HBO (ended 2006)


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Deadwood Fan Reviews (85)

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out of 10
3,151 votes
  • Worst show in the world

    What a stupid show. I love westerns and was ready to forgive almost anything, but holy crap this is a bad show. There are a handful of good actors and likeable characters (Ian McShane is the best) but the rest can take a hike. The Calamity Jane actress was a calamity herself - just awful, I had to fast forward her scenes, they were actually painful. The writing and the plot deteriorated as the show progressed until it was just a joke. I watched all three seasons waiting for it to improve, get good like so many reviews claim, but it just got worse. I only finished this because I have no life right now. Don't be like me, skip this show.
  • Gone to soon

    This show has won Emmy and Golden Globe awards and was named 8th on TV Guides list in 2013 of shows canceled too early. The performance of Ian McShane as Al Swearengen was brilliant on so many levels. Ian McShane portrayed the brutal and cold hearted element that was common back in those good old times. With Kidnapping, Murder, and all kinds of violence accompanied with very well written progressive stories it is a must see if you have not seen it.
  • mediocre

    I watched this show after seeing so many positive "reviews". So, i'm a little annoyed about being mislead after having just watched Season 1,2 and 3 ... in the span of a few days. This show is mediocre. It is nowhere, and i mean, nowhere near a 9 or a 10 for a half witted adult. The acting is generally sub-par. Lots of overacting and some outright terrible acting in scenes -- to the point that i have to actually fast forward various scenes. One of the main characters (sheriff) is horrible. Wow. I cringe when he talks -- his voice crackles, he over acts, he's angry for no reason in 99% of all his scenes. The story is actually not bad, but the writing doesn't deliver. The only good scenes are with the Gem Saloon owner and his cohorts. If it wasn't for them, the show would be pitiful. Various people were added to the story in seasons 2 and 3 that add no value to the story line.

    The horrible:

    - the priest character of season 1 was garbage

    - the widow Alma was utterly unwatchable throughout the entire season (wow, what garbage acting)

    - the Calamity Jane ... can't understand 50% of what she says, plus her acting is bad

    - the writers suck ... they make the characters talk like Shakespeare in one scene and like gutter rats in the next ... makes no sense, and makes it hard to understand. I feel i understand 70% at best of what is actually said -- the dialog is often a struggle to watch and decipher at times

    The good:

    - Al, the Gem Saloon owner. I would have stopped watching if he wasn't in it.

    - Wild Bill, maybe he left the show so early because he couldn't take the bad acting either.

    I could go on, but there's no point. The show rates between a a 6 and 7. People voting this to a 9 or 10 are the same people that think Olive Garden serves delicious Italian food.
  • "Don't I yearn for the days when a draw across the throat made f#@king resolution" -Al Swearengen

    This show is still an all time favorite of mine. It was a front runner (along with Sapranos) in the now common run of popular television, shows where the characters are excessively flawed, cruel, realistic. Characters that you love to hate/hate to love.

    Initially I thought Al Swearengen (Ian McShane) made the show but I was quickly drawn in to the unique Shakespearean dialogue, the to-the-point exchanges flourished with expletives and gritty violence.

    Like the earlier reviewer, I was initially bothered by the double casting of Garret Dillahunt, however I eventually accepted it because the two characters were drastically different and he's not a bad actor.

    And, I'll admit, the show was not without it's lulls in pacing, progressively becoming more noticeable in the 2nd and 3rd seasons. But this does little to detract from the sheer entertainment value, especially in comparison to other popular television.

    I guess my only real qualm with the series is the abrupt cancellation. Which would turn out to be yet a front runner of another sort, shows that I even remotely become interested in getting yanked, with no warning whatsoev...
  • Ratings for S1-3

    S1: 4/10

    S2: 4/10

    S3: 4/10
  • It was okay.

    The first season was great. Well, until they killed Wild Bill. Then it went down hill after that. What made it worse for me, is the actor who played the man that killed him, came back the next season as a new character.

