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4.5 out of 5 stars68
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 23 February 2007
Its nice to see something different to a lot of the other TV shows out there at the moment. This show is all about Deadwood. A small mining camp in Dakota which has gradually grown with each season from a small mining camp to becoming a major town. All the story is told through the eyes of the characters who have helped shaped its community. From the foul mouthed saloon saloon owner "Al Swearengen" (McShane) and his vicious rival "Cy Tolliver" (Booth), the story is intricately told through the inhabitants interactions and sometimes violent confrontations.

At times the dialogue can be heavy going as it accurately reflects the type of language spoken in the old west. Just listen to "Merrick", the town's resident newspaper editor and printer, this guy definitely has word of the day toilet paper as he rarely uses words less than three syllables. Then we come to the resident and reluctant sheriff Bullock (Olyphant), who is forced to endure the bloodshed and rivalries.

The camp is riddeled bribary and rivalries as each of the inhabitants try to stake their claims on land and wealth, some are in it for themselves, while others are outsiders trying to shape and influence the town for other more powerful characters in the cities.

The violence is strong but infrequent. Anybody expecting blazing gun battles every episode should get the A-Team. The violence in the show is very often as a result of tensions that build up and then explode, holding back no punches with its portrayal.

The characters are the what makes this show so addictive. The brilliant and sometimes hilarious Swearengen, (Just watch his conversation with Mr Wu in season 1), delivers some great one liners and is without a doubt the heart of Deadwood. Lovejoy RIP.

A truly great western drama.
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VINE VOICEon 3 September 2006
Deadwood is a unique TV series.

Never has the Old West been portrayed so uncompromisingly with a grim, foul mouthed reality. The cast are brilliant, especially Ian McShane and the atmosphere of the South Dakota town is realized in all the mucky glory of the time. There is much humour beneath the surface as well and it never becomes too grim to be depressing.

The lack of special features on the Region 2 version is disappointing but should not put you off. I found Series 2 better than better than the first series as we are now familiar with all the characters and their motives .
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on 5 April 2006
This is a superior series. The standards have been maintained from the first season, and continues to explore the motivations of the main characters against the backdrop of the evolving town of Deadwood. I'm really looking forward to Seasons 3 and 4. I agree that the bonus features should have been included, but its the episodes that will enjoy repeated viewings. I would suggest that anyone wishing to find out more about Deadwood and its characters, should order from Amazon the book "The Real Deadwood" by John Ames. Its a useful book as it highlights the real lives of the characters portrayed in HBO's Deadwood. In a way this compensates for the lack of bonus features on the region 2 editions. I found it a good background primer for the show.
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on 17 July 2007
Series one was such an unexpected, unprecedented delight, I was almost loathe to get into series two, knowing it couldn't possibly have been as good.

But what did I know? It's even better.

The storylines are never less than fascinating, the characters, dialogue and situations as raw, filthy, poetic, deceiving, unexpected, resourceful and colourful as the pioneer culture they inhabit. Swearengen is the most wonderful, eye-wateringly human creation.

But all this has made it really hard for me to watch because the more I watched, the closer I got to the end... If you feel the same way (how could you not?!), rest assured that the final episode is a corker, and I can't wait to start series three. Though as there's no series four, I shall no doubt be back in re-run land before too long.
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on 6 October 2007
Yes, this series is better than the already fantastic first, but for anyone just getting into Deadwood then be warned that the morons at HBO have cancelled it after the third series. And there aren't going to be any of the promised movie specials to tie up the loose ends. Once you start watching you will realise what a tragic turn of events this is for those of us who absloutely love Deadwood!
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on 27 March 2006
It annoys me that the last two reviews for this box set have been based solely on the bonus content. You are turning people away from a brilliant show that can stand on its own. The bonus features are thin yes you are correct, but the second series of Deadwood is good enough on its own without any extra features and is well worth the price also!! Don't be put off buying this box set, if u loved the show itself which is the reason why we buy the dvd, then you cannot go wrong with this.
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1877. The camp of Deadwood in the Black Hills is gaining respectability as the gold rush continues. It has a mayor and a sheriff, and the neighbouring territory of Dakota is expressing interest in annexing the nascent town.

The second season of Deadwood is a partially successful extension of the themes of the first season. Order has arisen out of chaos, a new government and law for the town has been formed and people are starting to organise themselves. Deadwood is still a dangerous place - life remains cheap for many - but civilisation is coming. Against this backdrop Al Swearengen is still running shady deals but he has now become involved in political intrigue as he tries to get the best deal possible for the town. Sheriff Seth Bullock's interest in law and order is put aside as he tries to get to know the family he has inherited from his brother, whilst Joanie Stubbs's attempts to go solo and open her own whorehouse end in tragedy. There's a wider variety of storylines and characters in the second season, but they don't cohere as perfectly as they did in the first.

