I just discovered this series and am now catching up on the early episodes. This is great. The characters are complex and their moral center wavers a bit, but it is part of being human isn't it? No man is all saint or all sinner except for Thor Gunderson. The show has had its flaws in pacing and a few plot holes and improbabilities, but the acting and writing has been very good for the most part and I am looking forward to future episodes.
somewhere it was mentioned that seasons 1 and 2 were set in 1863 and season 3 was set in 1865. how can that be when Eva was very pregnant at the end of season 2 and only gave birth at the beginning of season 3. heck of a long time to be pregnant, so which is it? also, thought Cullen came home after the war was over in season 1 and that was 1865. please, someone, can you clarify? I sure as heck could be wrong. toodles Eva carried a bag in tnto the railroad car and Mr Otoole took it and put it aside before she handed him the baby.
The screen writers must all be men--no woman would write Eva sending her baby away with the baby's uncle without so much as a sack of her clothing and diapers and ANY WAY TO FEED HER. If I thought of it, you can be sure millions of other viewers did, too. Very careless.
Thanks to whoever gave us a Southern character with a real southern accent! Hate that you killed off Lily Bell. No fun in that and you cut off a relationship with a real woman that was just beginning. What a loss for all of your viewers!
At the end of each episode, there is a "Gayton squared" logo which stands for the producers Joe and Tony Gayton. But, there is a spoken word or phrase that sounds like it was recorded in reverse. Has anyone figured what they're saying?
I am a recent viewer of hell on wheels and I have to say it grew on me after a slow start. After the fight between Elam and Cullen, I was hooked!I will save my thoughts on that for later and jump right into the death of Lily. It was so shocking and out of nowhere that its all I can think about since watching it. I am not like the others to say that I will never watch again.
I actually can't wait for season 3! What will happen next? How has her death affected Cullen? My mind is spinning!
I don't think Lily is still alive but I will be happy if she is. I understand why she was killed off because I understand the shows central character, Cullen, and how he is tied to the shows real main characher, the railroad.
In order for Cullen to do what he had to do to get that railroad built he has to be a man alone, with conflict and inner turmoil. He has to be able to follow his own ambitions and make the hard choices. And by seasons end Lily was too much of an influence on him. She wanted civility and compromise in the construction of the railroad and Cullen needs to be ruthless. So the character of Lily would have held him back a little.
I think everyone should watch the
Behind the scenes interviews with the cast talking about their characters and the episodes and they will have a better understanding of why they had to kill her and what that means for Cullen and the railroad. And maybe everyone will be as excited about season 3 as I am!
I can't believe people are complaining this much about the show's finale. Even more annoying are people who said that likes Hell on Wheels and are going to stop watching it! I am noticing these sudden unexpected deaths several writers have been doing, and I am not shocked. That happened recently in so many shows, like Game of Thrones first season's main character and Dexter's wife in Dexter and Opie in Sons of Anarchy, Lost, Rome, and The Wire; deaths only brought more curiosity and fans for these shows, among many other examples! I don't think a long, solid romance between Lily and Bohanon would make the show interesting. She's one of the best actresses of the show and so beautiful. I was in love. I ' ll miss her so, but I admire the writers' audacity at the same time. They were building their romance even in the last episode and she dies in that sad, sad way. Don't you think producers, writers etc know this act could ruin their show?? I'm sure they have a great surprise coming. I'm not a psycho to enjoy people dying, but it is like a movie or an act, with its ups and downs, a genuine drama! I am deeply involved with this show and hoping for a third season! I must say, romance is not the theme plot or genre proposed for this series, harsh and realistic view of the western expansion. There are more proper shows in the romance genre for interested public.
The swede is definitely not dead, Lilly I am not sure about. The swede is Bohannon's nemisis for more than I think most have noticed. Remember the photo of the Union soldiers that killed his wife? There was 1 tall soldier that you can't make out, he is all that is left for Bohannon to kill for full revenge. Has he killed Bohannon's 2nd love? Or is she even dead, I liken it to the sculpter character(Jack) in Pillars of the Earth that was strangled and come to a day later in the mass grave not yet covered. She was after all implicated in the book along with Durant, so if she is to continue she must be dead to the investigators. Season 3 will be just as good, remember Clint Eastwood got his start in a similar in "Rawhide" Anson Mount may be the next Clint, he sure has good acting skills for those times in history.
