Sunday, July 30, 2006

Episode 31: "Unauthorized Cinnamon"

Much like Johnny was wondering what was really decided at the end of the big meeting at the Gem Saloon, I find myself questioning what actually happened in this episode. Another week of set-up, wouldn't you say?

Not that I'm complaining. Storylines have to be set in motion. Tension has to build. A payoff has to be earned. But after two weeks of set-up, I just hope that's not all we get until the final episode. I'm not sure even the greatest season/series finale in history could justify so much build-up.

Fortunately, the journey's just as - if not more - enjoyable than the destination when it comes to everyone in Deadwood. As Gustave the swatch man (played by Milch/NYPD Blue alumnus Gordon Clapp) says, "sometimes if you have a thing, the reason for the thing is that you have it." So maybe I shouldn't question whether anything's happening, I should simply be happy that I have this show. I wouldn't mind one of those swatches to wear as an ascot, though - especially in this humid weather we've been having. The HBO Store should get on that.

So let me see if I can distill this episode down to its metaphorical essence, as I often like to do. Al likes to break out the canned peaches for these meetings. It shows a little class, and it thanks the luminaries for attending. Yet it's been done before, and this meeting was probably a little more important than the others. So Jewel broke out the cinnamon, to use with the peaches. Why? Because it was nice - a kindness to include with the original gesture.

Al likes to gather the power brokers of the camp (excluding Alma, of course, who has the misfortune of being female) to decide which direction their little community will take. It shows some civilization, and it gives the people a voice. Yet it's been done before, and this particular gathering was more important than the others. So Bullock (who Tolliver wanted to sacrifice to Hearst) pulled out his letter, in hopes of staving off what appears to be an inevitable bloodbath for proprietorship of the camp. Why? Because what he said was nice - a kindness to show that Deadwood isn't just some mining outpost, that it's a community with people that care.

Ultimately, maybe Bullock's letter will have the same effect on Hearst and his plans that Jewel's cinnamon had upon poor Harry. "Cunningly sophisticated," no?

Of course, that's not the way Al usually does things. He was "mystified" at himself for "endorsing it." So poor Doc is the recipient of Al bottling up all that rage and indignance. I suppose Doc also represents a sense of community, which is why Al doesn't want to lose him and will bully him ("I ain't learnin' a new doc's quirks!") into recovery if he has to.

Or maybe Al was mad at himself for endorsing such a seemingly pacifist tactic after Blazanov tipped him off to Hearst's shipment of "bricks," soon to be delivered. Hearst sends out for more men, while Al holds off on bringing in more guns, in favor of publishing a "very nice fuckin' letter" in Merrick's paper.

What do you think? Am I onto something or are these the groggy ramblings of a man awake earlier than he should be on a Sunday morning?

Other questions and observations 12 hours (and counting) before the next episode:

▪▪ Joanie and Jane sittin' in a tree... k-i-s-s-i-n-g. I loved Jane's narration of events as they were happening. "I suppose now I'll take off my fuckin' undershirt and the like, and show off my tits and so forth!" Hot. Boy, did that bring back memories of the first time I got to second base with a young lady. Who needs romance when a woman's nice enough to tell you what's about to happen?

▪▪ Joanie slept with her two sisters? Yeesh.

▪▪ What the fuck was the deal with those swatches, anyway? At least we were treated to Al's reaction at his hand being wrapped in gold fabric, and his plea to Johnny ("Please God, come in!"). Sometimes the reason for the thing is that you have it.

▪▪ How touching was Trixie's reaction to Sol's suggestion that they might take Sofia? For some reason, it reminded me of the second-to-last season (?) of Six Feet Under, when Claire tells Nate that he needs to work at the funeral home again because David's falling apart. Why? "He'd do it for you."

Oy, you're making me verklempt ova heah!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

So much for a spinoff?

Contact Music thinks Ian McShane might be hinting that his character could be killed off at the end of Deadwood's run.

British actor IAN MCSHANE has hinted his villainous DEADWOOD character will be killed off when the gritty western series ends next year (07). The gruff SEX BEAST star has become the bar owner TV fans love to hate in his role as tough-talking AL SWEARENGEN on the Wild West drama, but he doesn't think the character will survive the final shows.

He says, "Deadwood burned down a couple of times before it finally burned down in 1899. That was the end of the Gold Rush town, as it was known. "I'm told my character died in the stockyards in Denver. Who knows what DAVID MILCH (creator and writer) will come up with?"

I think that's stretching a bit, based on what McShane actually said. But hey, that headline ("McSHANE'S DEADWOOD VILLAIN TO BE KILLED OFF?") got me to check it out.

This would kill my idea for a sitcom called "Swearengen."

