Monday, April 18, 2005

Deadwood: it's not your father's television show

Unless you are living under a rock (or worst yet don't have HBO), you've at least heard about the television series, Deadwood. It's a western, of sorts, unlike any western you ever dreamed you could watch in the comfort of your home while sitting back in the good ol' barkalounger. I watch the show religiously every Sunday (or at least play it back on my TIVO when I get a chance) and at the end of every episode, I shake my head in admiration and ask myself, "How did they get away with that script?"

You see, Deadwood is based on the wild west as it likely was, not as we grew up to believe it was on Gunsmoke. Whereas Marshall Dillon would always call out the bad guys and shoot them in an honest gunfight at the beginning of each show and then bury them on Boothill, characters on Deadwood tend to shoot people friends and enemies in the back, stab them unexpectedly or push them off cliffs at random moments. Then they dump the bodies at Mr. Wu's and his pigs eat them. Damn!

Deadwood is where characters like Wild Bill Hickcock and Calamity Jane really lived, fought, and died. And if the scriptwriters are true to the venacular of Deadwood at the time, everyone was inflicted with Tourette's Syndrome. Because every other word that comes out of the mouths of the characters on Deadwood (including women and children) begins with "f," ends with "k" and rhymes with 'suck' (which is coincidently part of another word many of the characters use frequently). I mean, you've got to love the simplicity of the dialogue:

WHERE'S YOUR FUKIN' HORSE?

HE'S IN THE FUKIN' STABLE.

WHAT'S HE FUKIN' DOING?

HOW THE FUK SHOULD I KNOW, YOU COCKSUCKER?

I think you get my fukin' point. Even Al Pacino's character in Scarface didn't use the fukin' word that many fukin' times in the entire movie as they do in ten minutes of Deadwood.

But the beauty of it is, we stop hearing the profanity and realize that this series is genius. The characters are all vile, yet they have more depth than any western we ever had to sit through growing up. It's history, yet it's entertaining.

It's kind of like what I was trying to elude to in my last post. It's like sending a camera back in time and watch history at its most fascinating worst.

So, my fukin' hat is off to the creators of Deadwood.

No comments: