Why I’m Still in Mourning for Deadwood

I am still in mourning. One of my favourite TV series, Justified, finished a little while ago after six seasons.

In Justified, Timothy Olyphant portrays Raylan Givens, a tough US Marshal enforcing his own brand of justice in his hometown of Harlan, Kentucky.

Raylan Givens is something of a 19th-century–style, Old West lawman living in modern times, whose unconventional enforcement of justice makes him a target of criminals, and a problem child to his US Marshals Service superiors.

The good guys are great, and the bad guys are awesome!

From Boyd Crowder, a master criminal and silver tongued devil in a tight-fitting suit, to Dickie Bennett and his hill-billy marijuana growing family and the mishap-prone Dewey Crowe, it is truly entertaining.

Like any good things though they must come to an end, which led me to search for another show to fill the empty space in my heart.

The most obvious next step was to revisit Deadwood, which also featured Timothy Olyphant, but only ran for three seasons (2004-2006). It may be 10 years old, but this series hasn’t lost any of its shine for me.

The TV Series was based on and inspired in parts by actual facts and real people from Deadwood, South Dakota circa 1877. The series featured larger-than-life characters like “Wild Bill” Hickok, “Calamity Jane” Cannary, the Earp brothers, and Al Swearengen.

I loved it mainly for the show’s unusual dialogue.

The show creators injected Shakespearean language into the American Wild West and peppered it with what’s been described as nothing short of “the most delightfully vulgar language you’ll ever hear on a TV show”.

Unfortunately Deadwood met a premature end (like many of the Deadwood inhabitants) for the same reason it’s fans loved it – the language. The venn diagram above explains more.

So yes I mourn the ending of Justified and Deadwood, but while there is Timothy Olyphant and show creators such as those that brought us these series, there is still some hope of bringing the Wild West, amazing characters and dialogue with a difference, back to life.

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Kylie Fennell
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