    I did not like the second season because it just didn't feel right. Certain hookups that happened should not have, and those that should have, did not. I also have no love for the sheriff's "wife." She plays Skylar on Breaking Bad. This now makes two characters that she plays that I don't like. Maybe it's the actor. But I digress.

    I agree that there was too much killing, and that the sheriff didn't really give a damn about law so much as peace.

    Also, too much "cock sucker" insults made me think the writers have no "color" in their vocabulary. It hurt my ears hearing it all the time, especially from the drunk Jane character.

    I have yet to see season 3. I shudder at the thought of wasting more money on this show, especially knowing it would be its last season.
  • deadwood - first season

    deadwoods first season is arguably the best episodic tv in history. Sopranos 3rd season is tied with it. The plague episode was classic. Anyone agree?
  • Really really really really good. I mean it

    I would make ad hominem attacks to the two previous but they have neither the Latin nor the sophistication to appreciate my insults or complex art. What is it about this show!? It riles up the moralizing gimps and confounds the thick witted philistines among us. I loved this show immediately with its raw veracity. Then the honeymoon faded. Did it placate to both my profane and sesquipadalion predilections simultaneously? I cast it aside as a used up whore. Overwritten? Wordy and ostentatious for the sake of people who see themselves clever? Maybe. But this is a gem. Bawdy. Profane. Tawdry. Elegant. Sublime. It is all. This is cinematic literature. One day it ought to be analyzed, disassembled, and reconstituted as we do Shakespeare today. It's that good. The gimps can't know that Milch used anachronistic profanity as device to inject the dialogue and gin up the gritty for purpose and effect. He only falls short with not serving lowbrow fodder to satiete groundlings. But nuance escapes the numbnut. Perhaps Milch should have gone slower, cleaner, and dumber-er. (Clean up the language. Please!). He could gain the mouthreaders vote, and sop up with wit what verbal diarrhea issues forth from their ignoramus orifices which they spew onto the web.
  • Indecisive about Deadwood

    I am a huge Timothy Olyphant fan, but I had not had a chance to watch Deadwood when it was on HBO. I know it's been off the air for 6 years now, but I bought the first season to see if I would like it. I don't know what it is about the series, but there is just something off about it and I love westerns and I love HBO. Don't get me wrong, there are some incredible actors on the series, but I believe it is the dialogue. Does Ian McShane (Al Swearengen -no pun intended) really need to say "Fucking" or "Cocksucker" in every sentence?? Did they actually use the words "blow job" and "dyke" in the 1860's? I looked up how people spoke then (about sex) and could not find any of these words listed. Did anyone really talk like William Sanderson (Farnum), talking a lot and saying nothing, I got confused over what his actual point that his conversation was supposed to have a lot of the time. Ian McShane's first scene with his whore Trixie (Paula Malcomson ) felt more like a rape scene than him just having sex with one of his whores. I, though, really enjoyed Keith Carradine's "WIld Bill Hickock" and Olyphant's "Seth Bullock". Ray McKinnon's (Reverend Smith) was the most irritating character so far (Besides McShane's), so much so I would fast forward past his parts in the show. Other characters I loved (Sol Star, Alma, Doc Cochran, Charlie Utter (love Dayton Callie on Sons of Anarchy), and Robin Weigert as Calamity Jane was hilarious at times. There were certainly some very good parts in each episode that made it worth watching, but there were also parts that I found that I didn't like and waned my interest over time. I haven't decided whether or not to buy season 2 and 3, but I probably will just to watch Tim Olyphant in action. I wish that the series would have come to completion before ending, but I can understand why it was cancelled. On the bright side -- watch JUSTIFIED - it's AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!! on FX.
  • sex,sex ,sex its NOT art its BAD! and it was canclled.

    this is probavly one of the worst shows ever made . you know . i mean cause its very very very very bad really i mean it and its extremly boring and unorignal . it is not art it is the oppisote of art .

    unreal not very original , with very bad characters .

    and lame theme song .

