this post is about above band of cocksuckers. ha! I just LOVE Al Swearengen. and I love all characters because none of them is a classic flawless hero...
apart from the fact that it isn't TV, it's HBO.... it's also gritty, dirty and foul-mouthed. this is good stuff. I took below from a blog called Vivid Verdicts, kudos for a good synopsis!!
so, Bene, Peter, Peter and Hafez. if you want to know what I am doing, I am working during office hours (or less), go to gym almost daily for at least an hour (this is the most scary habit I've ever acquired in my life), I quit smoking without realising it, but to make it up and not become too much of a saint, I deeply immerse into TV series. Rome, The Wire, The Office, 24, Sopranos, Six Feet Under is all GREAT. but the absolute star is the following:
For fans of: The Godfather, Shakespeare, Robert Altman, The Sopranos, 19th-century literature (...and in pumuckls' opinion: adventure, Wild West, Calamity Jane, Wild Bill Hickok, Zane Grey and strong language...)
What’s it about? A period drama set in the real town of Deadwood, South Dakota in the late 19th century, created by David Milch (NYPD Blue). Although easily labelled as a Western due to its setting, Deadwood has precious few shootouts and no taciturn, upright heroes, except for deeply flawed ones. Rather, it’s a nigh Shakespearean character drama about the creation of communities and the birth of modern America.
Who’s in it? Timothy Olyphant (Live Free or Die Hard), Ian McShane (Sexy Beast), Molly Parker (The Centre of the World), Brad Dourif (The Lord of the Rings), Keith Carradine (Nashville), Powers Boothe (Tombstone), and many, many more.
Why it’s great: In its three seasons, Deadwood never fell into the repetitious trap of The Sopranos. The transition of Deadwood from outlaw camp to fledgling town demanding order of itself means that the show and the power relations of its characters had to fundamentally change, best embodied in the legendary performance of Ian McShane as saloon owner and unofficial town overlord Al Swearengen (pumuckl comment: yes!! yes!!! YES!!!), who begins the series as a Western villain but transforms into one of the most nuanced and sympathetic misogynist powermongers ever to grace the screen. Swearengen is out for himself, but is deeply invested in the camp in ways he can’t fathom, and will protect it from incursions and ally with former enemies to do so. Is it pride, or unquenchable human compassion?
The entire cast is sublime, from Molly Parker’s resourceful but haunted Alma Garrett to William Sanderson’s marvellously greasy E.B. Farnum. And despite the renowned language and violence in Deadwood - no show has ever sworn this much, so be warned - it is actually a warm, deeply moral show and hardly a boy’s own affair. This is not David Chase’s stark Sopranos vision of today’s world, explored through its reprehensible though fascinating characters. There are moments of aching poignancy amid Deadwood’s coarseness – a mother desperately running for one last look at her dead son; Swearengen’s guarded inferences about his horrific upbringing - and no show or film has arguably made swearing sound as beautiful as it does here. The baroque, majestic dialogue, littered with profanities, is finer than any television series in history – it’s hard to imagine how the writers had time to consistently craft lines of such profundity. It’s said that every episode of Deadwood must be watched at least twice – once for the story and characterisation, and once just to bask in the language.
Deadwood is a transcendent gem that has scared many off with its harsh and grotty exterior. In truth, you won’t find a more enriching and transporting series. If this were literature, it would have won the Booker, and it’s riveting too.
How much is there? Three seasons of 12 one-hour episodes are all available on DVD. More were planned, but HBO controversially scrapped them due to expense (this has since looked foolish as it was one of their highest-rated shows after The Sopranos, and nothing has come close since). They then promised two TV movies to wrap up the storylines to appease fan and critical outrage but eventually reneged on their word. Thankfully, the resolution is still somewhat satisfying.
Give season one at least 5 episodes before you pass judgement. The first episode barely resembles what’s to come.