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Hey, it's a Western, okay?

This bit of news has nothing to do with Deadwood, but I'm excited about it, so why not post it in this here blog saloon?

And Hooz, as someone who once had herself an action figure of this character, you might like this stuff, too.

The Lone Ranger has been kind of a back-of-the-mind obsession of mine (is that an oxymoron?) for years. With both superheroes and Westerns rising in popularity again, I have no idea why there hasn't been a new TV show or movie with him.

And I've occasionally bored the shit out of a couple of friends, tossing out ideas for a screenplay. Unfortunately, I could never get those guys as interested as I was in an updated version of that masked man.

But now, Dynamite Entertainment is publishing a Lone Ranger comic book, set to be released in September. And it should be sweet, with the story starting from the very beginning.

Here's more from Comic Book Resources.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Episode 30: "A Rich Find"

More set-up than story in this episode, with fear of a big, camp-destroying shootout looming, so allow me to fold my thumb and focus on favorite scenes and lines from the week, shall we?

As if being dragged to a cell by his ear the night before wasn't enough of an indignity, Hearst has to endure Charlies insults the next morning. Being asked "Who are you?" by Mr. Udder might've hurt ol' George more than Sheriff Bullock's ear-yank.

But Charlie takes it even further by pulling the cover off the Cornish corpse in the neighboring cell, and taunting Hearst: "That ain't your fucking knife, is it, George Hearst?" Hilarious, Charlie Udder!

And the way Charlie said "George Hearst" like it was some kind of title reminded me of the way RZA and GZA of the Wu-Tang Clan referred to Bill Murray as "Bill Murray" (or "Bill Groundhog-Day, Ghostbustin'-ass Murray!") in Coffee and Cigarettes. Talking to your ass, indeed, Mr. Udder.

What Hearst lacked in humor, however, his testicular fortitude covered later on, when he was released from his cell. Pulling his knife out of the Cornish corpse, and then wiping the blood off on the rail? Coooold blooded...

I also enjoyed Albert Swearengen's Eddie Haskell routine while visiting the Bullock household in the morning. "I'd be grateful for coffee." What a nice, young man. And then he lays on the charm, when complimenting the house. "Swell. Stem to stern. The place." Almost enough to make Martha forget her first impression of Al, pulling a knife on Seth while sloppin' in the mud ("Welcome to fuckin' Deadwood!"), upon her arrival in camp, no?

But my favorite scene had to be the exchange between Al and Trixie (who's slated for a guest appearance on ER next season), who suddenly finds herself lacking for employment, following her dismissal by "Your ladyship," Mrs. Ellsworth. Likely more out of frustration at "trying to play it straight" than an actual desire to "lift her skirts," Trixie said she could go for turning a trick, which spurs some sweet indignation from Al.

"Get the FUCK outta here! We ain't hirin'!" And when Trixie inquiries as to why Al's so dead-set against her turning some tricks on the side, Al lays it out quite clearly: "I lose patience with cunts too ignorant to know when their lot's improved." The man wants a better life for a woman he clearly cares about, and won't hear any loopy talk about taking a step backward. Such an intriguing (and touching) relationship these two have.

And the best line of the week has to go to Calamity Jane, who should have one scene in every damn episode, regardless of storylines. When the N----- General suggests that Jane helping him out and accompanying him to the gravesite might not make her too popular in camp, she says something I occasionally ask myself: "Question I wake to in the mornin', and pass out with at night: What's my popularity with my fellow white people?" She should stop by The Number 10 and have a few words with Steve the Drunk.

Runners-up? Al noting that Aunt Lou isn't the fleetest of foot ("Not quick, but she does seem full of purpose") and Hearst's middle-finger salute to Al across the thoroughfare, while asking "How's the finger?" (Seth's comeback - "How's the fuckin' ear?" - lacked some snap.)

Questions and observations some 10 hours before the next episode:

▪▪ How many different ways (from Charlie, Sol, and Al) does Bullock need to hear that taking on Hearst and his men in a shootout would destroy the camp and all they've worked for? Denser than an iron coffee pot sometimes, that Sheriff.

▪▪ Does Ellsworth blame himself for Alma "falling back" into dope? Somebody buy that man a drink and help him nurse his self-esteem issues.

▪▪ Will some black guy in the camp eventually haul off on Steve and kick him through a wall? He certainly seems worried about it.

▪▪ I really hope Odell doesn't find himself on the business end of a shotgun blast from Seth or Big Dan. That'd break Aunt Lou's big "Abyssinian" heart.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Deadwood with a laugh track?

If you've ever wondered what Deadwood would sound like with a laugh track (the studio audience from "Lucky Louie," to be exact), check this out from YouTube.