Killing off Lily Bell took away most of my interest in a Season 3 and feel I wasted much of my time watching seasons 1 & 2 - I was looking forward to Lily and Bohannan romance in Seasons 3 and working together to build the railroad. Without romance you have a grade B western at best - straight out of the 50's. I don't care much if it is renewed or not. What a waste.
Bring her back somehow. Season 3 premier: Bolhannon was knocked unconsious by the swede while trying to save Lily and awakens after a nightmare that she was killed. Then kill off Durant's wife, what a b_ _ _ _. If Lily isn't back then I'm done too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Loved every min of the the show until you killed her and had the swede bungie jumping.
As stated, Hell on Wheels will hopefully streamline its branching sub-plots into one focused narrative sooner before later. For now, the show can be praised for its beautiful aesthetic and sets, quality production value, intriguing characters, engaging central story and especially its ambition to tell a larger story about America and her peoples via this careful look at a pivotal time in the nation's history. Even if some of the plot progression isn't moving as efficiently as it could, it is definitely clear that the show runners do in fact have their eye on a bigger thematic picture. And that's what great TV is made of.
What drew me to this show was Common. He is one of the few decent rapper turned actors. I know he is not the star of this show, but I love Common and when I saw he was in a Civil War era show, I decided to check it out. I'm not a fan of westerns however I do really love history and the Civil War era is fascinating, but a brutal part of American history.
The setting is post Civil War and basically it is about an ex- soldier named Cullan Bohannon who is seeking revenge on the men that killed his wife and unborn child. On his vengeful quest he ends up joining a crew that is building the Transcontinental Railroad. Of course he has bigger intentions, but he is one of the overseers of the slaves building the railroad and that is how he meets Common (Elam). They have a very toxic relationship, but slowly they start to see eye to eye. Throw in a rivalry with the local Indians and the widowed wife of the architect of the Transcontinental Railroad and that is about it.
This show felt like the TV version of Jonah Hex, except Cullen was not disfigured. However I do like the character. As I watched it he grew on me. He has a lot of hate in his heart and does not forgive easily. He carries the scars of war and life. I love renegades. It just makes it all the more interesting. Lawless people. Because he will have to do soul searching to find himself again and find the "good" in the world.
One of the downsides of this show to me is the depiction of slavery. It just wasn't realistic to me and I took American history in college. Even after the Emancipation Proclamation, slaves still were not technically free. White owners still did not grant freedom to slaves and if I'm not mistaken "black codes" were adopted in the South. Making it even worst for so-called free slaves. Common's character was creating havoc any chance he got. Not only was he sleeping with a white women, but he was starting rebellions, picking fights etc..He would've been lynched by sun down LOL... All around they did not depict the brutality of slavery.
I also did not care too much for the widowed wife of the architect. Sad her husband died, but I felt she served no purpose in the show. An Englishwoman in the west? Too much. I felt her character was useless and she is lingering around to get herself killed.
I also don't like how they portrayed the Native Americans in such a harsh light. The Native American tribes have every right to be pissed. It is their land and these white men seeking fortune is building a railroad on their homes and don't give a damn about their livelihood.
So all around, I was hoping this show would be great, but I was kinda disappointed with the direction of the show and the depiction of the post Civil War was not very accurate in my opinion.
As I watched the first episode of Hell On Wheels this past Sunday night, I slowly began to realize that I was feeling something I had never before felt while watching the premiere of an AMC original dramatic series: I was bored. Reviewing a show based only on its first episode is a risky business, though I do generally feel less guilty about it when it comes to cable shows, with their relatively short seasons and high production values. (The first episode of AMC's The Walking Dead – which premiered almost exactly a year ago – told me everything I needed to know about the show and gave me every reason to keep watching.) And, much to the misfortune of AMC's new series, I fear the first episode of Hell On Wheels is equally representative of the series as a whole.
Perhaps my expectations were too high, but I don't think they were unrealistic. AMC had given us a string of ambitious, structurally and morally complex, shows over the past few years (Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead), and I suppose I've gotten spoiled. Add to that that Hell On Wheels is the first major Western to appear on television since Deadwood went off the air in 2006, and you've got a recipe for disappointment. Perhaps the inevitable comparisons with Deadwood are unfair – after all Deadwood is as much a Western as The Wire is a police procedural, and there are few shows in the entire history of television that would survive the comparison. But Hell On Wheels, to its own detriment, invites the comparison: with a hero who can barely contain his seething anger, a recently widowed city woman, its lawless, frontier community setting, and its monologuing Machiavellian villain. And speaking for this one viewer, it was difficult to keep memories of Deadwood from rearing up.
