(Rolling Stone) "The Best Drama on Television" is back with the third season on DVD! Timed to coincide with Father's Day, HBO will release Deadwood: The Complete Third Season DVD on June 12, 2007. Watch as the lawless era ... more »of Deadwood comes to an end. This DVD is loaded with bonus features including two featurettes, audio commentaries and more.DVD Features:
""Deadwood" either is your cup of tea or isn't, and if it isn't, then you probably have no business even considering prchasing these DVDs; the third season in't gonna change your mind. If it IS your cup of tea, and you're just wondering whether or not the third season meets the high marks set by the first two seasons, allow me to answer: it does. In some cases, it even surpasses them.
The third season finds the camp in a general tizzy about the upcoming elections for mayor and sheriff, and Al Swearengen in a bit more specific tizzy about the impact the arrival of George Hearst has had on his life and livelihood. In a sense, the entire season is about the power play between these two titans, with Cy Tolliver trying to edge himself into the mix somewhere and Seth Bullock trying to figure out what his place is in the whole mess.
Amongst the other plot threads explored in this season: Jane's growing friendship with the increasingly troubled Joanie Stubbs; Alma's opening a Deadwood bank; the feud between Steve and Hostetler; the oddly touching relationship between Trixie and Sol; Elsworth's marriage to Alma, which may not prove to be the bed of roses he had hoped for; the appearance in town of the Earp brothers, and of a troupe of actors; and, of course, Seth Bullock's ever-present willingness to be grumpy with the wrong person, Farnum's weasly nature, and Merrick's desire to write about it all.
The plots don't matter much, though. The dialogue and the acting are what make this show great. "Deadwood," in its three seasons, had so many iconic moments that it makes most other shows look like film-school projects in comparison.
In addition to the regular cast standouts -- Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, W. Earl Brown, William Sanderson, Brad Dourif, Molly Parker, Powers Boothe, Robin Weigert, and so on, ALL of whom do Emmy-caliber work -- I think special mention needs to go to Gerald McRaney, who turned up right at the end of season two but becomes an integral character in the third. His portrayal of Hearst is just awesome. Not that he's better than anyone else on the show; he just immediately fits in with the tone of the show, so much so that it really feels as if his character had been there all along, lurking in the shadows somewhere.
Much has been written about the fact that HBO decided to cancel the series, and pretty unexpectedly; but don't fret too much about the show ending on a cliffhanger. Not all plot points are resolved, but there is at least a sort of closure; it's like the first two seasons, where it feels as if a chapter has ended, but the novel will continue. Well, it looks like the novel WON'T be continuing -- HBO has claimed that there will be two two-hour movies to wrap things up, but no filming dates seem to have been set, and it's been months since anyone had anything to say about that project -- but if the series has to end with the close of the third season, I won't feel as if I was cheated too terribly badly. I'd prefer it had run for ten or twelve years, but hey, we're lucky the doggone thing ever even got made."
N. Durham | Philadelphia, PA | 03/25/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The third, and possibly final, season of HBO's critically acclaimed Deadwood had it's share of slow moving moments to be sure, but the series as a whole lived up to the excellent precedent set by the previous two seasons of the show. As the third season opens, sheriff Seth Bullock (Timothy Olyphant) makes a run for re-election, which gets side tracked by forging an uneasy alliance with Al Swearengen (Ian McShane) against the vendictive George Hearst (Gerald McRaney) who comes to the camp with some deadly plans for everyone involved. The lives of newly weds Alma Garret (Molly Parker) and Whitney Ellsworth (Jim Beaver), as well as Sol (John Hawkes) and Trixie (Paula Malcomson) are in jeopardy as Hearst prepares to wreak bloody havoc, which is mainly what this season of the series is focused on. Also during this season, we witness the recovery of Cy (Powers Boothe), as well as bonding between Calamity Jane (Robin Weigert) and Joanie (Kim Dickens), and the debilitating health of Doc Cochran (Brad Dourif). If you've been a fan of the show for some time, you know what to expect with Deadwood in terms of it's vulgarity and violence, so if you're new to the show, you won't really be won over by anything here. That being said, the third season of Deadwood is some truly great TV regardless, and the ensemble cast as usual is superb; with Olyphant, McShane, and McRaney being the best of the bunch. As the previous reviewer stated, if this is indeed the final season of the show with no other kind of resolution, there isn't any real cliffhanger that leaves the viewer cursing at the screen (a la Carnivale). That being said, hopefully this isn't the last hurrah for Deadwood, and there will be another chapter before these characters ride off into the sunset."