(Tip of the cowboy hat to Tim Goodman's "Bastard Machine" at

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Never too early for Christmas shopping

You know, I've always wondered whether I could pull off wearing cowboy boots. Maybe I'll get to find out now.

Gritty TV western DEADWOOD is set to head off into the sunset with its own line of cowboy boots. DAVID MILCH, the creator of the hit US show, has teamed up with designers at western lifestyle clothing and accessories company Billy Martin to produce a new 'Misfit' boot. The new boots will be taller and more classic than most cowboy boots worn today, and in a shape and style straight out of the Wild West. There are also plans to follow the boot line with clothing and accessories inspired by Deadwood, which stars British actor IAN MCSHANE. Items include Victorian-style silk and velvet bodices and waistcoats, like those worn by the characters on the TV show. The entire Deadwood collection will be introduced in Billy Martin boutiques in New York City and Hollywood by the end of the summer (06).

"Misfit" boots ought to suit me just fine. Of course, I'll probably need a hat to go with those boots. I'll start working on the mustache pronto.

(Via Contact Music)

It's all about the mustache

Here's a feature on Timothy Olyphant from the Boston Herald. Too bad they didn't run a full interview.

Among the highlights? The drama resulting from Olyphant trying to grow back his mustache after shaving it off for a romantic comedy he did with Jennifer Garner.

“There was a big brouhaha among the producers,” Olyphant said during a recent phone interview. “With this particular job, it’s not just about wrapping in time to be ready to shoot. It was wrapping in time to then grow a mustache to be ready to shoot. It’s one of those little things you don’t think about when you jump on board to a western. I remember going out and doing press for the first time, and everybody wanted to know if the mustache was real. It was always, like, one of the first three questions that came out of every interview. I’m convinced that what they are really asking is, ‘Are you a real man, or are you just pretending to be one on TV?’”

There's also some stuff about David Milch's frequent last-minute script changes and the upcoming end of the show. (At the time of the interview, Olyphant hadn't signed on for the two movies that will tie up the story. No idea if he - or any of the other cast - has done so yet.)

Friday, July 14, 2006

"May you never take an easy dump again"

HBO Chairman Chris Albrecht met with TV critics this week, mostly - I imagine - to sheepishly admit that The Sopranos won't be back until March, not January, because James Gandolfini needed knee surgery. I'm frownin' like Paulie ova heah.

But he also took a few questions about Deadwood, defending the decision to take it off the air and placate the masses with two two-hour movies next year. Milch's new proposal, "John From Cincinnati," was too good, y'see. (That had better be the best TV show EVER, man.)

Among the e-mail from outraged Deadwood fans was the following missive: "May you never take an easy dump again." Harsh, babe. (Did you send that one, Mis Hooz? Doesn't seem like your style, but maybe you were "in character.")

And believe it or not, HBO received much more e-mail for cancelling Carnivale. Don't mess with those horror/fantasy/sci-fi fans - or whatever you'd categorize that show under. (That reminds me - I never did browse through the issues of Iron Man that Daniel Knauf wrote.)

Thanks to the San Francisco Chronicle's Tim Goodman for live-blogging the presser.

Tell your iPod to ready for download

The latest edition of's "Conversations" podcast features a chat with Ian McShane. The first few minutes of the interview deal with his new Woody Allen movie, Scoop. But after that's out of the way, it's all about Deadwood.

What's it like to work with David Milch, who sometimes comes over just before shooting with some new lines? How did that Swearengen mustache interfere with finding some work during Deadwood's hiatus? What kind of stuff do people say to McShane when they see him in public?

It's all in there. Give it a listen.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Episode 29: "A Two-Headed Beast"

Okay, let's just get it out of the way. Sure, I could write about Alma going back on the dope, the sad fate of Hostetler, and Steve's goofy smile at the bank, cleaned up about as well as Bart Simpson or Calvin before a school picture. But this episode was all about THE FIGHT, the heavyweight title bout between two of Deadwood's biggest and baddest. I said I wanted "a major knock-down, drag-out, ugly brawl," and damn if Richardson's deer antler didn't give me one!

Over on this porch, we have Al's right-hand man, the deadly teddy bear, and... is that grease I smell? Dan Dority! And across the thoroughfare is the big oaf giving George Hearst license to cut off the finger of one of the great villains in television history, a man of few words but deadly actions. Keep an eye on this fella - Captain Turner!

Could the fight live up to the anticipation? Turner taunting Dan through Adams (who's rockin' a great fuckin' beard, by the way), with "Go tell your friend I know he's afraid of me"? And dismissing Dan as a threat, telling Adams "I guess he looks big to you"? That was some historical trash talk.

