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Deadwood: The Complete Series [Blu-ray]
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Set in an ungoverned stretch of South Dakota soon after the 1876 Custer massacre, Deadwood concerns a lawless, evolving town attracting fortune-seekers, drifters, tyrants, and burned-out adventurers searching for a card game and a place to die. Others, particularly women trapped in prostitution, sundry do-gooders, and hangers-on have nowhere else to go. Into this pool of aspiration and nightmare arrive former Montana lawman Seth Bullock (Timothy Olyphant) and his friend Sol Starr (John Hawkes), determined to open a lucrative hardware business. Over time, their paths cross with a weary but still formidable Wild Bill Hickok (Keith Carradine) and his doting companion, the coarse angel Calamity Jane (Robin Weigert); an aristocratic, drug-addicted widow (Molly Parker) trying to salvage a gold mining claim; and a despondent hooker (Paula Malcomson) who cares, briefly, for an orphaned girl. Casting a giant shadow over all is a blood-soaked king, Gem Saloon owner Al Swearengen (Ian McShane), possibly the best, most complex, and mesmerizing villain seen on TV in years. Each of these characters, and many others, will forge alliances and feuds, cope with disasters (such as smallpox), and move--almost invisibly but inexorably--toward some semblance of order and common cause. Making it all worthwhile is Milch's masterful dialogue--often profane, sometimes courtly and civilized, never perfunctory--and the brilliant acting of the aforementioned performers plus others. --Tom Keogh
Top Customer Reviews
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 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. 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.Read more ›
There is something I would like to address though, the packaging of this box. It looks nice and it's quite small for 19 discs sure, but this comes at a cost. My mother is a huge fan of the show, so we bought her this very set for Christmas (via a local competitor). We are fanatically careful with DVD and bluray discs around my house, If they get scratched I get angry, and I'm not the only one. We've taken the 1st disc out of the case roughly twice, it's already got 2 scratches. Not because of misuse, not because of poor handling, just from sliding it in and out of the box. If you want to protect this investment I suggest getting some other cases to store the discs in. Whoever designed the packaging on this set was not firing on all cylinders.
The dialogue is not easy to follow, but it is well worth the effort. This is a show full of grimness, violence, and oppression, but also some amazing humor, most of it hidden in a tangle of words (EB Farnum's monologues are some of the funniest ever written). As others have pointed out, the profanity is extreme. The first time I watched an episode, I was shocked by it (though not particularly offended -- to me they're only words). Beyond that, it's complex, varied and rich in vocabulary. I've seen reviews on here by people who say that the dialogue in Deadwood shows the "dumbing down" of America. It's obvious they only watched the first 15 minutes -- the language is so incredibly elaborate and well constructed that a lot of people compare it to Shakespeare.
The characters are almost as rich and complex as the dialogue. Al Swearengen has got to be one of the greatest anti-heroes ever created and he is played brilliantly by Ian McShane. (In the first episode, watch poor Tim Driscoll talk himself down from a swindler's share of $6000 to a mere $20, withering under Al Swearengen's pitiless gaze.) Swearengen goes to great lengths to supress any hint of compassion in his soul (and usually succeeds), but it leaks out around the edges sometimes, in a way that is occasionally very nearly heart-breaking (his moments with Reverend Smith, for example).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you haven't, you must. Intelligent, exciting, touching, and sadly only three seasons.Published 2 days ago by L. Burns
I enjoyed watching these shows.
Now i ha e the whole series yo watch anytime I want.
Love this Series, would be great if they would continue it.Published 1 month ago by Vicki L. Crosby
Great HBO series if you like old west action stories with plenty of foul language and GREAT ACTING. All characters are fully described and presented perfectly for the story lines. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Richard A. Neider
|Topic||From this Discussion|
|does box set have ending included?||
No "ending" was ever made, nor will it be made. I have a love/hate relationship with the show for that reason. It's probably the best thing I've ever seen on television but it is so disappointing that there was no wrap-up to the series.
Jan 7, 2011 by ZingerKat | See all 2 posts
|Does this set scratch the DVD's||
Yes, it's that type of box set (that makes it extremely difficult for the user not to scratch the sides of the disks when removing them). The sleeves are rounded (side/bottom) and so tightly flat you cannot buckle them. When you slide a disk out it scrapes against the side(s). What I did... Read More
Jun 18, 2010 by T. Borras | See all 3 posts
|Under $75 for the whole series||
Unfortunately for me, I bought it from Amazon on Dec. 20th at $102.99 thinking THEN that was the best price I had ever seen!
75 bucks is a steal.
Dec 25, 2008 by Christopher K. | See all 10 posts
|Why was Deadwood cancelled? It was such a good show!||
I guess I totally missed season 4 and 5. There were only 3 seasons of Deadwood
Feb 3, 2010 by Jeffrey Bollinger | See all 28 posts
|Justified on FX with Timothy Olphant(Bullock)||
Justified is a good show, a bit clichéd, but enjoyable none the less.
Jul 9, 2010 by FM | See all 6 posts
|Does this box set have Ultraviolet code?||Be the first to reply|
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