HBO made SO much money off of The Sopranos, the network decided to take a chance on two lavish, intricate other series- Rome (read my review) and Deadwood. This Western drama series starts off unlike any other (that I’ve seen)- w/ the hanging of a horse thief! As the show’s creator David Milch explained, an “unhorsed man was akin to a dead man in the Old West.” Before he can start his new life in Deadwood, South Dakota, Montana marshall Seth Bullock (Timothy Olyphant, who I first discovered and LOVED on Damages) has to administer justice. There is a large, angry crowd outside his office, men w/ torches ready to storm in and attack the prisoner. Milch said that Bullock (whose name means “young bull”) “hated the mob,” so he decided to swiftly take things into his own hands.
Bullock (along w/ his pal/business partner, Sol Star) travels on a wagon to Deadwood; the two men plan to set up a hardware store. Sol (John Hawkes) is Jewish, comes from a business family from Vienna, Austria, though he was raised in Ohio. This is Hawkes LONG before he made a name for himself on Winter’s Bone (Jennifer Lawrence’s breakout film); he was nominated for an Oscar for his role.
Al Swearengen (Ian McShane), a saloon owner and defacto leader of the camp community of Deadwood, has his own share of troubles to handle after one of his prostitutes, Trixie (Paula Malcomson), kills a regular customer who had the nasty habit of hitting her when drunk. Doc Cochran (Brad Dourif, who some of you will recognize from the LOTR series) comes to examine the wound- it will be fascinating to study the man’s skull. I liked Dourif as the villainous Grima Wormtongue, but I quickly grew to LOVE his character on this series!
Wild Bill Hickok (Keith Carradine, the biggest name actor in S1) arrives at the camp w/ his loyal companions, Jane (Robin Weigert, most recently seen in Jessica Jones) and Charlie Utter. It’s obvious that Jane (also a fan fave- including mine, along w/ Doc) is in love w/ Bill, though he has recently married another woman. As for Charlie, he serves as a friend, counselor, and manager to Wild Bill. On the road, Wild Bill’s entourage comes across a blonde family (w/ Norwegian accents) who are headed back home to Minnesota; Deadwood we gather was too rough and tumble for them. We will find out exactly WHY in no time!
Wow, did you see HOW fast Seth got some of the men organized after learning of the murder of the Norwegian family! He may be a socially awkward man of few words, but he definitely has a STRONG sense of right and wrong. Wild Bill (another man of action) goes along w/ Seth; he is another fan fave. (Carradine wore blue contacts, which were quite uncomfortable, for his role as Wild Bill.)