Then there's poor Dan. Oh, he wants to fight. He wants to feed "Captain Cuntface" (HA!) to Wu's pigs, so bad that he's twitching with rage. But that mean ol' Albert Swearengen won't let him - even if it means taking a "coward" insult from Sheriff Bullock. Not until he figures out what Hearst is trying to accomplish with this. Once he realizes that no strategy is involved, that Hearst is just being arrogant, looking to flex his muscle through his bodyguard, he finally gives Dan his blessing to go get his ass kicked.

Here's where Milch should've swiped some cues from the Rocky soundtrack. Bill Conti would've eaten this shit up, man! Dan lubes himself up with grease, street-fightin' style, while Capt. Turner loosens up with some calisthenics. It's on, baby. Meet you in the thoroughfare!

Johnny tells Dan he has his back by offering to put the Captain down if the fight's not going his way. Way to psych your boy up, Johnny. Dan, already lathered up, snorts with disdain. Oh, if looks could kill. But there doesn't seem to be a lot of confidence in Dan's chances among Al's trusted circle. On his way out the Gem's front door, Adams has the solemn look of a man who's about to witness an execution.

While staring each other down, both Dan and the Captain ditch their belts and weapons. A fair fight, with nothin' but the tools your Mama gave you. Mano y mano. And then this thing turns into Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom. No standdown. No circling each other, with fists raised, waiting for the opponent to make a misstep. No dancing. These two beasts just ran at each other and collided.

And this looked like a real fight, man. It was just ugly. No melodrama here, with tight close-ups of each of the combatants, or punches that sent one another flying 10 feet away. Dan and Turner rolled around like animals in the mud, grappling for leverage, sneaking in punches at any opportunity, using fists, elbows, knees, or whatever other body part would help. And I was riveted. HBO could only hope for a brawl this good on "Boxing After Dark." No sporting event I've watched this year has entertained me more.

Why? Because I didn't know what was going to happen. Dan's not one of those characters that makes you say, "Oh, they'd never kill him. He's too important." And unlike Al, Bullock, or Hearst, we don't know if history says he'll move on from Deadwood to other things. So there was a real chance we were going to watch Capt. Turner break the poor guy's neck, with his boss man watching from a terrace. And there were plenty of times during their ugly dance when it looked like Dan was done. Even Al thought so, once the Captain stuck Dan's face in a puddle of mud.

But Dan wasn't going down like that. If he had to die in that fight, he was going to try everything. So he dipped into the "dirty fighting" bag. And what did he pull out? CAPTAIN TURNER'S LEFT EYE! OH MY GOD! No, he di'int! NO, HE DI'INT! Stuck his thumb right in and yanked that sucker out. Turner screamed in horrible pain, like... well, a man who just got his eyeball pulled out, and pitifully tried to crawl away, while his eye dangled from its socket. Finally, Dan - either to put the Captain out of his misery or to shut his wailing up - ended the whole thing with a couple of log swings to the head.

And once the thing's done, in maybe the best shot of all (and I loved the way the director framed Hearst and Al before and after the fight), Al just takes the toothpick out of his mouth and walks back into his office. Like the whole set-to was just a distraction that kept him from his regular work. And he just leaves Hearst there to look at his buddy's dead body, face down in the thoroughfare.

I was spent after watching it. I'm spent after writing about it. I need a cigarette. Or another shot of whiskey. Unlike Dan, who just wants a pat on the back from his boss, the man he loves.

And now, I'm much like Al, talking to Chief Head in the Box, pleading for wisdom. "Did you not want first to fuckin' understand?" I'm trying to understand, dear Hoozie, some of the characters whose exploits we watch each week.

What exactly is Dan so shaken up about? Would a hug from Al, some positive reinforcement and appreciation, make him put some clothes back and face the world again? The week before, Dan admitted that Al hurt his feelings when he asked Adams to be his representative with Hearst. Is he upset that he had to resort to dirty tactics to win the fight? Or maybe he knows just how close he came to being killed.

Why does Stapleton grab and talk into big boobs like they're bullhorns? Could that possibly get him off? And while I'm on the subject, has there ever been a more honest exchange between boss and employer than Stapleton admitting to Tolliver that he probably couldn't do the job asked of him because of his "spasm of sex interest"? Try that one with your boss tomorrow.

Did the N----- General know Hostetler was on the verge of killing himself? He seemed to have a knowing look while Hostetler was getting all hot under the collar, as Steve was accusing him of lying (yet again). And he had a look of resignation once he heard the gunshot, too.

Why exactly is Trixie keeping her mouth shut with Alma? She'll bust anyone's balls in the camp, yet when it comes to Mrs. Ellsworth doping, Trixie just gives the stink-eye? What's up with that?

