Deadwood is easily one of the greatest TV series in recent memory, if not ever. In recently concluding the fantastic run of Justified I felt obligated to go back and re-watch the Deadwood pilot (and possibly more) to compare Seth Bullock to Raylan Givens.
Watching this pilot, the production values are fantastic, and the performances are nuanced and established from the get-go. Ian McShane as Al Swearengen in particular is a performance that was absolutely nailed.
However, the real standout to me is Keith Carradine as Wild Bill Hickok. It goes without saying when you have an iconic actor playing an almost mythical folk hero, but he captivates the screen. His presence and charisma define him from the start, and it’s sad considering the (spoiler) knowledge that he dies so early on.
It’s also fascinating to see how little establishment Deadwood does. There’s the opening scene to set the tone of the series, but then it dives right in there, giving us characters and storylines that will come to define the series. Sure, some of the most interesting things are yet to come, but Deadwood was Deadwood from the first.
I’m excited to have the opportunity to re-watch this fantastic show.
Wild Bill: Was that you or me, Montana?
Seth: My money’d be on you