    HBO fails to deliver AGAIN . and all the awards they win are rigged cause thats what award shows want , they want sex and violence and they dont want real real are they want stupidity that is what they really want .
  • Excellent show from start to finish.

    I'm not particularly a fan of westerns, but this show immediately had me hooked. The characters were developed quickly and had their own distinctive personalities that drew you into their lives. Each time I watch the show, subtle nuances give me additional insight into the motivations and character of the persons being portrayed.
    The casting of the show was excellent. If I went into any more detail, this review would become a novel.
    The only con was that the way the actors worded their statements became increasingly complicated as the show progressed and sometimes required me to go back to figure out what they were trying to say. I can't confirm that they did or did NOT talk this way in the past, but this sometimes impeded the flow of the show.
    For those with more base interests, there is enough cursing, fighting, killing, and nudity to keep you interested.
    It's a shame that the show was cancelled. I would have appreciated a prequel or sequel.
  • A TV episodic western set in Deadwood during the gold rush.

    The is the best TV show I've ever seen. The writing is incredible, the acting is amazing, and the production values are first rate. The is a series that must be watched from beginning to end. I believe it was canceled because people could not get into it if they started to watch in mid-season. It's a tragedy that it was canceled. I think they only had 2 more seasons to go to finish it. I would recommend this series to anyone, but you must watch from the beginning. Deadwood creates a world so specific that you feel as if you were in the midst of this history.
  • something new brought to this western classic

    so at first i saw only 3 eps at first of this show thought it was good but nothing special then about 8 months after i bought all 3 seasons and once i started watching it i cam addicted and i had to watch a ep every night. but that has never happend to me in the show. this is a show about the camp growing with the chracters going with it. another thing about the show is the characters are interesting and there is no boring characters. also the drama and comdey together is great.

    this show is western about htis camp called Deadwood that has no laws. i have heard the complaaint is about the overtop swering and i love it plus i think it fits the show plus i heard thats the creator wanted it liked and not the normal dialouge which i think is genius. the acting is great, i think everyone holds there own and the plots are greeat, i just love all the stories to me there is no bad one. the look of this show is just great and has the feel of what it would be like back then.

    i have 2 fav characters in the show, Timothy Olyphant as seth Bullock is just awesome he is bad ass shreif and is awesome he is charcter i just love to see on the screen. then there is Ian McShane playing Al Swearengen he just loves to say cocksuck and how he is swearing all the time and his dilouge. i would just like to thank David Milch for making my fav show of all time.
  • I can't imagine a better show and I'm not at all into the genre. The best aspect of this show is that it's in no way about plot.

    In Deadwood, Milch succeeds where, as far as I can tell, no one else even tries. He makes the characters the focus of the show, not the plot. Sure the characters go through conflict and situations that are "plot" but I never found myself on the edge of my seat waiting to find out what happens, but instead marveling at how real the reactions of the characters are.

    The character that receives the most attention is obviously Al whose monologues are as well written as they are acted. Moreover, you can actually see his back-story shape his actions unlike every character on every other show. Contrast this to a show like Gilmore Girls where _every_ character talks in exactly the same voice.

    The casting is very nearly perfect. The art direction IS perfect. Perfect music. Everything it goes for, it gets.

    I'll admit it gets a bit heavy handed at moments. In season 2 there's a scene early on between Jane and Trixy that's both awkwardly designed, but also goes too far -- insulting the intelligence of the audience by explaining Al's relationship to Jewel when they've already probably picked up on it themselves. These moments are few and far between, however. The majority of the show is spectacular.

