HBO may be the only network that had three members of the pantheon of great television dramas of the 21st Century running concurrently at the same time, namely The Sopranos, Deadwood and The Wire.
The Sopranos was a massive breakout hit. I caught up with the first few seasons on DVD (rented from a video store) and then subscribed to HBO to watch the final few. It was hard to avoid hearing about who got whacked (at least engaged in pop culture in the New York area, at least). With Deadwood, I caught an episode here and there on HBO and loved the rhythms of the dialogue. Being somewhere in the middle of the story, I had no idea what was going on, but Al Swearengen is one of the most indelible characters to hit the small screen, and David Milch’s language takes a little bit to adjust to, but it draws you into a very different world. In 2007, I put Deadwood Season 1 Disc 1 into my Netflix cue and watched the first few episodes.
The next disc I had in my queue was The Wire, Season 1 Disc 1. I had not heard about the Wire at all in its first few seasons, but at the time had been starting to hear that The Wire was the best show of all time. After watching the opening scene of the first episode, I was hooked. I forgot about Deadwood and watched the four seasons on DVD as quickly as I could — breaking down and buying the seasons 3 and 4 sets, because waiting for Netflix to deliver the discs was too slow. Deadwood fell by the wayside.
Last year, Alan Sepinwall started blogging season 1 as his summer blog rematch project. I started in weekly, but quickly fell behind and eventually gave up.
When I was in elementary school, I kept starting to read the Chronicles of Narnia a few times, which resulted in me reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe a few times and never finishing the series. I don’t think that going on in Deadwood is going to be nearly as frustrating. After all, the first episode uses “cocksucker” a lot more than C.S. Lewis used in his entire life.
So here is take three of watching Deadwood. Please join us for the journey.
Inform your dealers and whores of my credit and pour me a goddamn drink. Let’s dive into episode one after the jump… Continue reading