Mini reviews of Television seasons old and new. No fuss. No spoilers. Occasional bunnies.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Deadwood: Season Three (2006)

Deadwood set the bar as high as it could go with the very first episode of Season One, and kept it close thereafter, right to the very end of this Season, which was to be the last because HBO cancelled it. Of all the TV shows that ever got axed, in all the years that I've been a viewer, I mourn the loss of Deadwood the most. The only thing it did wrong was be too damn clever.

The main story arc is the continued fight for control of town resources, a fight played out both diplomatically and via the business end of a knife. There’s a saying that the enemy of my enemy is my friend, but in Deadwood the enemy of my enemy is another fucking enemy waiting to snatch an advantage, hoping to profit from it either directly or indirectly. Multiple threats mean stakes are higher and casualties more notable. Not everyone makes it out alive. There are some quiet moments near the end, but only because tensions are purposefully buried.

The main cast members are unchanged. Joanie Stubbs (Kim Dickens) finally gets something interesting to do, which left just the character of Alma Garret (Molly Parker) as the only weak leak in an otherwise sturdy chain.

There’s not much of Brad Dourif this season. You get the feeling that he’s always around but he has less screen time.

I have to give special mention to Calamity Jane (Robin Weigert). Of all the women in the series, Jane is the most exceptional, for reasons I won't go into.

Let’s not forget the humour. William Sanderson had me in pains of laughter. His weasel attitude and ability to swing from self-effacing to self-important in the same sentence is pure genius.

Brian Cox joined the cast. He and his troupe seemed a little superfluous, but it’s Brian Cox, so even when he’s doing little of merit he’s still a joy to watch. I'm sure his role would've increased had it been given time to do so; there were definite hints in that direction.

There was the hope that some TV movies would get the green light to wrap up the threads of the story but that didn't happen.

12 episodes, approx 45-55 minutes each.

5 fights on the promenade out of 5