Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Crazy for Swedgin and Co.

About a month ago Aspen returned from the local video store with a free rental, the first installment of the HBO series Deadwood. I hadn't heard of the show, but the cover of DVD case looked interesting, and hey, I appreciate a good western. The opening few minutes of dialogue featuring actor Ian McShane (as saloon keeper Al Swearengen) was an eye opener, as the ‘F’ bomb, the ‘C’ word and many other expletives spewed forth from his lips in rapid succession. But there was one slang term that totally blew me away; an expression among many I didn’t know even existed back then; a word I can’t type here to maintain my PG-13 rating. The only clue I can give is that it rhymes with stocktrucker. I joked with Aspen that we should make a game out of this show, where we'd have to take a drink every time that word is spoken. I'm sure I’d be passed out before the closing credits.

I soon found myself captivated by the plot lines and the seemingly accurate portrayal of this lawless mining town in Dakota Territory, circa 1877. I imagined Main Street Deadwood as a cesspool of mud, where murder victims were fed to a Chinese guy’s pigs, and even the most unkempt spoke the Queen’s English. After that first DVD, I opened our Netflix account and placed the entire first season in the queue. That wasn’t enough, and we returned to the rental store for the second season. I began to work on my breathy Seth Bullock impression with fervor (as played by Timothy Olyphant), ‘I…..am….going….for…a…RUN!!’ When not aping this over-the-top performance, I was conversing with my wife using such phrases as ‘Let us retire to our bedroom quarters – post haste!’ or ‘Might I have a word with you regarding the odiferousness of our repast?’ I found myself humming the opening theme song in the shower, and tipping my invisible hat to local townfolk. I was hooked.

We just finished Season 2, and I can’t wait to see where the storyline will go from here, as this frontier soap opera continues to unfold. I can only wish that the gold didn’t play out so soon.

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