Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Deadwood - Season 2

The second season of Deadwood continues the show admirably, keeping what makes it interesting while expanding the cast and preventing the story from getting stagnant. It begins a little crazier than the show ever was in its first run, with the arrival of Olyphant's family coinciding with a fight that turns into an all-out brawl leading to several characters in various states of recovery for quite a while. McShane in particular has a tough time, especially after another ailment hits even worse, which produced scenes with the most painful thing I've ever had to watch that didn't actually appear on screen. It's not that long though before he's back and as mean as ever.

There's plenty of drama to go around, with the arrival of new people whose business interests conflict with established personalities. Plenty of blood ends up getting spilt, but as it was before, those are momentary diversions from the show's real meat, the backroom deals and conversations laced with venom. It's impressive how they can make characters as slimy as EB Farnum likable just by making their choice of words so uniquely entertaining. The women get into it too, not as gruffly as or as vulgarly as the men, but in their own fun way. Deadwood doesn't have the family or social aspects that make it as relatable as HBO's other top shows, but it's still a good intellectual watch.

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