    Unfortunately, for me, Season 3 completely falls flat. It's as if the producers turned the show over to fans who liked all of the wrong things about the show. Jane becomes a caricature. The beautiful use of language is almost non-existent. Worst of all the show becomes all about plot.
  • great

    this show is about the town of deadwood and the people in it and how it grows over the years. Some of this show is historicaly accurate. It is a little exaggerated though i doubt there was this much action in the old west. I would give it a ten but it got cancelled and didnt finish. My favorite character was wild bill hitchcock unitll he died. I really like the jem i like al. Dan dority is one of the best characters he does the dirty work for al the best scene was when dan fought hearst's man in the street.
    watch it.
  • One of the best western series ever. Its a really gritty portrail of the the development of Deadwood and South Dakota, before they properly joined the United States.

    One of the best western series ever. Its a really gritty portrail of the the development of Deadwood and South Dakota, before they properly joined the United States. Apart from being gritty and violent, the series shows what it must have been like living in a town where law and order just didnt exist. There is an under core of politics between the main players in the town who were fighting for control. Unlike traditional westerns which were filled with "quick draw" gunslingers this attempted to get at what life must really have been like in those pioneering times. Its a real pity it only went to 3 series.
  • The BEST show of the 21st Century thus far.

    Quite simply put, this is the absolute best show of the 21st century thus far. I cannot express that fully enough. Everything about this show is near perfection, and the ending of the show was an abomination of sorts, with the show ending rather abruptly. However, the 1st season of Deadwood is so incredible that you will be mesmerized by the story lines, the characters, the acting and the aura the show lets off. There is nothing to quibble about regarding this epic show. For someone to take the idea of a Western using modern day verbiage (and lots of freedom of speech) and create such a memorable television experience is rare. Deadwood does just that.
  • If Shakespeare was a foul-mouthed cowboy.

    Deadwood is just about as unique as a show can get. With complex, and stangely poetic speaking, outstanding characters, an unbelivable set, and an epic storyline, this show was terrific. The languge is often remarked on for it's crude ness, but even with that, and sometimes becouse of it, the manner of speech is so deep that it's poetic. The characters are rich and detailed, and what is great is to see how the relationships change throughout the series. Enemie become allies, but still ramain true to their own ideals. And because this all takes place in a town litterelly built for the series, Deadwood has literally created it's own world.
  • Great western

    Deadwood is a Western series set in the 1870s in Deadwood, before and after its annexation to the Dakota Territory. At the time, Deadwood (a real town in the modern state of South Dakota) was little more than a makeshift camp, but it was a popular destination for those prospecting for gold in the Black Hills. The series charts Deadwood's growth from camp to town, incorporating themes ranging from the formation of communities to western capitalism.The show was created by David Milch (NYPD Blue), who also serves as executive producer and head writer. The theme music was written by David Schwartz.
    Deadwood is a entertianing show with great character devolpment and entertaining storylines.
  • So where are these movies?

    Ok so where is the news about these 2 final movies hes supposed to make. I swear If I find out that these things get cancelled indefinately then Im done with HBO.

    You simply cannot do this to your customers. It would be like buying a book, reading it through only to find out the last chapter is missing and you get 0 conclusion. I was dissapointed enough when this happened to Carnivale. Pleeease dont let it happen to Deadwood.
  • Best show in its Genre

    Deadwood is set in a mining town that was not part of any U.S. state or territory in the post-Civil War years and thus was literally lawless. Deadwood attracts people looking to get rich after a huge gold strike as well as those looking to capitalize on the lack of organized law in the town, built on land stolen from the Sioux. This isan amazing and compelling Show created by "NYPD Blue's" David Milch with a handfull of real life figures from the Era making apprearances in the show's fictional world, Such as Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane and Sol Star.
  • Deadwood, is a great HBO show about a town and its transition for a lawless frontier town to a civil mining community.

    This is yet another reason to watch HBO, and on Sundays nights that is what I am doing because they contiue to put out outstanding shows like Deadwood, I love this show the caractors are outstanding and so beleavible, the set very well done. I love just about everything about this show. If you haven't seen this show yet go out and rent the 1st few seasons and then be sure to tune in when the show returns to the HBO line up.
  • The best show on TV these days. I can't stop watching it and I've seen them all about 3 times already!

