HBO’s ‘Deadwood: The Movie’ Is the Perfect End to Television’s Best Show
HBODeadwood: The Movie is the perfect ending to television’s all-time best show. After such a long wait, however, two brief hours—no matter how joyous, heartbreaking and ideal they’ve turned out to be—just isn‘t enough. Following 36 episodes spread across three unrivaled seasons, Deadwood was unceremoniously cancelled in 2006, denied a conclusion to its sprawling and intricate saga of frontier life in the Dakota Territory circa the 1870s. Speculation about a revival has flourished ever since, but it’s only now that HBO has finally granted series creator David Milch an opportunity to resurrect his landmark work in order to give it a proper send-off. That he most ably does with Deadwood: The Movie (May 31), a feature-length coda that reunites virtually every one of the show’s still-living cast members, and provides a measure of closure for a masterful story left unresolved. And yet in revisiting its cast of nuanced, colorful, and altogether captivating characters (and milieu) for such a brief spell, it also serves as a painful reminder that we’ve been denied a chance to spend our Sunday nights with these men and women for far too long. Sharply directed by Daniel Minahan, Deadwood: The Movie is, appropriately, a tale of birth, death, blood and unions. Set ten years after the season three finale, it finds industrialist monster George Hearst (Gerald McRaney) returning to the Deadwood camp at the moment of its 1889 South Dakota statehood celebration. Now a junior senator from California, Hearst has arrived to convince Charlie Utter (Dayton Callie), the area’s last holdout, to sell him his claim so he can continue to string telephone poles across the country. The future—of mass communication, of a modern law-and-order society, of a United States—continues to approach with the speed of a locomotive. At the same time, other familiar faces have chosen to reappear for the occasion, including Alma Garret (Molly Parker) and her now-grown charge Sofia (Lily Keene), and Calamity Jane (Robin Weigert), still boozing and talking to herself, and—having ended a long sojourn in parts unknown—in search of her beloved Joanie Stubbs (Kim Dickens), who has taken over the Bella Union for Cy Tolliver (formerly played by Powers Boothe, who passed away in May 2017). Read more at The Daily Beast.