In shops now
For the three years that “Deadwood” aired on HBO, I sailed right past it, opting instead to watch other original programming that concerned fancy shoes, dumb boys and a family funeral home. I really had no desire to see this show about the Old West. I mean, like…ew. It features way too much facial hair, lots of mud in the middle of the road, and oftentimes, a lack of indoor plumbing or common decency. That being said, I have watched all three seasons in under a week, often getting miffed over the fact that each disc only has two or three episodes, and I lose time switching them in the player. For those diehard fans that are well-acquainted with this story and its characters, there is no need to explain. For the rest of the newbies, like moi, it’s 1877 in a lawless gold-mining camp town. We see a myriad of fantastic characters pass through or settle here. Among them, Wild Bill, Calamity Jane and Wyatt Earp. The third season finds Mr. Corporate, George Hearst rolling into the camp to buy up every inch. As a result, the population of Deadwood that had, up until this point, been busy picking each other off, must instead unite. This little street with brothels, a school, a hardware store, a newspaper office, all show the entrepreneurial spirit of America. Taking a look at this story is like watching a game of Monopoly, only with fantastically vivid characters. Timothy Olyphant and Ian McShane lead the pack of A-level talent here, through the brawls, sex, shootings, and even a little gold-digging that make up a day in the life of the camp. And what it so amazing to watch as your fly through these episodes (and what is accomplished better here than in any western film I’ve seen), is the delicate balance between the violent gun-slinging ways and a sense of decorum. It’s a world on the edge and you never know what to expect in the next moment. And that, dear chums, is worth watching…as dirty as it might be.