Customer Reviews


119 Reviews
5 star:
 (95)
4 star:
 (11)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:
 (6)
1 star:
 (5)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best western ever made.
In truth, the title to this review actually does the entire series a bit of an injustice. It is a little unfair to apply Deadwood to a particular genre when in fact, it's probably one of the best programmes ever made.
All of the performances in it are perfectly judged, most notably that of Keith Carradine as the weary and tired Wild Bill Hickok who if he...
Published on 12 Jan. 2006 by adanield

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars disappointing
This is supposed to be brilliant according to the reviews. Sorry but take out the swearing which seems to be there for the sake of it and you have an average western. To me it isn't patch on "Hell on Wheels" . Highly disappointing.
Published 2 months ago by M. jackson


‹ Previous | 1 212 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best western ever made., 12 Jan. 2006
By 
adanield (Glasgow United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Deadwood: Complete HBO Season 1 [2004] [DVD] (DVD)
In truth, the title to this review actually does the entire series a bit of an injustice. It is a little unfair to apply Deadwood to a particular genre when in fact, it's probably one of the best programmes ever made.
All of the performances in it are perfectly judged, most notably that of Keith Carradine as the weary and tired Wild Bill Hickok who if he doesn't have an out and out death wish, is almost certainly exhausted with having to live up to the legend of his name and Ian McShane as the ruthless and profane owner of the Gem saloon, Al Swearengen. Swearengen is one of the truly great TV characters. A dangerous and violent man, but also one who for all of his wickedness, also has a gentler side. It's well hidden and he doesn't show it very often, but occassionally he does and then you are forced to re-evaluate your oponion of him.
In fact, there are too many excellent performances to name them all. Every time you watch Deadwood, you will find a new favourite or a new villain.
On top of the excellent acting performances is the superb set, showing Deadwood as a dirty, squalid and hazardous place. A town in which life counts for almost nothing and where anything can be bought, provided you have the collateral and that doesn't always mean money. In short, probably what the real Deadwood would have been like.
The dialogue is not for the faint hearted. Profanity is used in almost every sentence, but anybody who complains about it is missing the point. The producers of this show have went for authenticity, and in a town where you can pan for gold, drink, gamble, whore, get high and kill all in the same day, the people who live in it aren't likely to be too bothered about their P's and Q's. Bad language was and still is a part of everyday life, and in a town with no law it's a fair bet the language would have been pretty bad.
If you haven't already seen Deadwood, get a copy of the first season and see what you've been missing. The sooner the second season becomes available, the better.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


115 of 118 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Has to be 5 stars..., 17 Aug. 2006
This review is from: Deadwood: Complete HBO Season 1 [2004] [DVD] (DVD)
I'm not a western fan. I grew up watching a lot of them with my dad, but aside from the Gunfight at OK Corral, I never really got into them. So I wasn't sure about this, but I thought I'd have a look due to some very positive reviews.

Now this is going to sound a little bit weird, so I apologise... but I'm not sure if I'm glad that I did look. I've had to rate the series 5 stars because I sat glued to every episode in Season 1 and Season 2, so it's undeniably gripping television, very slickly directly, well scripted, and imaginatively filmed, but it's not a pleasant experience. There's nothing uplifting here. This is televisual nihilism. Dark, murky, filthy and frequently horrific. There are some much needed comic moments, due to a cast of very colourful characters, but the base tones here are black, brown and grey.

I have no problem at all with the frequent swearing. I didn't even notice it much, to be honest. Can't really understand why so many people get their knickers in a twist over it. More grisly murders than you can shake a stick at, and they get flustered over the F and C words. Crazy. I did feel a little bit uncomfortable with the feeling I got in a couple of episodes that some scenes of horror were veering very close to gratuitous wallowing, though. Shock for shock's sake. But this was not the norm- just a feeling I got in maybe 2 of the episodes. I'm not usually bothered by explicit material either, but again, an explicit blowjob while a character is giving a soliloquy can smack a little of... well, going out of your way to offend the easily offended. I do like the risk-taking element, though, and the bravery of the concept. Very original, and tastefully pulled off for the most part.

