There are things that are better than Deadwood. A child’s love. The cure for a disease. Maybe one or two other things. But not much else. HBO’s seminal show not only paved the way for delightful new ways to deliver profanity, it also showcased the power and versatility of pay cable programming back in the day when there were only a few shining stars in the format. Creator David Milch’s brutal, hilarious, and influential Western’s all-too-brief three season run only whet the appetites for fans who have been clamoring for a return since the show died unceremoniously a decade ago.
It was an expensive show to produce and after the sets were demolished and the eclectic cast of performers scattered it seemed that Deadwood would be one of those shows that would have to simply live on in the hearts of fans. Star Tim Olyphant went on to make waves with FX’s phenomenal Justified while Ian McShane took every seedy character part he could find. The faces of Deadwood have become ubiquitous on television and you know that many showrunners are just hoping to capture the essence of Milch’s creation by osmosis. And it’s worked. Deadwood has been the springboard to many a great character acting career.
Out of the blue it appears that the show will finally get its punctuation mark, one long in waiting since the show was canceled without getting to finish on its own terms. It’s a couple of years out but HBO is on board, David Milch is on board, and the stars of the show are all on Twitter celebrating.
If you haven’t watched Deadwood, carve out a weekend and binge. Unless you’re offended by flowery uses of very bad words, because among its many charms dropping big-league vulgarities ranks at the top.