After wrapping up “Stark Contrast” (our Game of Thrones podcast) for the year, J and I have decided to take a detour out West. We’re delving into Deadwood, David Milch’s off-kilter Western series set in the historical frontier town of the same name. I’m a big fan of the show; I own the full box set on Blu-ray and consider it one of my all-time favorites. Meanwhile, J hasn’t ever seen what Al Swearengen (Ian McShane) and company have to offer — until now.
This week we get (re-)acquainted with the do-or-die nature of Deadwood. It’s a town that exists beyond the reach of the law. In its absence, power vacuum forms leaving the strongest to take charge. This conflict of civilization and order versus chaos and freedom is something David Milch has discussed since he pitched the show as a cop drama set in Nero’s Rome.
J and I can’t help but compare the dynamic, lived-in location of the town with the numerous sets in Game of Thrones. There’s a sense of realism here we just don’t see in Westeros and Essos, owing perhaps to the focused nature of this show. Again, the theme of a changing society permeates as the town continues to grow and new elements are introduced. From Seth Bullock (Timothy Olyphant) and Sol Star (John Hawkes) to Wild Bill Hickok (Keith Carradine) and “the Dude” (Timothy Omundson), power structures immediately begin to shift in this episode.
Buried in our character discussions, J and I mention that the real Seth Bullock had a mustache for the ages. We wouldn’t say that and not deliver, so feast your eyes.
Thank you for joining us for our first installment! Be sure to stop by next week; we’ll be diving deeper into the world of Deadwood with Season 1 Episode 2, “Deep Water.” And remember to check out our other podcasts covering The Legend of Korra and, as aforementioned, Game of Thrones.