Monday, May 23, 2005


Let me say this right at the top, because I have a feeling this post is gonna get away from me shortly and my rambling will commence: While 95 percent of all television watchers tuned into the Desperate Housewives finale last night, anyone that watched HBO's Deadwood at the same time was treated to the absolute greatest season finale in the history of the tube. Seriously.

Maybe, just maybe, I'll entertain the notion that title belongs to the episode where Susan dies and Jerry proposes to Female Jerry (Garofalo), but I think last night's Deadwood might take the "Best. Finale. Ever. Award." The last 10 minutes of that show couldn't have been more packed with action and awesomeness.

After 11 fantastic episodes, the show's writers summed up every imaginable angle from the season in incredible fashion: old allegiances tested, new alliances formed, the territory annexed once and for all, the Chinks' Alley death of San Francisco Cocksucka and his stable of celestials at the hands of Wu, the fully blossomed love between a Jew and a Whore, and a loveless marriage between the widow Garret and her employ, Jane's clean, Farnum's insane, Hearst is cool!, Moes Manuel (sp?) lives, a troubled Wolcott hangs himself, Cy's stabbed and, once again, Al Swearengen is the fucking man with the fucking plan.

In this place where shades of gray are the only colors in town besides gold, it's easy to look at the show and its blue language of filth flarn filth and not know where to align yourself. But while the supporting cast of characters make up the best emsemble cast this side of Arrested Development, this show is all Al...look no further than the lymie cocksucker who operates the Gem Saloon. I can never quite understand why people would worship Tony Soprano and take a pass on Al Swearengen.

This guy is Tony Soprano, only he pisses and shits in a bucket, almost died from kidney stones and rants therapeutically whilst getting hummers with or without a thumb up his bum. But the similarities are endless: He rules the vice trade in town, he runs the 1870's Bada Bing, he brokers deals with local governments to curry his own favor, he's got a stable of both loyal and stupid henchmen and he's oddly compassionate when he has to be. I'd even go so far as to say this guy makes Tony look like an amateur thug. Al rules with his brilliant mind, Tony with his iron fist.

As happy as a happy ending (non-Asian) gets in Deadwood, the season ends with Al on top of the heap, having successfully bought off and partnered with gold rush millionaire George Hearst, scared off the brutal Pinkertons in episodes past and negotiated a deal for the camp to be annexed by the Dakotas. The townsfolk are singing and dancing and enjoying the wedding, while the real villains -- Cy Tolliver, Francis Wolcott and the San Francisco Cocksucka Lee -- get what's coming to them. And Al rises above it, hovering on his balcony as the season fades to black. Simply brilliant.

A few burning questions: Who does the actor that played Jack McCall in the first season and Wolcott in this one come back as next season? Where does the Farnum character go post-insanity and post-hotel sale? Why is Bullock such a fuckin' pansy all of a sudden? (Jeeeez, kill a man's son with a wild horse and watch him turn to mush.) Where's Charlie Utter's frock coat? Did I really see Jane's pubis bush last week or did I imagine that? What will become of Cy and his stab wound? And, will I go on a rampage and dismember certain human beings if Trixie (Paula Malcomson) and Al (Ian McShane) don't win Emmys?

Line of the season: The widow Garrett needs help from the whore Trixie, so she treks down the thoroughfare to the hardware store where the whore is getting accounting lessons from her beau, Star. Mrs. Garrett asks for help with her pregnancy, to which a pissed off Trixie says she'll reluctantly provide in due course. I don't remember the exact line, but Trixie then says something to the effect of, "Let me just finish up my Jewish lessons and I'll be right over."

Move of the season: Over the final six episodes or so, this show added Ned Ryerson and Major Dad to the cast. Wow, you can't honestly get better than that. Absolutely wonderful additions that fit into the cast perfectly.

I can only hope HBO doesn't make us wait a year or two for more Deadwood. In the next few months I'm gonna need a fix like Leon the faro-dealing junky. Welcome to Deadwood.


At 3:29 PM, Blogger poophopanonymous22 said...

tisk tisk ace, while your review made me extremely delighted, u failed to mention the funniest unintentional comedy moment tv has ever witnessed. of course i would be referring to the doc grinding with the gimp at the wedding.

although, not far behind that was seeing michael bolton at the contender arena, seriously, to any contender fans out there, was that really michael bolton??? and if so, how does michael bolton have such pull to be sitting so close to sly and sugar ray leonard?? god damn i watch too much tv, COCKSUCKA!!!

At 3:31 PM, Blogger The Letter D said...

I can't agree with you more about Deadwood. Lots of people are sleeping on this show. In comparison, the Sopranos is way overrated. I'd put it below Deadwood and the Wire, both shows with superior writing and storylines that actually get resolved and aren't raised just for shock value.

For characters, I'd put Calamity Jane, "Swedgin," Wolcott, Doc, Utter and hell even Tolliver over any other show.

And even if you have a stretch a little to understand everything, the dialogue is heads above anything else being written today.

And those who doubt me, suck cock by choice!

At 4:37 PM, Blogger jp said...

Dude, I can't read this post. I'm way behind on watching the season. Thank God for On Demand. I have 5 episodes left to go.

The best shows on TV (in this order) are:

1. The Shield
2. Deadwood
3. The Sopranos
4. 24

At 4:49 PM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

Poophop, you're right, I thought about including that little bit but I refrained for some reason. It's funny, the Doc barely had any role in the last few episodes, yet they have him dancin' all sexy with the gimp. Classic.

Letter D, dyn-o-mite drop-in on the "Those who doubt me suck cock by choice." That was my second favorite line of the season (actually tied for second with Moes Manuel saying to Bullock, "Fuck yourself, and don't act entitled to answers," and then to Utter, "Go fuck YOURself, and don't act entitled").

Sorry to ruin it JP...catch up quick, it's too good to put off.

Swedgin! Wu!

At 7:32 PM, Blogger jp said...

I'm only up to

Wu: Where Swegin? Wu! San Fransisco cocksucker!

Dan: He ain't receivin you or your invisible San Francisco cocksucker.

At 9:30 PM, Blogger John Howard said...

Great post, Ace. I fucking love Deadwood. But in these days of DVR, I watch that and Desperate Housewives. I'm going to link to your post so maybe I can make sure this show doesn't get canceled like Carnivale did.

At 8:52 AM, Blogger Wooglin said...

"Act civilized even if you fuckin ain't Ace!"

How is it that noone has mentioned Al conversation's with the dirt-worshiper's head in the box? And what the hell is the deal with this. You can call me Jimmy cause I can't figure it out for the life of me.

At 9:00 AM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

Good stuff, JR. But there's no way in hell this show gets cancelled.

Wooglin, you bring up an interesting point...what is the deal with the Chief's head in a box? Is it just a vehicle for Al to have these Farnum-esque asides? Or is there a legit reason Al is holding onto it? No friggin' clue, but I like it.

I watched the last 15 minutes again yesterday after work, and it only gets better. "God is not mocked, Cy, God is not mocked."

Frock coats for all!


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