Deadwood: Season 2
DVD | Box Set
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Deadwood: The Complete Second Season (DVD)
1877. A new day is dawning in the Black Hills outlaw camp of Deadwood. For better or worse, times are changing, and the transformation from camp to town is imminent. Unsavory new arrivals - looking to cash in on the lucrative anarchy -- and a government of outsiders usher in an era of hard decisions and brutal power struggles among the camp's founders, all learning the hard way...fortune comes with a price.]]>
Deadwood: The Complete Second Season continues the Shakespearean brilliance of the landmark first season, created by NYPD Blue head writer David Milch. Milch either wrote or supervised the writing of each of the 12 episodes in this stunning follow-up, which contains more than a few surprises for anyone who thought they knew the myriad characters in the late 19th century town of Deadwood--a mucky, ungoverned, exceptionally violent development in South Dakota. As with the first season, Deadwood continues to be about many things--survival, loyalty, alliances, duty--but all of them are happening against a titanic battle between several parties to consolidate power and real wealth in the territory. Despite his cutthroat ethics, astonishing profanity, and bursts of cruelty, it's hard not to side in this bid for a piece of America's future with saloon owner Al Swearengen (a magnificent performance by Ian McShane), a visionary monster who is nevertheless more recognizably human than his rivals.
Entering an uneasy partnership with Al is Seth Bullock (Timothy Olyphant). Seth begins the second season by teaching Al a few lessons in chivalry, and their brief but bloody feud commences physical ailments for Al that become increasingly shocking to behold. Yet Al's difficulties have the practical effect of sidelining him for a couple of episodes while the story sets up more complex power struggles. Al takes on Deadwood's other saloon-brothel owner, the unstable Cy Tolliver (Powers Boothe), as well as an off-screen millionaire who is intent on owning all the gold-mining interests by buying out weary prospectors' claims. Meanwhile, Seth's wife and son (actually, his late brother's widow and child) arrive, an unsettling development for Seth's lover, the widow Alma Garret (Molly Parker), who soon reveals herself to be a more complicated person than in the first season. The prostitute Trixie (Paula Malcomson) begins thinking about her future and asserts independence from Al by having sex with Seth's friend, Sol Star (John Hawkes). Best of all, Calamity Jane (Robin Weigert) is back and more endearingly uncivilized than ever. Special features include actor commentaries on select episodes, the best of which finds Olyphant and McShane cracking each other up while watching the season premiere. --Tom Keogh
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If you have a low tolerance for swear words avoid Deadwood.
I really liked the look and feel of the first season when the main protagonists moved to Deadwood to make their fortune in the hardware business. But the series didn't make it onto my great series list because the third season has a terrible ending. The bad guy wins and the good guys lose. The bad character gets away with killing an innocent little girl, and many others. The good guy protagonist turns out to be impotent and the camp is left as lawless at the end of the series as it was in the beginning. There is no worthwhile character or story arc, no good conclusion.
I devour fiction, especially fantasy and science fiction. If you like sci-fi you might like a couple of space race shows. I spent a month on a space race binge. First I read Space by James A. Michener. Then I watched two movies, The Right Stuff (1983) and Apollo 13 (1995), and then two great series, From Earth to the Moon (1998) and The Astronauts Wives Club (2015). They’re a great combination.
If the above shows don’t sound interesting here are a few of the series I really enjoyed watching more than once. I love good miniseries like Band of Brothers (2001), Frank Herbert’s Dune (2000), Into the West (2005), Lonesome Dove (1989), Pride and Prejudice (1995), Taken (2002) and The 10th Kingdom (2000) because they have beginnings, middles and endings, like a good novel.
Other shows I’ve really enjoyed include Battlestar Galactica (2004-2009), Breaking Bad (2008-2013), Cowboy Bebop (1998), Downton Abbey (2010-2015), Firefly (2002), Game of Thrones (2011-2019), The IT Crowd (2006-2013), Jericho (2006-2008), Lost (2004-2010), Merlin (2008-2012), Rome (2005-2007), Spartacus: Gods of the Arena (2011), Spartacus: Blood and Sand (2010), Stargate: SG-1 (1997-2007), Stargate: Atlantis (2004-2009), Star Trek The Original Series (1966-1969) and Star Trek Voyager (1995-2001). I didn’t list any contemporary series I’m following that don’t have an end date yet, not conducive to binge watching from beginning to finish, or the hundreds of other fantasy and science fiction shows I’ve watched.
If you like reading try some of my favorite fantasy and sci-fi authors: Richard Adams, Palo Bacigulupi, Suzanne Collins, Abe Evergreen, Diana Gabaldon, Hugh Howey, George Martin, Brandon Sanderson, John Scalzi, and Andy Weir.