Deadwood has already been renewed for a third season:
HBO has renewed the Emmy® and Golden Globe® winning western drama series DEADWOOD for a third season.
“DEADWOOD is a dazzling and unpredictable show that has connected with both subscribers and critics,” noted Carolyn Strauss, president, HBO Entertainment.
Tonight’s Episode: “Something Very Expensive”
Alma proposes forming a bank, and looks to familiar faces to run it. To test himself, Swearengen grants audience to a long line of supplicants; talks with Farnum and Miss Isringhausen prove most illuminating. The arrival of low-priced Chinese whores begins the next phase in Tolliver and Wolcott’s arrangement. Humiliated by Bullock, an angry claim owner looks to “square the scales.” An enchanted Merrick tours a new schoolteacher about the camp. Wolcott’s inner demons test his alliance with Tolliver, and prompt Stubbs and Utter to covert action.
Below: A great conversation on Deadwood
From Unbossed.com’s TV Talk:
Izzy: For some reason I find that interesting, but under the surface grime, both shows say a lot about politics. In Deadwood, the town isn’t yet part of the United States and an underlying theme is the issue of power — who’s in charge in a lawless place? It seems to hinge on wealth and violence. Slowly, laws and politics are being introduced and we get to see it evolve.
The character of Al Swearengen runs the town at the start of the series and he seems like a flat-out bad guy. As the gold mines draw more “civilized” citizens, at first it’s a relief and then you realize some of them are even worse than Al because their evil is disguised. You start thinking Al isn’t so bad — at least you know where you stand with him.
Towards the end of the first season, I think Al senses his power is in jeopardy and wants to hold on to it. He calls a meeting of other powerful people and says “Let’s form a government.” It’s one of the most chilling moments I’ve seen on television — it scared the crap out of me.
MitM: Both shows are meditations on power, at least in part. That scene you mention is fantastic. To me, though, the most interesting character is Sheriff Seth Bullock. Men like him are the pivot between anarchy and order. It is a man of honor, despite his own comfort, or tiredness, or wishing for a normal life, a man who becomes a public servant who makes civilization possible. He wanted so badly to make a fresh start, to leave his past life as a Marshall behind, yet he’s driven to step into this vital role.