Wednesday, May 03, 2006

MLM: Deadwood. 

It’s a hard town where lawlessness itself is law: Deadwood, sitting in the Black Hills of what will become South Dakota. For the TV show Deadwood, this setting spins everything else into motion. It’s a town full of (mostly) white prospectors in a land still belonging to the Indians; operating on the US dollar but not on US law. In short, people can do whatever the hell they want… and what results isn’t anarchy. No, nothing so naïve. Deadwood is a town built and sustained on a foundation of greed.

Which is what we’re forgetful of when we first meet Al Swearengen, owner of the Gem Saloon and de facto ruler of Deadwood. Swearengen acts callously, orders and commits murders with little emotional investment, and generally chews up every scene he’s in. We think we’ve seen the face of evil, and accustomed as we are to traditional Westerns, we think we’ve met the Black Hat.

And that’s when Cy Tolliver rolls into town.


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