Deadwood: The Movie presents an overtly contrasting final message to the one it gave us over a decade ago, each finale borne of its political moment.
Deadwood concludes with “Tell Him Something Pretty,” a challenging finale which refuses to give its scrappy underdogs any victory, moral or otherwise.
“The Catbird Seat” releases the pressure valve on Season 3’s tension as the town coalesces on one side of the thoroughfare, Hearst and his goons on the other.
Hoopleheads Podcast: W. Earl Brown pens one of Deadwood’s most focused episodes, “A Constant Throb,” the thrust of which concentrates on Al regaining his faculties in his existential contest with George Hearst.
“Amateur Night” closes off several storylines as it consolidates its focus on broiling conflict between the camp and George Hearst.
Hearst greedily chases new gold mining opportunities, Steve’s horse-minding career comes to an end and the Earps arrive in Deadwood as “Leviathan Smiles.”
“Unauthorized Cinnamon” is a fantastic episode that provides some of the most exciting revelations and funniest moments in Deadwood thus far.
Deadwood winds itself up tight in “A Rich Find,” placing newcomer Odell square in the lion’s den as he seeks out Hearst against his mother’s wishes. Esther and Søren discuss.
“Full Faith and Credit” delicately balances Deadwood’s racial dynamics while offering some deeper introspection about who its leading characters really are. Esther and Søren discuss.
On a technical level, “True Colors” is often bizarre and always interesting; narratively, this is some of the most exciting material we’ve seen in Deadwood.
“I Am Not the Fine Man You Take Me For” is an episode that makes a frightening declaration about who Hearst is and what Seth and Al are up against.
In “Tell Your God to Ready for Blood,” director Mark Tinker revels in Deadwood’s brewing conflict between George Hearst, Seth Bullock and Al Swearengen. Esther and Søren discuss.
After last week’s dirge, Deadwood closes out Season 2 with the fantastic “Boy the Earth Talks To.” Director Ed Bianchi is back and it’s immediately apparent. His clever use of depth of field and of framing immediately permeate event he more mundane scenes. Tonally the show also strikes a contrast with its predecessor, trading day […]
Watching “The Whores Can Come” in such proximity to the finale, “By the Earth Talks To,” draws a striking contrast. This episode is a funeral: a sunny daytime tale where black clothes contrast with a bright backdrop. The joy of its successor is nowhere to be found; Seth (Timothy Olyphant) and Martha (Anna Gunn) languish […]
J and I both enjoyed “Advances, None Miraculous” from writer Sarah Hess and Deadwood film director Dan Minahan, J going to far as to call it their favorite episode. The episode features a distinct technical touch, embracing techniques like rack focus and dolly shots to set emphasize characters and set scenes, respectively. These little moments […]
Director Ed Bianchi does excellent work with “Amalgamation and Capital.” The episode focuses on Seth’s (Timothy Olyphant) nephew and adopted son, William (Josh Eriksson), whose amiable interactions with different players in the camp put a lighter spin on the Deadwood cast. To build the tension of several plot threads, Bianchi uses clever editing reminiscent of […]
“Childish Things” is outstanding television. Director Tim Van Patten and writer Regina Corrado offer beautiful vignette-like portraits of human relationships within Deadwood. Meanwhile, the denizens of the camp — enemies and allies alike — coalesce around a charming wager as to whether or not Tom Nuttall (Leon Rippy) can ride his newfangled bicycle across the […]
“E.B. Was Left Out” is a generally fantastic episode of Deadwood, even if both J and I found the subplot about the new prostitutes in the Chinese part of camp to be distasteful in presentation. Director Michael Almereyda adds small touches here and there to keep things interesting, particularly in his framings of otherwise ordinary […]
“Something Very Expensive” is an explosive episode that finally delivers on the foreboding promise of Mr. W (Garret Dillahunt). Here we finally see his truest colors, only hinted at before. He sees the world as transactional; there are proclivities he would like satisfied, and George Hearst provides the capital to cover for his indulgences. Sometimes […]
Following a more by-the-numbers episode last week, Deadwood is back with a vengeance in “Complications” under the excellent direction of Gregg Fienberg. Al (Ian McShane) has risen from the near-dead and summoned Bullock (Timothy Olyphant) back into the fray. But as their yin and yang begin to take shape again and set the camp to […]
“Requiem for a Gleet” lives up to its name this episode, highlighting a deeply agonized Al (Ian McShane) as he struggles to hold on to consciousness in the face of extreme pain. Indeed, this episode serves as a finale to the Kidney Stone Arc, as it were, finally offering Al a gleet-ful release from his […]
After a two-part transition from Season 1 to Season 2, we’re finally off to the races with “New Money.” This episode sees the unlikely return of Garret Dillahunt to Deadwood. He previously portrayed the coward Jack McCall, but here he debuts an equally consequential character: Mr. Wolcott, also known as Mr. W. He enters the […]
If “A Lie Agreed Upon, Part 1” is the mountain of conflict, “Part 2” is the valley. The episode plays like a series of deflations. As Bullock (Timothy Olyphant) slowly makes his way across camp to retrieve his weapon and badge from the Gem, he’s waylaid by friends and supporters who do what they can […]
