Skip to content

Ash & Fern: And I thought I cussed like a sailor!

Last weekend I finally discovered Deadwood. I know, I know. I’m about a decade behind the rest of you on this, but for some ridiculous reason I didn’t think I’d like it. Clearly I was insane and that’s just something I have to live with now, knowing that this show could have been in my life for the past 10ish years.

Lucky for me, HBO decided to air the entire series back-to-back on one of their 36,000 channels starting last Saturday and on a whim I set my DVR to the task. And thank goodness I did.

With some unfortunately necessary breaks to sleep and work enough to not get fired, I’ve done essentially nothing but watch Deadwood for the past 7+ days, and I don’t regret a minute of it. (Ok that’s not entirely true, I did finally read Divergent to get ready for the movie. But that’s about all I have to say about that.) It’s official, I’m obsessed.

Al Swearengen is one crazy dude. In a show where I quickly learned everyone is at least a little bit nuts, he takes it to a whole new level. He is evil and creepy and slimy and I love every minute of it. And he makes cussing sound like poetry. I’m not exactly known for my clean language (I have a swear jar on my desk…at work), but the next time my mom scowls at me for saying fuck in her presence, I’m going to pull up a scene from this show for her. See? Told you I’m not that bad!


The man with the filthiest mouth in the West.
The man with the filthiest mouth in the West. It’s in his name, after all!

And holy crap Calamity Jane. Again, I thought I cussed a lot. As I sadly do with most shows that have characters based on real people, I spent most of the first few episodes looking up the people and locations on Wikipedia. Biggest thing I got out of her page? Disappointment that “adventurer” is no longer considered a valid career path. It’s a sad day when you realize that whatever your Wikipedia page says someday, it won’t include that as your vocation. Why am I even trying? I can’t top that.


She's a role model for us all.
Why can’t I be you, Jane?


Seth Bullock. For a “good guy”, he is also just the right amount of unpredictable. I’m never quite sure how he is going to react and it’s awesome. Obviously I’m very familiar with Timothy Olyphant from his work on Justified so I have no idea why I was surprised he was such a natural in a Wild West gunfight. Turns out I might have a bit of a crush brewing here actually.


He’s a natural!


Even the deeper themes of Deadwood manage to be interesting to me. Watching a “civilized” society try to grow out of utter chaos is fascinating. This is a place where a lack of outside forces leads to a unique code of morality. It seems there are lines that people won’t cross even when there is no authority there to keep them in line. Of course, there are more lines that they will cross…

But perhaps most importantly (ok definitely most importantly), I finally learned what a “dead man’s hand” is. I don’t really play much poker, people tend to get annoyed when I continually ask if I have a good hand or not, but like everyone else on the planet I’ve heard that phrase roughly a billion times. Now I don’t have to pretend I know what it is. Cool!

Thankfully I’m not quite done with the show yet, but I’m already dreading the day (sometime midweek I’d guess) when Al Swearengen and Seth Bullock will be out of my life forever. Or at least until my next marathon viewing.

Ok readers, thoughts on Deadwood? And please tell me what else I’m stubbornly missing out on. Clearly there’s a whole world out there that I didn’t know about!