And does anyone have a better living situation than Sol "Pain in the Balls" Starr? Dude just knocks on the wall, and out comes Trixie like Grandma Groundhog to service his johnson. That, my friend, is one sweet arrangement. And don't he know it, sitting up with hands folded chastely over lap, in gleeful anticipation. "Too fuckin' healthy minded," my ass.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Tactics or True Position?

Episode 28 – Full Faith and Credit

Well Sir, if that’s what you can do just from memory I am truly humbled! Mornin truly is the best time to go fuck yerself!

Excellent episode! Lots of wheelin and dealin happening. Plans and loans for a real city – the constant struggle for ‘civilization’ in the middle of ‘lawless’ Deadwood.

It’s always an insult when someone tells you to go fuck yourself but coming from an ex-whore? Whoa.

Poor Al - he’s so verklempt he can’t get his hard-on – and just keeps blaming that baby-faced in puppy-love whore Dolly. Hardly the first time when seen him soliloquize while being - ahem ‘serviced’. When she said she didn’t want to vote for Bullock ‘cause he yells at Al >sniff!<

Steve just makes me sick. It’s surprising that he’s actually good with the horses… I guess even cocksuckers have some worth.

I don’t believe for a second that Claudia doesn’t know about gambling – is she just board outta her gourd or is her seduction of Stapleton (yuck!) perhaps ‘tactics’ to some end?

I would not have been a bit surprised if Bullock just literally exploded in a cartoon-like burst! Did you notice Bullock’s purple velvet lookin’ tie? Wtf?

My favorite line (it’s always hard to pick just one but) – I loved when Jane said ‘Fucking Steve. The exact type of malicious cocksucker tars every fucking drunk with his brush.’

So how many jobs does Trixie have?! And now she’s now lending her considerable people skills to that of bank teller.

Loved the ‘where would the stage be?’ scene between Jane and Joanie.

Oh, and Holy Hammered Shit! Alma’s Back on the Dope!

Unsuccessful blowjobs: 2, at least that we saw.
Backs in rebellion: 1, but who cares about that cocksucker?
Times I had to rewind to catch the dialog: 2
Beers Consumed: 3

Episode 28: "Full Faith and Credit"

Well, this post won't be as in-depth and detailed-like as usual, considering that HBO On Demand sees fit to dick me over. Last week's episode isn't available! Was this also the case in your quarters, Mis Hooz?

What kind of bullshit is that? How the hell is a fella supposed to get nose-deep in an episode, breaking down every single favorite line, analyzing a scene or three, expounding on story developments, writing up so much text as to render a reader into a hooplehead?

And HBO better not think it's placating me with little featurettes like "Women of Deadwood." Sure, those are great, and I could watch another 20 of them. But appetizers don't make up for a real meal. Unless you've got a lot of 'em coming. You know what? This is how Al feels, in his utter dissatisfaction with his whore's cocksucking skills! Get the fucking job done, and let me relax!

(I myself never had much use for talking in those situations. Maybe that's Al's problem. Don't talk about your childhood, either. Such a buzzkill.)

So I'll work mostly from memory, some of which might be foggy, since I was envious of the beer consumption noted in each of your posts, and thus saw fit to take me a shot of whiskey each time the magic c-word was uttered by someone in the camp. (The final tally last Sunday night was four, by the way. Had me something of a buzz going by the time I watched my weekly local sports recap shows.)

I was a little bit surprised Bullock was so calm and rational in the face of Hostetler's return to the camp (along with the n----- general and The Horse). He's not one to reign in the temper, as we know. Though maybe he's trying to do just that, in lieu of the upcoming elections (that need to matter). We saw Bullock lose it with Steve the Drunk, but I thought that was more out of annoyance from being sent back and forth like an errand boy, when he was trying to do the right, lawful thing.

Speaking of Steve what's-his-surname, I couldn't help but snicker when he was screaming his fucking head off, bitching about Hostetler. How many takes do you think that actor (I can't find his name in the cast) had to go through? How much tea, how many lozenges did that poor bastard need, afterwards? He gets soooo worked up, just yelling his lungs out. And I kept thinking, "Man, if I was on set, I'd start cracking up." Kind of like David Spade putting his hand over his face when Chris Farley would get lathered up into a sweaty, red-faced mess on their "Saturday Night Live" skits. But I guess Timothy Olyphant and crew are professionals who stay in character.

Onto other professionals, how about Alma and her "Bank of Deadwood"? I'm probably a bit influenced by the featurette mentioned above, but it is intriguing to look at Mrs. Ellsworth's place in the camp as a woman who truly wields some power and can enact some civic development. It seemed strange to see her behind a desk, in that sort of position over the rest of the camp. Of course, we just don't see that with the other female characters on the show.