I've no doubt you'll be riveted by this series if you choose to give it a go, but if you're at all of a melancholic, depressive bent, I'm not sure if I should actively recommend it. It's very haunting, and very unsettling in parts. Thought-provoking, most definitely, but I don't think it's something I could watch again, or would want to watch more than once. Is it worth owning on dvd then? I'm not sure, considering you get no extras on the UK edition. I think that extras might have left me with a slightly sweeter taste in my mouth... helped me to appreciate the art behind the production, and sponge away a bit of the bleakness. As it was, I watched all the episodes, then felt that I needed a very long shower. With carbolic soap. And a little counselling. And a holiday. The craft here cannot really be faulted, but the content is very, very heavy. Approach with caution and handle with care.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking TV, 3 Jun. 2007
By 
Nigel Collier (Hull) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Deadwood: Complete HBO Season 1 [2004] [DVD] (DVD)
Can I just quote an earlier reviewer (Nobby Yates, see below): "A masterclass in screenwriting, beautiful TV cinematography, Shakespearean-like storylines, a clever fusion of fact and fiction, a strong core of characters, top-class acting, and an aura of authenticism make Deadwood S1 a must watch/buy".

That is right on the money. Deadwood is an absolutely stunning serial that oozes quality. The first thing you need to get over quickly is the language, as a viewer and as a reviewer. This is the most eye-watering script you will have ever encountered - it makes Goodfellas look like Lovejoy. But the language used is also really sophisticated and beautifully used - it IS very Shakespearean at times, most noticably of course during the soliloquies, when Swearengen or Farnum are postulating to themselves about the various plots. I must confess to watching it iwth subtitles switched on - because there is so much nuance and complexity in the script that you do not want to miss.

The collection of characters are just wonderful and rich - I know this is an overused term in reviews these days but this really is an ensemble piece. There are no weak characters - each is fully rounded and given due attention from the peripheral crippled floorsweeper Jewel, via just wonderfully acted characters like the local newsman Merrick, the toadying hotellier Farnum, the excitable Chinaman Wu, the enigmatic and grumpy Charlie Utter, the imposing saloon rival Cy Tolliver all the way to the kingpin Al Swearengen. Women, it struck me, are particularly well written for in Deadwood too. I think if I had to pick out any relatively weak performances in the whole series I'd have to go for former marshal Seth Bullock and upper class widow Alma Garrett, both of whom are a little one-dimensional and unconvincing at times.

I was a fan of Ian McShane's acting before this show but the marriage of McShane and the role of saloon/whorehouse keeper and underworld ruler of Deadwood Al Swearengen is one made in TV heaven. The first time you watch Deadwood Swearengen is a arch villain, an unscrupulous, heartless but clever gangster. But watch the series twice and you start to realise how complex he is, how compassionate, intelligent, trustworthy and just. He kills for mercy and for what's right as much as for financial gain or political expediancy. He berates and humiliates Jewel for being a cripple, yet still he employs her despite her inefficacy when others presumably wouldn't.

Similarly, the first time you watch Deadwood the overwhelming mood you'll detect is one of an uncomfortable scheming, brooding, murderous anarchy. The more you watch however you begin to see that it can be an ordered even hopeful place. It also is filled with moments of genuine comedy with pathos and running gags aplenty. The sets are wonderful, the photography beautiful and the research and energy there for all to see. TV of the very, very highest class.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astounding, 7 Sept. 2005
By 
This review is from: Deadwood: Complete HBO Season 1 [2004] [DVD] (DVD)
The box set itself isn't fantastic; although beautifully packaged, the lack of extras (what gives, HBO?) lets it down somewhat.
But my God, what a show. Deadwood is the best TV series I've ever seen, and I'm including The Sopranos. And as a 24 year old highlight-haired mum, I'm not really the kind of person you'd suspect to be a rabid fan. But foaming at the mouth I am! The wordsmithery is utterly gobsmacking, the recreation of the era beautifully realised, the characters evocative and often lovable (the trio of Wild Bill, Jane and Charlie being a wonderful example). And as for the acting? Wow. Ian McShane is a revelation. Whoever said the dialogue is stilted must be out of their mind!
So worth a watch, even if, like me, the idea of westerns make you roll your eyes. As long as you have a thick skin and a strong stomach, you won't be disappointed.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovewood, 1 Sept. 2006
This review is from: Deadwood: Complete HBO Season 1 [2004] [DVD] (DVD)
The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Wire... HBO's resume is bursting with TV goodness. And it's from this network that the latest - some would say best - of the bunch now emerges.

