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Deadwood : Complete HBO Season 2 [DVD]
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All 12 episodes from the second series of HBO's controversial television western, set in the violent and corrupt South Dakota town of Deadwood in the months after Custer's defeat at the Little Big Horn. In this series, Al Swearengen (Ian McShane) and Bullock (Timothy Olyphant) have a violent confrontation, leaving Swearengen seriously ill just as a new mining operation comes to town. At the same time, Tolliver (Powers Boothe) is trying to undercut Swearengen's hold on the vice rackets by importing his own cut-price Chinese prostitutes, while Bullock finds his relationship with the widowed Alma Garrett (Molly Parker) becoming more intense. Episodes are: 'A Lie Agreed Upon (Part 1)'; 'A Lie Agreed Upon (Part 2)'; 'New Money'; 'Requiem For a Gleet'; 'Complications'; 'Something Very Expensive'; 'E.B. Was Left Out'; 'Childish Things'; 'Amalgamation and Capital'; 'Advances, None Miraculous'; 'The Whores Can Come'; and 'Boy the Earth Talks To'.
Deadwood: The Complete Second Season continues the Shakespearean brilliance of the landmark first season, created by NYPD Blue head writer David Milch. Milch either wrote or supervised the writing of each of the 12 episodes in this stunning follow-up, which contains more than a few surprises for anyone who thought they knew the myriad characters in the late 19th century town of Deadwood--a mucky, ungoverned, exceptionally violent development in South Dakota. As with the first season, Deadwood continues to be about many things--survival, loyalty, alliances, duty--but all of them are happening against a titanic battle between several parties to consolidate power and real wealth in the territory. Despite his cutthroat ethics, astonishing profanity, and bursts of cruelty, it's hard not to side in this bid for a piece of America's future with saloon owner Al Swearengen (a magnificent performance by Ian McShane), a visionary monster who is nevertheless more recognisably human than his rivals.
Entering an uneasy partnership with Al is Seth Bullock (Timothy Olyphant). Seth begins the second season by teaching Al a few lessons in chivalry, and their brief but bloody feud commences physical ailments for Al that become increasingly shocking to behold. Yet Al's difficulties have the practical effect of sidelining him for a couple of episodes while the story sets up more complex power struggles. Al takes on Deadwood's other saloon-brothel owner, the unstable Cy Tolliver (Powers Boothe), as well as an off-screen millionaire who is intent on owning all the gold-mining interests by buying out weary prospectors' claims. Meanwhile, Seth's wife and son (actually, his late brother's widow and child) arrive, an unsettling development for Seth's lover, the widow Alma Garret (Molly Parker), who soon reveals herself to be a more complicated person than in the first season. The prostitute Trixie (Paula Malcomson) begins thinking about her future and asserts independence from Al by having sex with Seth's friend, Sol Star (John Hawkes). Best of all, Calamity Jane (Robin Weigert) is back and more endearingly uncivilized than ever. Special features include actor commentaries on select episodes, the best of which finds Olyphant and McShane cracking each other up while watching the season premiere. --Tom Keogh
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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 .
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!!
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
loved deadwood but totally gutted they never finished it.raw crude vulgar bloodythirsty violent but never boring .not for the faint hearted . i mourn its demise.Published 5 months ago by Mr Michael Tolley
It is fantastic really funny in parts i watched it years ago very enjoyablePublished 7 months ago by william matthews