Al-Swearengen-deadwood-16934281-1707-25608 years ago, a friend told me that Deadwood was the best television show ever made.

At the time, I was hooked on The Wire, and I couldn’t imagine any show being better. Also, the genre of Westerns isn’t something that’s ever excited me in any format (movies, TV, books, games, etc.), so despite my friend’s praise for Deadwood, I didn’t try it.

This summer, I finally told Netflix to send me a Deadwood DVD. The first episode was really confusing–it pulls no punches, and it throws you into a number of complex social interactions about people you don’t know.

It was a bold move to start the show that way, and it pays off. By the end of the first episode, I was starting to figure out what was happening, and I wanted to know more.

Tonight I finished the last episode of the first season, and I’m in awe of how good Deadwood is. The acting, the characters, the sets, the production value–you can’t tell at all that the show was filmed nearly 15 years ago.

The writing in particular is superb. At its heart, Deadwood is a show about the start of a tiny town. It’s a brutal time and place (not for the faint of heart), and there are so many connections between characters, especially in relation to Al Swearengen (who, true to his name, is constantly swearing).

It also helps that I’ve been watching Deadwood while designing a game about the founding of a village (Charterstone).

I don’t know if Deadwood is the best show ever made. There are too many great shows in various genres to hand out that title. But it’s a darn good show, and I’m curious to hear what you think of it.

6 thoughts on “Deadwood”

  1. It’s a damned good show that incubated a lot of amazing actors. Al is going on to play Wednesday in American gods. Can’t wait.

  2. Deadwood is incredible. I completely agree with you – it stands the test of time. I’ve never been able to pick a single Best Show Ever (partially for the reasons you mention). but both The Wire and Deadwood are in the top 5.

  3. Good to know as I’m always looking for new shows to watch. Everyone has always raved about The Wire so a few weeks ago I watched the 1st episode and unfortunately it does look like it was filmed 15 years ago so I haven’t watched another. It sounds like I need to get passed that and keep watching it.

  4. Glad to hear you’re enjoying Deadwood. There are a lot of quality shows and this is one of them. Enjoy season 2.


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