The concept is fairly simple: Gold rush. Old west mining town. Lots of gold. Lots of whoring. Lots of double-crossing and murdering. But the show is so much more than your average 'Cowboys and Injuns'. Deadwood gives out as much as the audience is willing to put in. It is not an easy show to keep up with. The dialogue between the characters is superb, but a bizarre mixture between antiquated and modern colloqualism. But it works. In fact, it is entirely possible to watch the show, have no idea what is going on and on a superficial level, just enjoy watching the beautifully realized characters interacting with one another.

The plot, well-crafted and sometimes frustratingly complex as it is, can usually take a backseat to the other elements of the show - which is hugely impressive and a brave step for a flagship programme such as this. In fact, it seems the writers have gone out of their way to intentionally snub the classical approach to popular TV writing. David Milch, the godlike genius behind NYPD Blue, is probably responsible for this approach, as it can sometimes feel random and disorganised... in other words, more life-like.

You get the impression that the writers and actors love the characters. The show is certainly an ensemble piece as every member of the regular cast pulls their weight. Ian McShane deserves a large amount of the praise for his dispicable, human and ultimately quite likeable portrayal of Gem Saloon brothel owner Al Swearengen. Timothy Olyphant is excellent as the intense ex-Marshal-turned-Hardware-shop-owner Seth Bullock, as is William Sanderson, Brad Dourif, Powers Boothe, Keith Carradine, Paula Macolmson, Kim Dickens, Robin Weigert, etc, etc. Everyone holds their own and really, everyone deserves some kind of award. Even the incidental characters are well acted. EVERYONE is good in it.

One entertainingly bizarre consequence of the writers' affection for their creations is that, every-so-often and quite randomly, Ian McShane might be made to deliver a soliloquy to an inanimate object (like his severed Sioux-head in a box or his stuffed moose) about his difficult upbringing in an oprhanage. Or another character, such as sweaty-palmed Hotel owner E.B. Farnam might wander down the town's thorough-fare and complain to himself about his underappreciated social status. And in this environment of back-stabbing and shifting alliegences, these soliloquies reach Shakespearean heights. In fact Iago himself wouldn't look amiss, propped at the bar in a 10-gallon hat...

The underlying theme of the show is moral ambiguity, placed in the context of the beginnings of modern American history - which was after all founded on an enterprising spirit as much as a purely libertarian ethic. The only certain rule that show follows is that the Good generally have to make way for the Bad and the Ugly. Every character in the show has come to Deadwood - a real town in the South Dakota Black Hills, with a real history that the show is loosely based on - for selfish reasons. And any character that is there for unselfish reasons, suffers.

Whilst I had not understood why people have such a fascination with the Wild West, I think I'm beginning to. Western Mythology is tangible, as it was only just over a century ago that the "wild west" existed. What John Wayne and Clint Eastwood movies failed to make me enthusiastic about, Deadwood achieves in doing so. Deadwood also once again highlights the irritating trend in British television towards creating patronizing kitchen-sink melodrama instead of well thought out and imaginative dramatic storytelling. Take note BBC, ITV, Channel 4: you should be aiming for this level of brilliance.