Trixie holds her share of power, too, I suppose - but it's ultimately to prop up the men in her life. (Attending to Sol's johnson, for example. I love how she refers to it like it's some other thing that Sol keeps in a drawer somewhere.) There's something to be said, however, for her being the bank teller, who has the physical control over transactions. We saw yet another great example of how she just won't take shit from anyone. With service like that, I wonder if the first ATM was created in Deadwood?

Now that I think about it, Joanie also has an interesting position, owning a coveted piece of property in the camp. Selling to Langrishe could cause a few ripples in town.

I wish I could comment on the meeting between Hearst, Tolliver, and Swearengen, but that's one of the scenes I planned on looking at much more closely on a second viewing. Fucking On Demand! Have I bitched about that already?

I'm also looking for a major knock-down, drag-out, ugly brawl between Dan and The Captain soon. And I think that wagon's in motion. ("Hell of a day to go fuck yourself!") I'd love to see Dan take out some frustration on Hearst's man, but if he came out on the short end of that fight, I wouldn't be a happy camper. Dan's one of my favorites. Hell, they're all my favorite. What am I saying? Well, except Sofia. Leave her to Wu's pigs. Give Langrishe's bacon a bit of a little kid aftertaste.

Besides Dan's morning greeting to Hearst, another line I enjoyed (and can remember after one viewing) was Langrishe's offer to accompany Al to his bad guy pow-wow, despite his "obvious unsuitability" for the role. What a dandy - and he knows it.

Thanks for pointing out Rita Sue, by the way. I knew I recognized those voluminous titties (or "front shelf," as Stapleton tactfully referred to them) from somewhere. That's a lot of woman right there. (And you might remember she was slated to play Clark's mom on Smallville. Oh, that would've been too Oedipal. Though Annette O'Toole's not bad herself.) What exactly is her deal? Is she Langrishe's daughter? Or just someone in his employ? I don't get her sleeping with Stapleton at all - especially since he's so unattractive. Geez, Leon looks like a better prospect for fucking. I assume she's up to something, however. Maybe trying to get him to spill the beans about Tolliver and his business practices?

HBO On Demand better get its shit together this week. This post should've had at least another 700 words in it!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Hitch up your wagon, Missy!

Hey, we still have about two-thirds of the summer ahead of us, right? Let's take a road trip! To Deadwood, my good lady! To add to the authenticity, we could do the whole thing by horse-drawn wagon. And if we were lucky, we wouldn't be massacred by Indians, like Sofia's family was. (If we were truly lucky, I suppose, we'd survive and be adopted by a gold rush queen like Alma Ellsworth.)

Before you say yes or no, dear Hooz, check out this article from MSNBC. We could stay in the hotel Seth Bullock built - I hope there's a pool - or check out the other Bullock properties in town, and maybe come back with a "I went to Deadwood and all I got was this cocksuckin' t-shirt" souvenir.

We could tour the gold mines and walk through the tunnels. We could hang out where Wild Bill was killed. And check out the gravesites of Wild Bill, Calamity Jane, and Seth Bullock. You know - fun stuff! Could we at least go the Deadwood Social Club and ask why they serve upscale Italian cuisine? I'd want some Aunt Lou food, man! I might even settle for some of Richardson's menu - and would even leave him some table scraps to eat.

Well, think about it. Fall will be here before you know it.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Shall We Clatter Those Motherfuckers Again?

Episode 27 – True Colors

Huh, well your ‘late’ is my ‘right on time’! Well, no, not exactly – this is cutting it a bit too close for even my procrastinating tendencies…

My first impression of the show was Wow! Holy fuck – look at all the new characters! Love Brian Cox, can’t believe they didn’t tap him any sooner. (He’s had quite a well deserved renaissance of his career, hasn’t he?) So it was hardly a surprise to see him. It was however a pleasant surprise to see Cynthia Ettinger – previously Rita Sue on hobo’s Carnivale. I love when they do that in tv land! I guess she’s an actress in Langrishe’s troop or something – we shall see.

The best though has to be this Aunt Lou character – her relationship with Hearst is interesting and I loved that turn around at the end when she’s lettin’ it all hang out while kickin’ butt at mah jong. Hardly the meek little cook she pretends to be. She was probably feeling safe that no one understands what she’s saying while in ‘chink alley’ (as Al calls it I believe) but that was Wu (wasn’t it) watching her there - and it fully looked like he was listening and understanding (as you mentioned) more than he chooses to let on. Or maybe just realizing the potential advantage of Aunt Lou’s penchant for gambling. I also enjoyed seeing her leading Richardson around by the hand – he looked so happy! And, once again, Deadwood manages to deftly exploit and undermine the usual sterotypes.