Artful dialogue, compelling characters and raw, deadly actio
Eddie Lancekick | Pacific Northwest | 07/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What I loved about season one of Deadwood was how it strived to be more authentic in its set than many Western television series. The streets were filled with mud, and people are actually shown to not have a bath for long periods of time. Season two further dove into the intricate and sometimes elite style of speaking with the conversations between the compelling characters throughout the series often seeming like more of a challenge to see who could one up the other with grandiose sentence structures. This coupled with foul language galore from the likes of Calamity Jane and Al Swearengen (to name a few) make Deadwood a likeable mix when it comes to swallowing the script of every episode.
Season three did not disappoint me, although I was a bit apprehensive since season two seemed so character driven that the actual major happenings between good and bad, bad and bad and such were few and far between. That is what is so likeable about the show to me, you spend a lot of time saturated within the community and its daily happenings that when there is a scene intensity, it is done with nothing held back. There is a mean hand-to-hand combat scene involving Dan Dority and one of Hearst's cronies that bounces around all over the street and gets pretty ugly. This particular scene is of one but many that whether involving physical fights or not, plays out the war that is going on throughout the camp between the main players.
Gerald McRaney is superb as he returns as George Hearst, and he doesn't pull any punches as he starts to throw his weight around against the likes of Swearengen, Tolliver and Sheriff Bullock. With impending elections unfolding, the drama only continues to heighten as I found that the last 8 episodes or so tend to speed things up and throw a bevy of problems and ultimatums at the characters involved. Robin Weigert brings the humor of the often drunk Calamity Jane to another level and while her witty quirks leave me laughing, her compassion is heartfelt through and through. Although some reviewers seemed to be put off by the relationship that is introduced between Calamity Jane and Joni Stubbs, it is so fleeting and minimal that I did not feel it took away anything from the overall plot execution. From the schoolhouse to the Livery and everywhere in between, Season three didn't necessarily provide closure in the series swan song, but had enough character driven finesse and raw fighting scenes to make me yearning for another year. "
Tell Your God to Ready for Blood....
Archmaker | California | 01/04/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"David Milch's Deadwood in its final (alas) Season 3 is even more eccentric than its predecessors as it delineates the titanic struggle between the scruffy entrepeneurs of Swearengen, Bullock, Starr and Alma Garrett with the ruthless implacability and arbitrariness of unfettered wealth and power as represented by George Hearst. The language in this Season is even more baroque, circuitous, arcane and delicious as Milch explores the strange nexus between detached Victorian propriety and the profane, muscular and gritty gutter modernity of the mining camp.
Likewise, new characters are introduced that provide side stories of no other purpose other than the fun of exploration of new characters and context, most noticeably the acting troupe of Jack Langrishe (the incomparable Brian Cox) as a sort of Greek chorus while allowing an examination of the role of Art in human community. No doubt, had the series continued, these were storylines for future exploitation. There is a nice subplot concerning Hostetler, Fields (nice to see Franklyn Ajaye again) and Drunk Steve, the appearance of the morally ambiguous and lethal Earp brothers, and the onslaught of Hearst's army of Pinkertons and their Captain Barrett. There is the continuing exploration of the harsh and bitter lot of women and the paradoxical and confused relations between the races and the dominant and minority communities, and much much more, all presented with extremely droll and idiosyncratic humor amid occasional eruptions of violence.
