at 8:13 AM on December 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

I still have 20 minutes left, but it was a delight to return to Deadwood. It's apparently been long enough where I've forgotten the details, such as how Bullock handles the lynch mob, and the double crossing of the dude from New York. It's weird seeing all these characters I had become so familiar with again from the beginning, before their adventures through the storylines and plots to come.

And geez, I'd forgotten Ian McShane could look that young! I'd also forgotten the verbosity of the scripts, which is ridiculous, given how iconic the lines and language became for the show.
posted by Atreides at 8:31 AM on December 5, 2016

I was a huge fan from the beginning, but when I introduced this show to my girlfriend (now wife) a number of years ago, it took her until the fourth episode to really get hooked.
posted by Falconetti at 11:14 AM on December 5, 2016

It took me a few episodes to get hooked too, but I'm immediately engaged again upon rewatch. I think of so much of the pleasure of this show as becoming acquainted with its many amazing characters. This can take an episode or three the first time, but rewatching is just like slipping on a fucking comfortable old pair of cocksucking slippers.
posted by MoonOrb at 12:55 PM on December 5, 2016 [3 favorites]

Those slippers would make a great xmas gift!
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 1:03 PM on December 5, 2016

Maybe as a stocking stuffer.
posted by MoonOrb at 1:29 PM on December 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

McShane's fake moustache is so obvious in the first episode, after you've seen the rest. In every other episode it fits his face properly, in this episode it just looks like a caterpillar. Also this is the best TV show ever made.
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:03 PM on December 5, 2016

I love how Doc Cochrane is introduced, prodding the brain of Trixie's client. He's a scientist at heart, and it's the first thing they reveal about him. He's one of my favourite characters. The lighting is so great in that scene, too
posted by torisaur at 2:52 PM on December 5, 2016 [5 favorites]

"It don't appeal to me." How many test shots did it take to come up with the perfect Look Of Bullock Regard. I only knew of Timothy Olyphant from The Office (though for some reason aware of his name?), and he fit perfectly into this role.

The bodybag guy's reaction when he walks in to Doc probing the gunshot is so awesome.

Garrett Dillahunt in these episodes made that sitcom he's on tolerable. Both of his characters are so, so incredible.

Oh, the Reverend. That dude looks exactly like a boss I had 15 years ago, which lends his eventual character arc an additional dimension for me. Cathartic!
posted by rhizome at 3:41 PM on December 6, 2016

I love this show so much. When I first watched it as it aired, it took months before a friend and I would stop prank-calling each other by just shouting "cock-suckah!" into each other's voicemail.

On a slightly more mature note, I really loved the contrast of the verbosity with the griminess of the place. I love that it was muddy so often, and people's union suits/underthings were often dirty; it felt much more "real" to me because of that.
posted by TwoStride at 4:42 PM on December 6, 2016

Yeah, this time around the costuming has really jumped out at me. Like, that show must have been a four-year wet dream for certain people in the credits. Interesting that they only got Directing and Sound Editing Emmys after the first season, where afterwards they got Makeup and Costumes as well.

The verbosity and the formality, yup. "First come, first to-be-served."
posted by rhizome at 4:53 PM on December 6, 2016

I absolutely love the Calamity Jane (Robin Weigert) character. I had no idea Weigert also had extensive support roles in Sons of Anarchy and Dexter.

Jewel (Geri Jewell, who is afflicted with cerebral palsy) is an anomaly in this rough and tumble prospecting town, but eventually adds a lot to the complexity that this show weaves.

So many complicated and compelling support characters on this show.

And 12 years has certainly been a long time.
posted by porpoise at 2:27 PM on December 11, 2016 [4 favorites]

I recently made my way through the whole series and one thing that struck me is how many people that hadn't quite became stars yet.

RE: Costuming IIRC, Janie Bryant did the costumes on Deadwood, and later went on to do "Mad Men."
posted by drezdn at 5:18 AM on December 12, 2016

So many complicated and compelling support characters on this show.

It's really this.

I dare you to look at that cast list. It's literally twenty-some deep. I could get financed/make an A-list movie with any random five of those actors. Or an HBO show.

Sure the main actors really meshed well, and everybody had very complex issues that hung over everything like some omnipotent Sword of Damocles, but you cross that with the actors really responding to their roles and the writing deals with real issues of the time*, and not treating the general public like idiots and you get Deadwood.

I wish that rumored movie was coming back, I haven't heard anything in months.

*Apparently they didn't actually say cocksucker so much, from what I read it was more like Yosemite Sam. Tarnation!
posted by Sphinx at 4:12 PM on December 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I haven't heard anything on the movie other than that it withered on the vine.

But, shit yeah, I love fiction (non-, too) that highlights what the said characters and their society cared about, their conflicts, and how those conflicts were resolved (or not).

I wonder if there's someone(s) at HBO who are whizzes at calling these shows or if it's just complete chance.

Rome was incredible.
Deadwood was incredible.
GoT is wildly popular.

Are there any HBO failures of note?
posted by porpoise at 7:05 PM on December 12, 2016

John from Cincinnati?
posted by drezdn at 5:15 AM on December 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

K Street? Vinyl? Luck?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:33 PM on December 13, 2016

I had no idea Weigert also had extensive support roles in Sons of Anarchy

I'm pretty sure 78% of SoA's audience were just people desperate to sate their Deadwood jones by any means available.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:21 PM on December 14, 2016 [6 favorites]

That's certainly why I started watching Justified.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 12:47 PM on December 15, 2016 [4 favorites]

I'm pretty sure

Damn. It's all coming back.

Good call, rhamphorhynchus.

Huh, Kristen Bell was in Deadwood in 2004, and starred as the eponymous Veronica Mars from 2004-2007. I'm suspecting she filmed Deadwood before starting on VM?

Bit of a shame that she hasn't been able to try on any "serious" roles since (she's had steady work in shows, any of those roles interesting?). She was cute in Bad Moms recently but that was a really shallow role.
posted by porpoise at 7:15 PM on December 19, 2016

Haha! My first ever MeFi post! I'm certainly along for the ride.

I am a huge fan of this show - so take all my comments with a huge grain of salt - but as far as pilots go, it's hard to beat this one. It introduces every major role - as well as their motivations and general character - swiftly and efficiently, while also introducing the camp itself as a real character. The very lawlessness of the endeavor frustrates any sort of law and order thinking, and that tension comes out from the very first scene.
posted by absalom at 10:22 PM on December 31, 2016 [2 favorites]

Bullock is just a ball of rage, isn't he? What possessed this man to open a hardware store?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:18 PM on January 15, 2017

Also, it sounded like those pigs were on a synthesizer.
It's a little disconcerting, having become familiar with the standard door creaks, screams and gun cocks that get used time and again.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:45 PM on January 15, 2017

Just started watching today, gave most of my thoughts on the thread for Episode 6 ("The Plague") but that opening scene keeps playing in my head.

Like Game of Thrones, this show introduces its protagonist sentencing a man to die for an offense that no modern audience would consider to be capital, and carries out the execution himself, and proves his honor in the, well, execution of it. But where in GoT this showed Ned Stark's belief in the necessity of The Wall and the Night's Watch, and his seemingly meaningless code of honor that "the man who hands down the sentence must swing the blade" (which becomes meaningful at the end of that season), Marshal Bullock's decision is a different thing.

Basically, he is given Pontius Pilat's dilemma, and chooses the opposite way. Instead of "the law will not have this man's blood on its hands," it's, "the law will assert itself in place of mob violence." And while we're given to approve of Bullock's choice a lot more than Pilate's, I'm not sure that it's clear which option is actually better.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:20 PM on April 30, 2017 [3 favorites]

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