Deadwood only lasted three seasons before HBO cancelled it. That fans are still clamouring for a spin-off movie will give you some idea of how good this show actually was.
A gritty, authentic look at the old west and at a town and people who really existed, Deadwood is surely amongst the best TV shows ever made. There are dozens of excellent performances in the three seasons but Timothy Olyphant and Ian McShane stand out nonetheless.
Olyphant played the straight talking law-man, Seth Bullock, who wishes to start a business and raise a family in the lawless Deadwood. McShane plays Al Swearengen, owner of the local bar and brothel and all around villain. Their characters progress as the series goes on and we come to see both characters as people as opposed to just as ‘good’ or ‘bad’.
By the time the show ended, McShane’s Swearengen had grown into one of the most complete and charismatic characters ever to grace our screens. His capacity to make the profane sound beautiful was uncanny and his general charisma made him impossible not to love.
This show demonstrated what a TV show could be in the modern age. None of the gimmicks of previous offerings were required here, just fine writing, fine acting, beautiful sets and authenticity.
If you haven’t seen Deadwood, you are really missing out.
If you have, then I suggest trying Justified to keep you entertained.
Who knows, maybe we’ll get lucky and we’ll finally get a spin-off movie someday soon.
Reviewer: Dave Coughlan