Jump to content
LCVG
Romier S

HBO's Deadwood

Recommended Posts

Anyone catch this after The Soprano's tonight? My wife and I decided to stay tuned in and give the show a chance. I'm usually not much for westerns to be truthful but with HBO I give a little leeway since they have yet to fail me.

 

First of all let me say that Ian McShane's portrayal of Al (the bartender/proprietor who runs the whore house) was phenominal and I'd watch the show just to continue seeing what he does next. They did a great job of pushing forward several up and coming storylines and also layed the groundwork for what to expect of these characters. Seth and Sol look to be the main focus of the show. Thus far Seth's inability to leave the law behind to sell goods to the town of Deadwood will more than likely prove to be a thorn in his side. Wild Bill Hickock and his party of friends bring an interesting dynamic to the show (especially his behind-the-back dealing friend who supposedly is only looking out for Wild Bill). The actress playing Calamity Jane left me a little cold. She did a good job bringing the character through but I will admit to that voice/accent grating on my nerves HEAVILY.

 

So many others characters to try and cover that I wont bother to do so however I must mention Brad Dourif! He continues to prove how excellent a character actor he is, especially in these quirky and uncomfortable little roles. This looks like yet another quality drama to add to the viewing rotation on HBO. At the very least it will hold me over until (..and I pray to god that they do) HBO brings back Carnivale for another season. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Damn, that started tonight? I thought it was next weekend....crap. Didn't set the PVR for it.

 

Hopefully I can catch a rerun somewhere....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Im gonna watch it tonight with the new Sopranos. Its nice when your cable has HBO on demand

 

capt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hopefully I can catch a rerun somewhere....

 

Seeing as how this is HBO, I like your chances... :) (Actually, I think the deuce is rerunning it tonight at 9, maybe?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally posted by CaptDS9E@Mar 22 2004, 06:03 AM

Im gonna watch it tonight with the new Sopranos. Its nice when your cable has HBO on demand

 

capt

Doh! I forgot all about that. Since I'm out of town until next week, hopefully that will be a solution...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps its an early episode thing but I'm not enjoying the series much. My expectations for a Western are perhaps a bit too high as well..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Deadwood instantly grabbed me. Carnival did not. In fact I only watched the first few episodes of Carnival and didn't feel like I had a need to watch any others. But Deadwood I thought was great. I immediately liked the characters and there is some really good potential for some great stories in the setting that they have.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Terry Gross interviewed David Milch, Deadwood's creator, executive producer and head writer today. Link to page with audio interview

 

I think I'll make an effort to see the show now; it sounds interesting and Milch was apparently behind some of the things I liked about NYPD Blues. From Milch's bio from the Fresh Air site:

 

Milch left a teaching job at Yale University to go to Hollywood and work on the show Hill Street Blues. He also worked on NYPD Blue, for which he won two Emmys. Milch is a former heroin addict and alcoholic.

-j

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I caught the show tonight, and wow! I love it. Milch's love of language really comes through. The small touches of humor, the strong "minor" characters, it's all great.

 

It's amazing (and gratifying) to see how much history is in the story. For example, it was interesting to see the doc compliment Jane on her nursing skills -- later in life she helped nurse the sick in a town stricken by smallpox.

 

Echoing tonigth's episode (slightly), Hickock was killed while playing poker in Deadwood by a man who believed Hickock killed his brother. They say the term "dead man's hand" in poker comes from the hand Hickock was holding at the time -- a pair of eights and a pair of aces.

 

Loved the show. I'm adding it to Arrested Development on my must-see list.

 

-j

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I finally saw the 1st episode Sat. (thank you HBO OnDemand), and last night's episode. Great show! Looks like I'll be glued to HBO from 9 till 11 every Sunday now :green:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I watched the first show, and liked it, but to me the dialogue seems rather anachronistic.

 

Everything I've learned about the old west, I've learned from watching movies, and granted most Hollywood movies tone down the profanity, especially the older westerns.

 

But if one of you can assure me that they used words like "C0cksucker", PU$$Y, etc, in the Old West, preferrably with a source, I'll believe it and retrain my sensibilities to accept this. Once I get past this, I'm sure I'll enjoy it all the more.

 

Carlos.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally posted by Carlucci@Mar 29 2004, 10:16 AM

But if one of you can assure me that they used words like "C0cksucker", PU$$Y, etc, in the Old West, preferrably with a source, I'll believe it and retrain my sensibilities to accept this. Once I get past this, I'm sure I'll enjoy it all the more.

