Monday, February 21, 2005

The New Western

Deadwood Season One Poster Posted by Hello

I have always loved westerns, ever since I was little and I would sit down with my brother-in-law or my dad and watch such amazing movies as The Magnificent Seven or Rio Bravo or A Fistfull of Dollars. I loved those movies. I loved the honor and the setting of the American West, where I grew up.

There haven't been many good westerns in recent years. The few good ones have been brought to us by Kevin Costner. I enjoyed Dances With Wolves and Wyatt Earp, and last year's Open Range was excellent. But they are rare.

Deadwood, however, gives me hope. It's an excellent series and I'd love to see others try to emulate it. It isn't simple or cliched. The characters are complex. They are not all honorable and moral people. Most of them have their own goals and their own desires, and they conflict with each other. The "good guys" aren't all good, and the "bad guys" aren't all bad. It's produced by HBO, so the show is adult and complicated. There is violence and nudity and bad language, and IMHO, that "adult" factor makes it more believable and interesting. I like complexity. I like characters to face real challenges and dilemmas.

It also includes Keith Carradine as Wild Bill Hickock, and Timothy Olyphant (an overlooked actor if there ever was one) as Seth Bullock, an ex-marshal who just wants to run a hardware business with his friend, but can't seem to escape doing the right thing (And he's gorgeous too). There are a couple of romantic arcs as well in the first season, none of which are uncomplicated.

Season One is out on DVD, and my husband and I rented it from Blockbuster. I'm really looking forward to season two, which starts on HBO on March 6th. I may just have to subscribe to HBO so I don't have to wait!

Oh, and if you want to read a little about the real Deadwood, South Dakota, then look here.


meljean said...

I think the closest thing I've seen to a western lately is the season of Firefly I finally got ahold of.

I do like the idea of the complicated characters -- it's so annoying when there are clear-cut villains and heroes. Ambiguity is so much more interesting.

Sigh. Don't have HBO. Will have to look for it on DVD.

Sam said...

Firefly (sigh) now there was a terrific series. I wish they would put that back on.

Love those westerns, and a sci-fi / western, well, just too good to be true!

(PS if you like unicorns, you may like the Secret of Shabaz - by my alter-ego Jennifer macaire)

Beverly said...


Saw the cover of your book in an ad, maybe in Publishers Weekly or Library Journal. It is on my list of books to take a closer look at.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for telling me that Beverly! Much appreciated!

Marianne Mancusi said...

Deadwood is an excellent show! Last year when Season 1 was on, my dh wanted to watch it and I was like "Ewh, a western?" But being the good wife that I am, I sat down anyway and was instantly converted into a Deadwood addict. I can't wait for Season 2 to start!! :-)