After a literal year away from the mic, J and I are very happy to be back! For the next few weeks, we will be covering Season 2 of Deadwood, beginning with “A Lie Agreed Upon, Part 1.” Since last we entered the frontier town, a lot of news — both positive and negative — has emerged around the show. This […]
“Sold Under Sin” reveals the shattered backstories of several key character in Deadwood. From Joanie’s (Kim Dickens) abuse at the hands of her father and subsequently Cy Tolliver (Powers Boothe) to Alma Garret’s (Molly Parker) chattel-like status in Otis’s (William Russ) eyes, we begin to see how Deadwood tells the story of characters breaking free of […]
After a drawn-out hiatus, “Hoopleheads” is back with our second to last episode covering Season 1. This week we discuss “Jewel’s Boot is Made for Walking,” an engaging episode that hints at Al’s (Ian McShane) backstory as another side characters take center stage. The titular Jewel (Geri Jewell) gets a particularly intriguing storyline as she […]
Game of Thrones hits hard this week in “Stormborn” as major houses begin to band together and devious enemies already begin making their moves. Before we get into the episode itself, J and I open this week’s podcast discussing the controversy around Confederate, a new show recently announced by HBO from the creators of Game of Thrones. […]
“Mister Wu” opens up the Deadwood universe to some of the most iconic characters and lines from the show. This week introduces Richardson (Ralph Richeson), Hostetler (Richard Gant) and, most notably, a fully fleshed-out Mr. Wu (Keone Young). For many fans of the show, these names are inextricable from the fabric of the frontier town. I’m terribly excited […]
“No Other Sons or Daughters” puts the brunt of its focus on the new ad hoc government of Deadwood. As the United States begins to move further westward, Al (Ian McShane) and the other leaders in the town worry about what sort of outside forces and order that might bring to the town. In the meantime, Reverend […]
“Suffer the Little Children” earns its darkly ironic title. Flora (Kristen Bell) and Miles (Greg Cipes) finally reveal their true colors to the townspeople and the fallout affects everyone differently. Cy Tolliver (Powers Boothe) immediately reacts with unbridled rage, while Joanie (Kim Dickens) finds herself pitying Flora for her chosen path. Al (Ian McShane), on the other hand, […]
In “Bullock Returns to the Camp,” Deadwood seems to have found its fresh start. Seth Bullock (Timothy Olyphant) has let off some steam and Alma Garret (Molly Parker) is mostly recovered from addiction leading to marked changes in their demeanors (and chemistry). Meanwhile the doctor (Brad Dourif), Jane (Robin Weigert) and Reverend Smith (Ray McKinnon) seem to have […]
“Plague” foretells chaos in Deadwood. As small pox breaks out, local business leaders (and religious figures) step in to keep order. Meanwhile, Jane (Robin Weigert) reenters camp and looks into the girl she helped save. Alma (Molly Parker) continues to wrestle with addiction; Trixie (Paula Malcomson) offers support at risk to her own life. Out in the frontier, Bullock […]
After a brief hiatus, “Hoopleheads” is back! “The Trial of Jack McCall” is a heavy episode. It directly handles the consequences of the shocking events in “Here Was a Man” as it splits attention between four primary storylines. First, the trial itself: Jack McCall (Garret Dillahunt) has been caught and held prisoner as the camp decides his fate. Al […]
Keeping quiet about the events of “Here Was a Man” was an exercise in restraint for me. For weeks, Josh and I have discussed Wild Bill Hickok (Keith Carradine). We’ve explored his relationship with Charlie (Dayton Callie) and Jane (Robin Weigert) and wondered at whatever drove him to come to Deadwood. And now, with one capricious […]
Following the tight two-episode arc from last week, “Reconnoitering the Rim” introduces what feels like a broader glimpse at the plot of Season 1. Both “Deadwood” and “Deep Water” functioned as good character studies. We got a glimpse into the lengths that Al Swearengen (Ian McShane will go to defend his fiefdom and learned about […]
Davis Guggenheim takes the wheel this week in “Deep Water,” an episode that feels like a direct follow-up to the series pilot. Now we’ve got a better handle on the characters, from Al (Ian McShane) and Seth’s (Timothy Olyphant) fiery relationship to Jane (Robin Weigert) and the Doc’s (Brad Dourif) unlikely alliance. J points out that […]
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 […]
Game of Thrones comes to a satisfying conclusion with “The Winds of Winter” from director Miguel Sapochnik. Once again he puts focus on framing and makes stylistic choices we rarely if ever see in this show including locked-down shots and montages. This helps elevate an already quality set of narrative moments as Thrones moves into its final stretch. […]
This week J and I split on “The Broken Man.” It’s a great episode in many ways, but J lays out some of the same criticisms we discussed for “Blood of my Blood” — repetition, slow plots and hanging threads. I counter that it’s well-written and well-shot (thank cinematographer P.J. Dillon), much like the excellent […]
This discussion began with a focus on the episode “Ozymandias,” but then extended to a broader debate on Breaking Bad, Deadwood, and Game of Thrones. For the record, both Søren and I enjoyed this show – I just liked it a bit more than he did. And this should go without saying, but this conversation […]
House of Cards has been a runaway success for Netflix, its characters permeating American culture from the Oval Office to the Oscars. Star Kevin Spacey plays Frank Underwood: a heartless, sociopathic politician gunning for power in Washington, D.C. But how long can a character like that be interesting? And how does the “binge-watching” structure of the […]