By all of these DVDs and join me in cursing HBO for cancelling the final season.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top quality TV, 5 Aug. 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Deadwood: Complete HBO Season 1 [2004] [DVD] (DVD)
American TV has really come out with some classics recently, like Desperate Housewives, Nip/Tuck, etc. But from out of all the glossiness comes Deadwood, a truly grimy and gritty show that deserves attention. As a fan of westerns, Deadwood seems to me to be the biggest boost to this dying genre since Unforgiven, which can only be a good thing. The style of the show is bleak, but convincing. For a good description of the style, check out the Amazon review. Suffice to say, you will be either strongly supporting or cursing the different characters as the story continues, and doing both to Ian MacShane's character of Al Swearengen, who is by far and away the most gripping villain in any TV show (sorry Nina). Anyway, buy it. The first episode is uncharacteristically slow as it lays the plot foundations down, but by the time I reached the second disc I couldn't stop watching. The lack of extras is a bit dissappointing, especially considerig the American boxset had a whole heap of extras. Regardless, with material this good, Deadwood is a great buy anyway.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A US drama that really is TOP NOTCH!, 2 Aug. 2005
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Deadwood: Complete HBO Season 1 [2004] [DVD] (DVD)
Wow, Deadwood. This is a serial that really kicks your a*se. The writing and scripting of each character is phenomenal, the acting by all members both principal and background is unwavering, forthright and utterly engaging.
The plot lines are strong and interwoven through each other - the writer David Milch really is a genius. The language maybe coarse - but then again I hardly imagine a town without law in the midst of a full-blown (excuse the pun) gold rush is not going to be for the lilly-livered!
Deadwood is brutal in its unflinching portrayal of the cut-throat (literally) daily life of this town. This series and the current second one too are not just mere surface drama and titilation, the stories are deep and though-provoking and in some areas - because of the style of language spoken (and I don't mean the swearing) you have to be quick to understand everything that's being spoken in order to follow the twists and turns.
The plaudits that have been reigned over this series really are justified.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 28 April 2007
This review is from: Deadwood: Complete HBO Season 1 [2004] [DVD] (DVD)
I highly recommend this series. It's more character driven than plot driven and because of this can feel slower than other modern tv series at times, but the writing and acting are excellent. The characters are so well thought out and the set is amazing. If you have the rental plan, then put this on it because you won't be disappointed. However, be warned, if you're easily offended by swearing, nudity or violence, then this definitely isn't for you.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding in every way, 6 Mar. 2006
This review is from: Deadwood: Complete HBO Season 1 [2004] [DVD] (DVD)
Possibly the best re-creation of true western life and spot-on dialogue ever put on screen. The script writing is perfection, subtle and very witty. Yes, there is a lot of profanity but that is part of the point. One of the finest examples of production design and character work ever put on TV. In fact, better than almost every western feature as well. Up there with the Wild Bunch, Unforgiven and The Searchers. Don't hesitate. Buy it, watch it and be astounded. Fantastic in EVERY way!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's gold! The best 12 episodes money can buy!, 14 Feb. 2007
By 
N. Yates "nobby_d" (Oxford) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Deadwood: Complete HBO Season 1 [2004] [DVD] (DVD)
Buy this and you hit the motherlode.

A masterclass in screenwriting, beautiful TV cinematography, Shakespearean-like storylines, a clever fusion of fact and fiction, a strong core of characters, top-class acting, and an aura of authenticism make Deadwood S1 a must watch/buy. It's probably the greatest set of 12 episodes in recent TV history: Feed your sci-fi, comedy, Lost and 24 box sets to Woos pigs.

The downsides?

The language is about the fruitiest you'll hear from a TV drama. Not one for listening with mother.

The knowledge that the final season, S4, has been canned in favour of two 2 hour TV movies, is a huge disappointment: HBO have let down all current and potential fans. You'll watch this, S2 and S3 and then think, I've been cheated by HBO. Shot in the back.

Just start with S1 and enjoy the ride while it lasts. Pure gold.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 212 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Deadwood: Complete HBO Season 1 [2004] [DVD]
Deadwood: Complete HBO Season 1 [2004] [DVD] by Timothy Olyphant (DVD - 2005)
£13.20
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews