Friday, July 14, 2006

Character. Is. Everything.

There was a time when Timothy Olyphant was nothing to me. That time is gone.

I stand before you a married man.”


And that’s just one line. You should have seen how he delivered his greeting. “Evening…” FUCKING. HELL.

And that’s just him speaking. You should watch him close a door and then silently stare and stare and stare at it. It’s fucking powerful and internally tumultuous and HOT. And he has his back to the camera the whole time. And he’s just staring and staring and (we must assume) staring at that door with his knuckles pressed hard against it and OH. SWEET. FUCK.

Deadwood. Is making me lose my mind a bit, it's that good. Oh my, IT'S... JUST... SO... GOOD. And it makes possible things you were quite certain were not possible. For example, who would have thought that there could be only one resounding interpretation to the spectacle of a man beating a woman’s father to a pulp on a saloon floor? Further, who would have thought that singular interpretation would be… “Whoah! A public declaration of love!” Further than that, who would have thought, watching that, you would find yourself (wincing, yes, but mostly just) completely convinced that the man giving the beating is a GOOD man. In fact, the BEST MAN EVER. And not because of a causality of events or a righteousness or because you have vindictive feelings about the man receiving the beating. But because, gah! I can’t explain it. It’s just THE SHOW. I mean, you even remain convinced he is a good man while you’re watching him stone the brains out of a Sioux. OF A SIOUX. And sure, you wish he wasn’t doing that, but it certainly doesn’t shake your foundations about his worth as a person. I am not kidding. Seriously, the people who make this show have such TOUCH. And there’s not a clumsy or manipulative thing in it. You feel like you know the characters down to their bones, yet they are still full of surprise and delight and revelatory instances. I don’t know how it happens, but you can feel what a man is feeling when he walks back out onto the street after beating a woman’s father to a bloody pulp, because you can see the shame and purpose in his very gait. It’s just WONDERFUL. And it’s not simply because of Timothy Olyphant’s character (let’s just call him Seth Bullock, because HE’S REAL). Somehow, you feel for and ache about each and every character. Oh, these characters. I JUST HAVE SO MANY FEELINGS FOR THEM. I mean, The Doc (WHAT A GUY!), and Sol (DITTO), and Dan, and Trixie, and Alma, and Jewel (SHE’S SO FUNNY) and the tragic Preacher, and Charlie - and what about that General who came to camp. Especially the hilariously exasperated way he said “Oh my god” when the newspaperman wanted to double-check about accurately noting down the speech he delivered (which was about the vengeful slaughter of a whole camp of Sioux men, women and children, by the way) – and let’s not forget Al, and even E.B. Yes, even E.B! Again, IT’S THE SHOW. And it’s SO GOOD. Indeed I have to pause it sometimes just so that I can sit back and breathe and say, “THIS SHOW IS SO GOOD.” Because it BEGS TO BE SAID AND CANNOT BE DENIED. See, along with all the cold, hard death-dealing, there is such a seam of goodness running through it on its own terms, and so many interchanges that spark a warm thrilling sensation in me and electrify my internal organs and make me vibrate with emotion. And I am just compelled to savour them over and over again. And still, repeated viewings can’t diminish the thing. Sigh.

I have a problem now, though. I find I cannot move on from Season One. The last two episodes are just so immensely good that it seems a pity to leave them. Watching them is a spiritually enriching experience. No, I am not overstating that shit. So I just keep watching them again and again, not daring to risk disturbing my glowing happiness about them by beginning on Season Two. So I’m stuck in a good place.


I bought two CDs the other day, which are awesomeness:

Kimya Dawson, Remember That I Love You

Johnny Cash, American V: A Hundred Highways *

* “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” could not BE a better thing. That is all.


DAMNIT. Season Two has made me cry. DAMN. IT.

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