They are certainly expounding more on Hearst’s full psycho-crazyness – which is good to see. I was getting tired of just hearing from others the he’s a blood thirsty fiend. I thought his scene with Alma was even more frightening than last weeks with Al. So much anger – so much crazy! And virtually from nowhere. I wonder why she didn’t go to Bullock for comfort? I suppose there are a lot of reasons but I though she surely was about to say something to him when they crossed paths in the street after her freaky meeting with Hearst. Alma seriously needs to listen to people once and a while.

I hope you’re not right about Ellsworth! But things don’t look too good…

Trixie did totally kick ass in this epi (more than usual even).

My favorite line is kinda stupid this week – it mostly has to do with the delivery, but I loved when Langrishe looks at Wu’s pigs has exclaims ‘Ah -Bacon!’ Cracked me up!

I think the Doc probably has TB.

Oh, and if you start another fucking post with a fucking apology I’m going to go labile on your ass.

Body Count: 1, if you count the miner killed off screen.
Words I Had to Look Up: 2, capon (I thought it was a fish and was very confused – how does one geld a fuckin fish?) and labile (Trixie took the words out of my mouth on that one).
Beers Consumed: 4

Episode 27: "True Colors"

When did I turn recluse? Once again, I've spent the past week neglecting this here record of our Deadwood watching. For that inconsideration, my humblest and sincere apologies. Much like Merrick, I've been occupied with letters, ink, and typeface for the past few days. And you know how much work that is. After all, we don't see much of Merrick in a given week, do we?

So only the most minimum of civilities - hello, how are you, a bit cloudier than Saturday - before we get on with the high points of the fuckin' high points of last week's episode.

Let's start with Trixie, because I loved her first scene with Al. (And has every episode this season begun with Al in a contemplative moment?) She seems to be the embodiment of the old adage, "behind every strong man is a strong woman." She sees Al sulking and licking his wounds (well, not literally, since that puss is a deeper yellow), and almost doesn't recognize the man she knows so well. So Trixie goads him into action, as she has with all of the men in her life. Every one of them - Al, Sol, and Doc - are better men because of her. And wasn't she the one who pushed Ellsworth into "doing the right thing," and asking Alma to marry him? (Okay, so that's not working out so well for the poor bastard, but still...)

But I suppose we shouldn't be surprised. Wasn't the first time we saw Trixie after she just put a bullet through some cocksucker's temples?

What took more shots and insults in this episode, Wu's wardrobe or Alma's promiscuity? Why was everyone ripping on Wu's Charlie Chan get-up? I thought he looked cool! Yet there's Al, telling Wu he looks "like a fucking idiot," and Langrishe saying he hoped Al was Wu's backer, rather than his tailor. What, a Chinaman can't clean up and look dapper? Can't an Asian brother get some hingdai and chung-kwo (sp?) in this town?

By the way, are we going to find out someday that Wu really does know English, and is kind of fucking with Al? I know - probably not. But with Wu's definitive "hai" after Al complimented (well, sort of) his growing knowledge of the language, I thought about how my mother used to (and very rarely sometimes still does) act like she didn't quite understand English when she wanted to get out of a conversation or couldn't be bothered. Man, it's so great that he's back.

Then there's Alma. Oh, her ears must've been burning, with Al saying she "goes through her men like Sherman through the fuckin' sea," and Farnum spitting out his unsolicited diatribe: "A haughty cunt. Formerly weak for dope. Most fundamentally a sexual piquant [I think that's the word he used], though I'm sworn against providing specifics." Maybe a little too much info for Mr. Hearst, E.B. Though I believe he referenced it in his meeting with Mrs. Ellsworth later in the episode, did he not?

Oh, if Alma had only listened to her platonic husband. He tried to warn the poor woman. She gave it her best try, though, and showed she was a shrewd businesswoman. Too bad Hearst does his business through intimidation and violence. I think Alma was as broken-hearted as she was fearful.

So who tries to avenge her first: Mr. Ellsworth, who's clearly bearing a seriously angry grudge? Or Sheriff Bullock, who had his "notice"put right back in his face? I'm betting we see Ellsworth on the business end of a shiv or miner's pick from "The Captain" within the next few weeks. Bullock, meanwhile, needs to turn detective to find something he can stick on Hearst. Maybe he'll find something in Wu's meat locker. (And did you not love Bullock's impersonation of "Swedgin"?) Where the hell's John Goren when you need him?