    A true, gritty western, that doesn't pull punches, it hits you across the jaw, then stabs you in the gut and twists! The writers of this show have done an incredible job, not only with the stories, but with the amazing dialogue. I'm enraptured by the characters and the dynamics between them. I can't think of a better way to show the old west, this blos away movies like Tombstone, which I had always loved in the past. The reality involved, the killing off of main characters, the brutal conflicts and dirty jobs make this a must see, if not the incredible sets, actors, costumes, and all that MUD!!!!!
  • Finally a realistic Western

    As one would expect from HBO, Deadwood is a gritty, realistic look at the old west.

    Unlike prior TV western (Gunsmoke, Bonanza, ect.), we get a genuine look at life on the western fronteer. The cast is first rate and the wtiting and directing are way above par. The historical referenaces are, for the most part, acurate.

    One problem I had with the show is the 19th century venacular that the "upper class" characters speak in. It can be a little hard to follow and understand. Couple that with the almost modern way the "lower classes speak, makes the others sound almost silly. Subtitles on the Chinesse players might be helpful as well.

    It's not as good as the Sopranos but it is a hell of a lot better than Rome.
  • It works.

    Don't get me wrong, there have been great westerns to come before Deadwood, but none of them really got it right. There is just a reality that some people aren't willing to deal that after 50 years of our history being whitewashed through film and TV, we're finally starting to see the truth. David Milch has done his research and discovered the wonderfully bizarre contradiction of languages used in the old west. Watching the cast of Deadwood converse with a combination of old world English laced with profanity straight from the gutter is incredible and feels right for the first time. Where do people think our language came from? People always want to think that they were the first to do something, when things like profanity, substance abuse and prostitution have been around since before man walked erect.

    Along with the incredible dialog and storytelling, David Milch has introduced possibly the greatest character to ever come to TV or film...Al Swearengen. Ian McShane plays Al with the same intense conviction and truth that the character himself lives by. In Al's world things are black and white and never apologizes for a second for living his life by a strict code of morals of his own making. I don't think we've ever seen a character go from crying after a mercy killing to watching a murder he orchestrated stone faced. This is indeed a special show that is continuing to pave the way for the facts of our history to finally be told with truth...Instead of the whitewashing we've seen our whole lives to make us feel better about ourselves.
  • A view on how the west really was.

    Methinks the detractors doth protest too much. It's very simple (so stated so that they can grasp the concept), if you do not like it why spend the energy in critisizing it? This series, I find, is an innovative and perhaps real view on how the west really was. Not homogenized, not sanitized and not the Audy Murphy view (i.e.-good guy versus bad guy) view on how the west was. It's sad that the detractors live in such a homogenized world.
  • I really did want to like this.

    I'm not sure what exactly it was about Deadwood that rubs me the wrong way, but I tried to like it over and over... I failed. Or did it fail me? I simply don't understand why this show is so popular.

    When I have tried to get through it, I have not found a single redeemable character. They are all vulgar and abrasive, even the ones we are supposed to be invested in. The writing is also horrible, in my opinion. These characters are given dialogue that does not match their time period, the writers opting for as much foul language as possible rather than giving the characters something interesting to say.

    I think it all boils down to the fact that I just don't care. With such an array of great shows out there, I don't need to watch this one... and, quite frankly, I won't be.
  • Truly Bizarre! As if all major characters have a mental illness and we're supposed to diagnose which one. A statement of untreated syphilis in the Old West?!?

