Saturday, July 12, 2008

R.I.P. 'Deadwood'

Yes, it seems my favorite TV show of all time has finally—like so many of its characters—met its untimely demise, and will remain frozen forever for posterity. It's not a surprise, of course, but it does frustrate me a bit—it's not like HBO has had any barnstorming hits since "Deadwood" left the air two years ago (even as Showtime has gotten better and better). It kinda reminds me of the Green Bay Packers rebuffing Brett Favre to "move on." I just don't understand.

That being said, I don't think creator/producer/writer David Milch left "Deadwood" in all that bad a place. What has now become the series finale certainly didn't tie everything up, but it was satisfying in its own right. Do I really need to see the town I've come to love burn down in order to have closure? No. Better to think those hustlers, murderers, whores, and gamblers maybe made something of themselves after all. A couple of movies would've been nice, I guess ("Serenity" certainly was for "Firefly"), but I don't think it would've felt quite right. "Deadwood" was always a slow burn with surprising moments of utter violence and brutality. I doubt that same vibe could have carried over quite right in another shorter format.

But it doesn't matter now, anyway. HBO, in all of its infinite wisdom, has moved on. Fine. Better for "Deadwood" to burn out than fade away, and it certainly walked out of town on its own terms. It's the way Al and Bullock would've wanted it.

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