And Hearst just laid waste to the camp this week! He might as well have rested his big, giant balls outside that hole in the wall leading to his "terrace," after taking on Bullock, terrifying Alma, and calling Tolliver's blackmail bluff and making him his little lap dog. (I can't imagine ol' Cy's much for taking orders. But maybe he wants to get on the winning side while there are still claims to be had.)

Of course, Hearst does answer to his Aunt Lou (or "the Ethiope," as Farnum so tastefully called her). No cobbler until you let her clean those boots! And if her cobbler's anything like the peach-and-raspberry cobbler I had at Slow's in Detroit on Friday, I'd let Aunt Lou order my ass around before she went to play dominoes, too. (You and I have to go there someday, if and when you do see fit to visit our fine state, oh blogging partner o' mine.)

Favorite line of the week? Probably Langrishe's query to Al when he questioned his own manhood: "You seem more to admire in the male asshole than you had hither to?" Lovely. Any movie or TV show is better with Brian Cox in it. Brilliant move to bring him on.

Questions and observations for the week:

▪▪ Does Doc have lung cancer? I say that only because it was Trixie's cigarette smoke that brought on his coughing fit and vomit. Don't die, Doc! The camp needs you!

▪▪ Do you think an IKEA might open outside of camp any time soon? Sol (the "born fuckin' householder") and Trixie could go furniture shopping there. That'd be so cute.

▪▪ When will Merrick find a buddy? He looked so disappointed when Langrishe left him hanging in the thoroughfare. And after Jack got him all hot and bothered by saying he wanted "copious discourse" between them. Somebody show my fellow reporter some love!

▪▪ Have you ever paused to take a look at the Gem's drink menu, posted up behind the bar? All I caught were "Fancy Drinks," and two different prices for whites and blacks. Oh, and whiskey was apparently 10 cents a shot. Mmm... a dime for a shot.

▪▪ And can someone please explain to me what the fuck was going on in that scene between Merrick and Blasanov, with speaking in a high voice? Was that some historical lesson on telegraph transmission I was supposed to be paying attention to? Or was it just funny to hear Blasanov talk in a near-falsetto?

Okay, not so late next time. Can't let this blog slip into disarray!

Again with the Hearsts

Is this becoming a regular Sunday feature at Requiems For a Gleet? Who will diss Deadwood next? Last week, it was Robert (I've heard some call him "Bob") Duvall. This week, it's the Hearst family. What issue would they have with the show... ? The mind truly boggles.

Friday's Albany Times-Union ran a feature on the Hearst family, and how it's been portrayed in Hollywood over the years. (I think the writer's sucking up to some corporate ass. You be the judge.) You may remember Citizen Kane being largely based on William Randolph Hearst. (HBO's RKO 281 dramatized Hearst's outrage over the film.) Decades later, The Cat's Meow implied that Hearst tried to cover up a murder. Then there were all those Patty Hearst movies.

Now, the Hearsts have to contend with David Milch's version of history. And George Hearst, Jr. ain't too happy about what he's seen.

Chairman George Hearst Jr... isn't a fan of the show: "There is no factual integrity in that type of programming." He's also not fond of the blast-furnace profanity that laces almost every lyrical utterance. "After nine years, five months and 29 days in the service (Army), I've heard all those words," he said.

Junior's son, however, is something of a fan, watching it "in the interest of staying informed." He appreciates the writing and acting, and realizes it's largely fiction, dramatized in the name of entertainment. And he kind of cheers on his great-great grandfather. (Can you see it? "Chop off Seth Bullock's finger, Great-Great Grandpa!")

Now there's a smart guy. He should call up Robert Duvall.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

The f***ing story wasn't finished!

"You would not want to be staring like that at me."

If I were Ian McShane, that's what I would've said to David Milch when he told me Deadwood wasn't coming back for a fourth season. But that's just me. I wouldn't have had Woody Allen movies to fall back on. Or been able to talk to the New York Daily News about it.

"I thought the whole thing was handled shabbily," the actor says by phone from Los Angeles. "But what the f***, HBO and 'Deadwood' have been very good to me. [The show's] Al Swearengen has been one of the great characters of my career.

"However, I think what's been lost in everybody slapping each other on the back, with a possible two two-hour movies to wrap up the series after this season, is that 'Deadwood' is one of the most acclaimed series on TV. A truly great show. So I was initially shocked. And now I'm sad."

We're sad with you, Ian. (And has anyone ever told you how cool your first name is?)

The whole article's worth a read. McShane says he'll probably never know the true story of how the show came to an end. And he's a bit skeptical of the two two-hour movies being made, since Milch will be working on his new show.

Most of all, McShane's just disappointed the whole story won't be told. If only they'd had four or five seasons...