Common as Elam
As the opening titles tell us, Hell On Wheels is set in 1865, on the heels of the end of the Civil War and Lincoln's assassination. It tells the story of the race to build the first U.S. intercontinental railroad, a project intended to both literally and metaphorically bind together a broken nation. The title of the show comes from the name that was given to the lawless rolling tent city that would follow the loose community of railway workers as construction on the Union Pacific rail line moved west ("Population: One less every day" as a sign tells us.) We enter the camp through the eyes of our main protagonist, Cullen Bohannon, played by Anson Mount (his last regular TV gig was NBC's Conviction, a short-lived legal drama created by Dick Wolf in 2006). Bohannon is a former Confederate solider who joins the Union Pacific crew as they move westward, but it turns out he isn't just looking for new opportunities: he is seeking vengeance against the former Union soldiers who were responsible for his wife's death.
This episode showed us the true nature of life during railroad development, even if the only train cars we see are cattle cars and fancy coaches.
Everyone still plays their part well and John Shiban is a great writer of television. He was meant to write with his crew for the likes of Durant, The Swede, and Elam. He captured what Cullen was about in this episode, as if he knew Anson Mount would play him.
The reason I gave this episode and its predecessors high marks is that this is such a good character show. We care about the ones we are supposed to care about and despise the ones we are meant to despise, although the needle swung the other way for Durant in this a little. Colm Meaney plays the railroad baron word for word. In just three short episodes, we give Durant a few sympathy votes for what this mission has done to him. Common also walks that tightrope of underlying hatred for what has happened to the people of his race, but has almost become Cullen's wingman.
Which brings me to Miss McElligott, our lass Lily. She is growing into the woman pioneer-type that has shaped this country and eased it into civilization. I expected her to not scream and cry when the arrow remnant was removed. She now realizes that she's not protected by her husband anymore and quite possibly has to tuck in her skirt-tail and get scrappy! The only thing I can see coming down the unbuilt railroad is our widowed leads taking a liking to each other by season/show end. And with the two of them, where they're going, they don't need rails.
If this show had less character work and more choo-choos, I still would not be upset.
I've been following AMC's new western, Hell On Wheels since it began a couple of weeks ago. Although I felt a little shortchanged after the first episode, 'Immoral Mathematics' and 'A New Birth Of Freedom' have since started to win me over. I'd like to present a little analysis of my own.
First of all, the cast. Anson Mount plays Cullen Bohannan, a former confederate soldier on a quest to knock off all the people (Union soldiers) responsible for his wife' death, the circumstances of which haven't been revealed yet. Honestly, I've never seen Anson Mount before this show. He seems a good enough actor although his character is a little wooden, but that might be deliberate. Then there's Colm Meaney as Doc Durant. There was a time when Colm Meaney would pop up in every other movie. I'm not complaining. I think he's perfect for the role. It's still weird to see Chief O'Brien dressed up as a businessman. The rapper Common (Smokin' Aces) plays Elam Ferguson, a freed slave working on the railroad under Bohannan. I was actually quite impressed with his acting chops. Especially the last episode.
A special mention for Christopher Heyerdahl as the Swede. I still remember him from Supernatural as one of the vessels for the demon Alastair, but he is probably more recently known for his role in Sanctuary as John Druitt. I hope he becomes a recurring character. He's fun to watch.
Two other main characters round off the show. Lily Bell (played by Dominique McEligott.....I think I got it right), holds her own as the damsel in distress. I see a future relationship on the cards between her and Cullen.
And hey.....there's Tom Noonan! He was actually one of the main reasons I wanted to watch this show.
The setting and atmosphere are magnificent. The opening sequence is pretty cool. The groundwork has been set. I hope the show follows through on it's promise. A good western should always grace our TV screens every week.
- It was sad to see Ted Levine get killed in the pilot. I wanted to see more of him. He needs to be on television. - I'm not going to say the 'D' word. Deadwood. There I said it. Could this be the next Deadwood? - The gunfight in episode 3 was pretty kickass. Check it out if you already haven't. - I half expected Jean-Luc Picard or Benjamin Sisko to show up and take Chief O'Brien back to Federation space. The big reveal being this was one of those subspace disturbances that sent O'Brien back in time. Humph.....disappointing.
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