Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Deadwood The Complete Series|
Actors: Ian McShane, Timothy Olyphant
Genres: Westerns, Television
The Black Hills of South Dakota. Witness the birth of an American frontier town - and the ruthless power struggle between its just and unjust pioneers. In an age of plunder and greed, the richest gold strike in American h... more »
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The pinnacle of modern storytelling.
Jonathan Kissel | Evansville, IN | 12/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Of all the TV series I have watched beginning to end, Deadwood is the one I keep coming back to. Even though I've seen every episode countless times, I still pick up something new with each viewing. It still makes me laugh. It still makes me think. It still gives me chills, and it still makes me cry. It is a brilliant man, executive producer and head writer David Milch, at the peak of his powers as a storyteller. Watching Deadwood is like reading a 1200 page novel from 150 years ago. Broad themes in a small setting, complex and conflicted characters, and detailed scenery make for a completely immersive experience.
The plot of the series revolves around where order and community come from. Deadwood was settled outside of U.S. territory in the 1870's after a gold rush, thus leaving it in complete anarchy. Each of the three seasons is well-structured in terms of conflict. The first season deals with how the inhabitants of the town arrange themselves in this lawless town. The second season has the varying factions band together to thwart an invasive government. The third season pits the now-legitimate town against the hyper-capitalism of mining magnate George Hearst. Within that structure is several smaller stories that both manage to stand alone and meld with the larger themes.
The real strength of Deadwood is the characters. Milch has created perfectly fleshed-out portrayals of historical figures and some made-up ones, too. Saloon owner Al Swearengen is a ruthless operator who cannot help but long for an easier, more peaceful way. Sheriff Seth Bullock demands justice from those around him, but constantly surrenders to his temper and his libido. Calamity Jane is a many layered character, tough and kind, offensive and caring, vulnerable and impenetrable all at the same time. These are only a sampling of the many deep and conflicted characters in the show. By the third season, there were nearly 30 cast regulars, all of which were people you genuinely cared about.
The only thing that could keep people away from Deadwood is the language. Milch is a lover of dialogue, and he writes in complicated verse. More than one viewing is required to even catch the most basic plots and motivations. What can be equally off-putting is the vulgarity. Those with sensitve ears can expect to be bombarded with f-bombs on a semi-sentence basis. If you're having a hard time getting through the first couple episodes, check out the extras on the first season. Milch explains why he wrote the way he did in a way that made perfect sense to me, both from a creative and an historical sense. In those extras, he will divulge a lot of spoilers, but it's far better to experience the series than be turned off by its profanity.
The Complete DVD set, in addition to the many commentaries and extras included in the original single season releases, contains new material that makes the upgrade worth it. Milch explains where he would've taken Deadwood had he been allowed to continue it in the most valuable addition. A lengthy roundtable discussion with the actors is very entertaining. Also included is actor Titus Welliver giving a handful of convincing impressions of actors auditioning for the part of Swearengen. The size of this set also equals one single season release, so if your shelf space is limited, the complete series set gets another plus.
In closing, Deadwood affected me more than any TV show I've ever watched. I jumped out of my chair to cheer on Dan while he fought Hearst's man Captain Turner in a brutal fight to the death. I quote Calamity Jane's beautiful description of a revealing dream. I cried when Jewel asks Doc to "give her a whirl." I could feel the joy in the town after Tom Nuttal's big ride. For anyone who wants the most out of their TV shows, Deadwood is truly perfect."
Don't Call Or Come Over While I'm Watching Deadwood
L. Shirley | fountain valley, ca United States | 10/18/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"So, I must confess. I am a "Deadwood" junkie. I have purchased the complete series and look forward each evening to spending time with these bigger then life characters based on the gritty mining camp of Deadwood(Don't call or come over between 10 and 11 PM, I will not answer the phone or door!).I even love sitting through the opening title sequence each and every time.
Legendary characters Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane mix in with the fictional characters who are some pretty gritty and most often lecherous people, who speak like they were brought up on the King's English, but may also set a new record for the most swear words in any program. There is also quite a bit of sex, nudity and violence. And although all of that only add to the "ambiance" of the setting, it is certainly not one for the kiddies or anyone who cringes at 4 letter(and longer) words.
Here is a little about the opening of the series, from there I was completely hooked.
Episode 1: "Deadwood"
"No law at all in Deadwood...is that true?"
This of course, is the episode that will introduce you and hook you on all the fun and the characters that grow throughout the series and grow on you.It will be hard to chose a favorite. They are all shall we say "charismatic" in their own special way...
Ex Montana Marshall, has rolled into town with business partner Sol Star. They open a hardware business for the miners of the camp. It isn't long before Bullock meets up with the legendary Wild Bill Hickok, and also is at odds with the owner of the "Gem" saloon, the formidable Al "pardon my French" Swearengen. Swearengen seems to be the Godfather of the the camp. He has his finger in every pie, and nobody seems to make a move without his approval. Al may at first rub you the wrong way with his crude style, but I have to say, that he has become my absolute favorite of the series. This episode has commentary with writer/creator David Milch as an option.
The muddy midway of Deadwood comes alive in this very real series. The cast of the series is marvelous. Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, Molly Parker, Jim Beaver, Brad Dourif, William Sanderson, Powers Boothe, and Keith Carradine(Wild Bill), will all draw you in immediately.The music is so good I bought the Season 1 soundtrack Deadwood: Music From HBO Original Series(see my review for CD details) that mixes short quotes from the series(also explicit) with some western style music and some great blues. Each episode runs about 50 minutes.
My 5 stars rating is for the entire series, each and every episode. By the way the clarity of the picture is excellent and the sounds of the Old West will come alive in your living room.
I bought each season individually as soon as they came out, but if you haven't got around to buying them yet, or if you know someone who would kill or die for this series for Christmas, now is the time to pre-order. The deal is a good one at this time(I paid much more buying them separately). Prices do change though so check each season separately as well when you are ready to order(take shipping, if any into consideration)
Check out this great series..be careful though, it's addicting!
Saddle Up for one heck of a ride and..."A Hell of a Place to Make Your Fortune"......Laurie
By the way - you can also get the single discs with 2 or 3 episodes on each disc - so if you just wanted to check it out, you could start with:Dead Wood: The First Season, Volume One(the first 2 episodes), but then again, watch for a good deal - buying them one disc at a time can get expensive, but nice to know they are out there in case any need replacing or you just want to check it out.
Here is another place to check for best deal going at your time of purchase:Deadwood: The Complete Seasons 1-3
More for western lovers:
The Outrage paul newman(new on dvd)
GORE VIDAL'S BILLY THE KID(val kilmer is billy)
Rage At Dawn / Abilene Townoldies but goodies for randy scott fans
For Those Left Hanging...
Psychologist | CA | 04/03/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"...and bummed by the loose ends, don't worry. It all turns out well. As a lifelong South Dakotan and a history major I can tell you it all ends well. Yes, George Hearst did fix the election and steal the office of Sheriff away from Seth Bullock. Bullock had been a U.S. congressman from Montana before coming to Deadwood, though, and had friends in Washington. When they found out that Hearst had fixed the sheriff's race, they appointed Seth Bullock U.S. Marshall for the Dakota Territory. That gave him authority over all law enforcement in the area, canceling out Hearst's move. Bullock would meet a young Teddy Roosevelt in the Dakotas and they became lifelong friends. Bullock even lead the inaugural parade when Roosevelt became President of the United States."
HBO Is Trying to Make Amends
Michael B. Druxman | Austin, TX | 01/31/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"DEADWOOD was one of HBO's finest series and was certainly the best western television series ever produced. It had a compelling storyline based on actual events, fascinating true-to-life characters, gritty, realistic production values and the most X-rated dialogue ever heard on the tube.
When the show was suddenly cancelled after the 3rd season without giving the story or characters a proper conclusion, viewers were not just upset. They were angry.
Now, HBO Video is trying to make partial amends by releasing DEADWOOD, THE COMPLETE SERIES, a 19-disc box set that not only contains all 36 episodes of the series, but also a Bonus Disc that has series creator David Milch strolling through the DEADWOOD set and talking about how he would have ended the series had there been a 4th season.
Like the rest of the series, most of that final season would have been based on actual historical events and would have included a huge fire that destroyed the town.
Also on the extra disc is a documentary about the real Deadwood after the fire, plus a hilarious audition reel featuring series regular Titus Welliver.
© Michael B. Druxman"