The core problem is the essentiality of Ian McShane's presence as Al Swearengen to the success of the show. A curious decision was made to spend about three episodes on Swearengen being indisposed on account of kidney stones, meaning that for a quarter of the season its main protag/antagonist is all but absent, only appearing to pee some blood on the floor. Interesting for its attention to period detail (medicine in the 1870s was terrifyingly primitive), but hardly dramatically compelling. In McShane's absence, some of the thinness of the other character arcs becomes more apparent. Alma Garrett spends a dozen episodes sitting in her rooms not doing very much. Seth Bullock spends most of the season agonising over what to do about his relationship with his inherited wife and stepson (to the point of completely missing a prostitute-murdering killer being loose in the town). It's notable that the second season of Deadwood springs back to life when Swearengen returns to the front line, influencing an important part of history (Deadwood's acceptance into the USA and what territory it will join) from behind his office desk, negotiating deals with hugely important businessmen George Hearst and sorting out an internecine conflict within the Chinese community. Most of HBO's other classic shows succeed with broad ensemble casts, with no central role to hang the storyline on (The Wire, for example, had an entire year in which Dominic West's McNulty barely appeared and it was arguably the best season), but Deadwood falters in Swearengen's absence.

That said, even a slightly disappointing season of Deadwood remains great television. As with the first season, the writing, characterisation and attention to detail are all superb. The dialogue is often a joy to listen to, and the show's morbid sense of humour results in laugh-out-loud moments. Alma's indecision over her future prospects is presented sympathetically, but with a true-to-the-period emphasis on realism over sentimentality. Bullock goes through a similar process. Both storylines are drawn out much too long, but are nevertheless explored well. More successful is the way the show presents Cy Tolliver as a man with the veneer of civilisation and decency, but with a seething, frustrated anger not far below the surface.

The second season of Deadwood (****) remains compelling viewing, but definitely falters compared to the first year. The pacing feels sluggish at times and the back-room dealings over the camp's future feels like set-up more than the main course. The writing and performances remain exemplary and the thematic developments are fascinating, which help make up for the shortcomings.
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on 9 July 2006
I wondered how the story would develop in Deadwood after season one ended, I was worried the 2nd season would dissapoint. It does not. The charcters and plot are superbly crafted; Mcshane just gets better and better. I have now bannished Lovejoy completely from my memory as this without a doubt is Mcshanes defining work. The language continues to be extremely harsh, but if you can see past that the script is written sublimely. I bought the first series boxed set on a random impulse - it was the best DVD boxed set I bought this year - until this one.
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on 4 July 2014
To all, I really like Deadwood, I had the DVD brilliant box set, so excellently produced. Then I wanted the Blu Ray version. The image quality is 10/10, real class production. BUT the sound !!! I have purchased Blu ray copies of Deadwood, Series 1 some slight echo but just watch able, Series 2 and 3 from episode 2 onward the sound is out of sync. I have a Panasonic BDT 110 and a LG BD370, both connected to the internet so all ( and I have checked ) firmware is up to date. The disk's are FAULTY.
I have ordered the Australian version, and sent it back, and now just received the German version ( though the same I now see, I hoped different productions) and again sound out of sync !!!!! It's not your player it's extremely bad production from Universal, that they must have known about and just did not care !!!! it seams. The full series cost me over £100 + !!!!!!!!!!
I have many Blu Ray's not out of sync ALL PERFECT, EXCEPT UNIVERSAL PRODUCTIONS. Yet they say nothing, I'v looked for answers, but nothing at all.
Amazon must have some weight as buyers to help sort out this out and kick someone's **** please.
Any suggestions on who to contact to get what I paid a lot of very good money for ??????
I'm not sending back my German version to the supplier as it's not his fault and I want this series.
Steve Beswick
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on 17 February 2006
The Second series of Deadwood starts off where we left at the end of season 1. The camp is going through major changes which dominate the second series, with the government trying to steal gold claims off the hard working men of Deadwood and also trying to get the camp itself into a state of America. Of course the people will stop them, they have Al Swerengen for one. And once again he is up to his ruthless deeds trying to stay ahead of the game and trying to avoid problems on comming by emlininating them brutally in most cases.
Bullock now the sherrif of Deadwood goes through more termoil with his Sherrif postion, and dealings with Al, which ends with a horrific fight between the two that occurs in the first episode. The fight causes a tension between AL and Bullock, but eventually it gets sorted out as Bullock is the only one who can keep the camp in order. Other story lines involve, Bullocks family moving to camp, the return of Calamity, and Al getting very ill. And many more fantastic events.
I was sceptical that a second series would be as good or better than the first. I was completly wrong, its far far better. Characters have evolved, story lines are gripping, the brutallity is still there, and so is that shcok factor which was from the first series. The show remains fresh, and that is great.
The other good thing about this season 2 box set is, that we get it before the Americans do, which is a bonus for all us UK Deadwood fans!!
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