Frankly, I could write paragraphs on individual subtext stories and performances but I would be preaching to the choir or waxing eloquent to deaf ears. So, with a nod to the marvelous leads of Tim Olyphant's intemperate, explosive, rigid yet true Seth Bullock ("His holiness, the maniac sheriff"), Ian McShane's towering and oh so humanly complicated rascality as Al Swearengen, and Molly Parker's beautiful and beset Alma Garrett, and now Gerald McRaney's detestable tyrant George Hearst, with apologies for foregoing naming all the wonderful actors of this brilliant ensemble, we bid farewell to the steadfast and reliable Sol Starr, the loyal and courageous Charlie Utter, the beautiful and sorrowful Joanie Stubbs, the vicious and cruel Cy Tolliver, the resilient and fiery Trixie, the threadbare yet noble Doc Cochran, the fawning and pathetic weaselry of EB Farnum, the drunken yet endearing Calamity Jane, and so on. I could list virtually every player for fine work in creating the complicated characters of Martha Bullock, Ellsworth, Merrick, Dan Dority, Adams, Wu, Johnny, Tom Nuttall, Jarry, Hostetler, Fields, Drunk Steve, Richardson, Aunt Lou, etc. All the players, central and supporting, did marvelous work.
Congratulations to Milch and his production staff and this fine company of actors who brought the complex language, both elevated and earthy, to vibrant life, with wonderful sets and costumes, writing, photography, direction and editing. A marvelous imagining of characters and place, with intriguing themes of sex and relationships, race and custom, of friendship and isolation, loneliness and community, of ambition and greed coupled with sacrifice and care, and without and within, an all too human fallibility. I would have welcomed many more Seasons of this complicated and quirky exploration, but it was not to be. However, as one fine Amazon reviewer put it "we were lucky to have it at all", in all its glorious self-indulgence. This fine effort will be sorely missed by those of us who loved its daring and unique creativity, but at least we can be grateful for its preservation on DVD. As the dieing old actor says "The Masks lie, Comedy and Tragedy are the same", and Deadwood brought it all to us with a howl and a roar."
Almost As Good As The First Two Series
Cowboy Buddha | Essex UK | 07/15/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As I live in the UK, I only know Deadwood from the DVD's since we do not have access to the cable station that broadcasts it over here. So we tend to get through an entire season in three or four consecutive nights - the only way to do it. After waiting months for Season Three, we were thrilled to find that it generally lived up to expectations - the same well-written three-dimensional characters brought to life by a first-rate cast, the gritty realism of the sets and costumes, the complex plots, and the realistically vulgar yet almost poetic dialogue. One of the best series we've seen for a very long time.
Having said that, Season Three somehow doesn't have quite the bite and edge of the first two seasons. It may be because that level of excellence is so difficult to sustain or it could be the result of too much tinkering. Subplots and new characters are all very well, but only if they add something to the whole. But some of Season Three seems to be just filler. It was very difficult to care about the eventual ownership of the livery stable, or about the son of Hearst's cook arriving from Liberia, or about an elderly dying actor. Things like the theatre troupe seemed an unnecessary distraction from the main characters and their interactions. And, as a result, some of the more interesting characters such as the Doc and the odious Farnum are pushed to the sidelines (Richardson seems to have more to do than his employer). Cy Tolliver might just as well have died of his wounds for all the impact he has. The Joanie/Jane romance seems contrived at best while Trixie and Martha Bullock seem to be mostly marking time while waiting for the finale. Meanwhile, the Chinese have all but disappeared (Wu's pigs are mentioned but not seen), the prostitutes are largely confined to the background, and passion seems to have become a rare commodity.
Fortunately, Bullock and Swearengen remain largely unchanged and it is still these two marvellous characters who drive everything and make Deadwood the special experience that it is. Ian McShane's performance in particular is worth the price of the DVD's. It would be interesting to watch all three seasons of Deadwood in a row and then wonder: what could they possibly do for an encore?"