    I started watching this series from the excellence of HBO produced serials I've experienced and the seeming numerous mentions of Deadwood being amongst the favorites of posters here and on IMDB. After the fourth EP I thought I was hooked again with the re-enactment of the real life Wild Bill Hickox and his now mythologized shooting in the back while holding the legendary "Dead Man's Hand" of aces and eights based on historical events and I was convinced that HBO had produced another gem in the same mold as Rome or Carnivale that simply doesn't have the broad popular appeal to last more than a few seasons but was still an outstanding product that will prove to be historical classics. Yet after just having completed the fifth episode, I'm left scratching my head wondering if I'll get through the first season! What I find most disturbing is the strange twist in character development, and the increasing difficulty I'm having with LIKING any of the characters, and marveling at their bizarre behaviors and mannerisms. With Hickox gone and Seth clearly meant to take center stage as protagonist and Hickox's endorsed protege, his development is happening at a torturous pace of SOOO SLOWLY in large part from his taciturn behavior and irrational outbursts of temper, perhaps from witnessing so much insanity in everyone around him that he decided by the end of this show to start acting like an asylum member. Hickox's murderer Jack McCollum seems to have clearly blown a fuse, appearing deranged and schizophrenic and unable to complete intelligible conversations even before Hickox's murder which makes one wonder even more why the town folk in a town without laws can take him seriously, or how Seth can get so worked up over the guy's babbling gibberish to almost seem to have blown his own cathode by the end of this episode with his nonsense rant and Sol worriedly watching after him as he gallops off to hunt down the invalid McCallum. This scene seemed as absurdly surreal as someone in today's day getting equally incensed to manhunt a homeless guy pushing a shopping cart that can't even complete the sentences by which he insults you. With us having seen this time period's form of 'justice' at the very beginning of the first episode with a guy executed from being a 'horse thief' it makes you wonder why they even pissed around with a trial for someone that so clearly had lost his grip on reality and why they didn't just mercy kill him. So with me already questioning the sanity of McCollum AND our hero Seth, on top of that we're subjected to the prolonged ramblings of Calamity Jane, who in small doses can be humorous, but prolonged exposure to her obvious lifelong victim-hood of abuse becomes sad and pathetic. We're also subject to the Preacher and his insane ramblings, which makes you start wondering whether the death bug that the doctor was babbling about had already afflicted just about everyone on the show OR whether everyone in the old west had some sort of mid to late term untreated syphilis which was rampant during this time period and environment. This being the first 'Old West' show/movie I have ever cared to try and watch, I have been nothing but impressed by the production quality & sets of this serial western. It's the characters that are borderline loons that I'm having a lot of difficulty relating to.
  • i dont understand why hbo would let go of this show and keep entourage! deadwood was different. what other westerns are on t.v. these days? especially one who just brings it down to earth on how it was in the west back in the day.

    i will miss this show so very much! i was constantly hooked with each episode wondering who was going to draw next. wild bill was fun to watch. then the earp bros. was even funner. but the funnest thing about this show was seth bullock and al swearengine. what characters those too were. not to forget doc and sy. my god they were powerfull presences to this show. it was so graphic and detailed down to all that swearing i loved it!!!! talk aboput potty mouths, i wish i could be so colorful with my words as they were. please hbo, may you consider bringing back a show that had more talent in its right pinky then some of the other crap you produce, ( not intended for rome! not in the least. that shows awesome too!) theres just something about history that captures peoples interest especially the way hbo does it. its like watching the history channel and discovery channel all in one shot.
  • Deadwood is a one-hour western drama on HBO. There were three seasons in the series, and possibly 2 two-hour series finale episodes. Deadwood is known for its harsh profanity, graphic violence, and sex and nudity.

    One of the reasons that Deadwood is so addicting, is that it has a great story. There are many twists and surprises to beheld in this series. Another great feature of Deadwood is its\' cast. Characters such as Seth Bullock, Al Swearengen, and Trixie keep the story fresh and alive. The scenery is absolutely mind-blowing. Seeing the old town of Deadwood is an interesting thing to see on the screen. The problem with Deadwood is that sometimes the story events can feel sloppy and random. A major attraction that Deadwood offers is it\'s language. There is a least 10 uses of the f-word per minute, and that\'s true. People in Deadwood cussed alot. Even though Deadwood is historical fiction, it\'s a great show.
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