A defense from NY Newsday

 

According to Milch, it's a much closer approximation of the language of the real West, that's what. "That's the way they spoke," he said. "I researched the show a good, long time - over a year - and went through a tremendous amount of primary material. And the one thing upon which everyone agrees was that the profanity and obscenity was astounding. It was overwhelming. People who would visit would report that they simply couldn't believe the way people spoke out there."

 

Note that Milch said "primary" material. He's talking about accounts of Deadwood in letters and diaries from the time in which his show is set and oral histories collected by the Library of Congress' Living Memory project.

 

Some skepticsm from NY Daily News

 

Milch defends the excessively crude language of "Deadwood" by saying it was historically documented, and altogether fitting for a town with constant danger and no laws. That's true, though several language experts contacted by the Daily News, including Geoffrey Numberg of National Public Radio, expressed great skepticism that some of the curse words heard in "Deadwood," but not documented until a century after the time the drama is set, were actually used then.

 

-j

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally posted by Robot Monkey@Mar 29 2004, 09:48 AM

Milch defends the excessively crude language of "Deadwood" by saying it was historically documented, and altogether fitting for a town with constant danger and no laws. That's true, though several language experts contacted by the Daily News, including Geoffrey Numberg of National Public Radio, expressed great skepticism that some of the curse words heard in "Deadwood," but not documented until a century after the time the drama is set, were actually used then.

 

-j

Thanks for the links, Jay!

 

I'm no cunning linguist, but I have no doubt that they cussed profusely, and I'm glad to see a show attempt to approximate this, but it's just the words chosen seem out of place. From the 1st article...

 

... the salty language of the 1870s wouldn't necessarily be the same as today's profanity.

 

And that's what keeps ripping me out of the mood when watching this show.

 

But some of the "choice words" of that era would probably sound silly or worse, ineffective by today's standards. I was just listening to the NPR piece, and in it he says that harsh language then, as now, is used in the same way as a Gorilla's thumping on his chest -- as an intimidation tactic to express just how far you were willing to go in a confrontation, if it came to it. I hadn't really thought of it in this way, but it is paramount to understanding their choices.

 

So here's the dilemma: The movie-makers have to use words that have that an effect on us now, in today's world, to illicit the same reaction that totally different words might have drawn in Deadwood, which leads to the out-of-place feeling I'm getting. But at least now I understand the reason for it.

 

Since I now more fully understand this dilemma, I'm going to be more willing to forgive the language anachronisms and get on with enjoying a fine show.

 

Carlos.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I understand your point, Carlos. For my part, I enjoy Milch's dialogue in the same manner as David Mamet's dialogue.

 

Both writers love language and come up with strange constructions and rythmms that would seem artificial to me in any other context. But within the context of their stories, it definitely works for me.

 

-j

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I completely agree, Monkeyboy. I adore the dialogue in Deadwood, and wouldn't have it any other way. I do wish, however, that they'd branch out beyond "fucking," "cocksucker," and "pussy." There must be more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally posted by stencil@Mar 29 2004, 01:12 PM

I do wish, however, that they'd branch out beyond "fucking," "cocksucker," and "pussy." There must be more.

There is. This is from next weeks episode:

 

"Swearinger, I knew you was an asshat from the very minute I laid eyes on you. Drop iron."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I asked my father, a historical novelist, about the accuracy of the curse words. He said they did indeed talk coarsely for their time, but many of the words would sound tame, even laughable, to modern ears. Do the Deadwood characters drink a lot? I remember Dad saying once that cowboys drank constantly, beginning with awakening and easily drinking a quart of spirits each day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally posted by adamsappel@Mar 29 2004, 01:57 PM

Do the Deadwood characters drink a lot?

 

< deadwood dialect > Only the drunk ones ya limp dick cock sucker. ;) < /deadwood dialect >

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm also loving Deadwood. At first the language felt a bit out of place to me too, but now I'm diggin it. It's not so much about historical accuracy to me as it is about giving the world of Deadwood it's own detailed, consistant linguistic style, and I think they did an amazing job there. Helps make the whole thing more convincing for me, not as an accurate portrayal of the time and place, but realilstic enough that it could have been...

 

I also love that "Montana" is from Etobicoke, Ontario (right beside my city). A kick-ass Canadian gunslinger in the wild west. Sweet! :)

 

I've been to Deadwood too. Visited the saloon where Wild Bill played cards and sat where he was when he got shot :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First episode was great, missed the 2nd one twice now, thankfully it's showing tonight. Yay for DVR's. HBO continues it's run of what for me is truly must see tv.

 

As a side note. that Fresh Aire interview was excellent, and the primary reason I caught the first episode to begin with. I'm constantly grateful for Wisconsin Public Radio for picking up this show after it not being here for so many years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...