The Rundown: The Time Has Come For A ‘Deadwood’ Binge-Watch

05.10.19 4 months ago


The Rundown is a weekly column that highlights some of the biggest, weirdest, and most notable events of the week in entertainment. The number of items will vary, as will the subject matter. It will not always make a ton of sense. Some items might not even be about entertainment, to be honest, or from this week. The important thing is that it’s Friday and we are here to have some fun.

ITEM NUMBER ONE — The clock is ticking

There’s a lot going on this month. Quite possibly too much. This Sunday is the series finale of Veep and the second-to-last episode of Game of Thrones, which means next Sunday is the series finale of that show. We’re about to lose what is arguably the best comedy of the last 5-10 years one week before we lose what is inarguably the biggest drama of the same period. The NBA playoffs are going on. Endgame just came out, John Wick 3 is coming out next week. The month is stacked, admittedly, with important pop culture events. But please don’t let this slip your mind: The Deadwood movie premieres on May 31, too.

Do you realize that May 31 is exactly three weeks from today? That doesn’t seem possible. It feels like June should still be months away. I might not be the best judge of this, though, because I just wrote “2011” as the year on a form not that long ago. But look at the calendar. It’s true. Three weeks, a total of 21 days, until the Deadwood movie premieres. This means that now is officially the time to begin your binge-watch, whether it’s your first time through or you’re catching up after a few years away.

Could you start it later? I mean, sure. I’m not the boss of you, probably, unless I am, in which case stop screwing around online and get to work. But this is the last chance to start if you want to keep a realistic schedule. There are 36 episodes of the show. That’s less than two episodes per day. You can do that. If you wait until next weekend, you’re looking at about 2.5 episodes per day. Still doable, but a stretch if you miss a day here or there. No, you should start this weekend. Let’s all start this weekend. It’ll be fun.

What’s your favorite part of Deadwood? It is Ian McShane as Al Swearengen? I get that. Ian McShane is awesome. The man could read an audiobook about what a punk and a buster I am and I’d still get to the end and be like, “Hell yeah, good point.” Al Swearengen is the role he was born to play, too, all cussing and silver-tongue venom, one of television’s best villains of all time, if not straight-up one of its best characters. McShane’s voice delivering David Milch’s word is a blessing. Cherish it.

Or is your favorite part Timothy Olyphant as Seth Bullock. Good Lord, is that man intense. His eyes are always blazing to a degree that they might set his mustache or hat on fire. Timothy Olyphant is awesome, too. The only issue with him returning to the role of Seth Bullock is that he played Raylan Givens on Justified in the interim and that role was probably even better. Either way, Timothy Olyphant has played legendary gunslinging badasses in two of televisions best shows. The world is a better place when he’s wearing a cowboy hat and staring down some bad guys. Cherish this, too.

Maybe your favorite part is something else. That’s fine. There’s a lot to choose from. Maybe you’ll find a new favorite part during the re-watch we just agreed to start together. Or, again, maybe it’ll be your first time through. What a treat for you. I came to the show very late, too. The key here is that we are all watching Deadwood and talking about it a lot between now and the end of the month. Game of Thrones is over for good in about 10 days. We have to fill that gap with something. We could do a lot worse than Deadwood.

ITEM NUMBER TWO — My new favorite show

It is my great pleasure to introduce all of you to Blood & Treasure, a new summer series from CBS that is already my favorite show on television despite the tiny fact that it has not premiered yet. It’s beautiful. First of all, it is literally titled Blood & Treasure. That’s a perfect title. For anything. There are so many things I would buy or consume if they were called Blood & Treasure. A heavy metal album? Sure. A high-ABV craft beer? Of course. A summer series on CBS, the same network and season that gave us Zoo, my beloved-but-canceled series about scientifically mutated hellbeasts declaring war on the human race? Oh, indeed.

But let’s say the title Blood & Treasure isn’t enough for you. Let’s say you’re very difficult to please, in general, and you don’t just declare yourself all-in on shows based solely on a combination of title, network, and season. Ugh. What’s the matter with you? Live a little. Stop being so difficult. But let’s say that’s you and you’d like to at least see a brief summary. Fine. Done. From Wikipedia:

Blood & Treasure centers on “a brilliant antiquities expert and a cunning art thief who team up to catch a ruthless terrorist who funds his attacks through stolen treasure. As they crisscross the globe hunting their target, they unexpectedly find themselves in the center of a 2,000-year-old battle for the cradle of civilization.”

Find me two better sentences. Take all afternoon. I’ll be here just twiddling my thumbs and waiting impatiently for Blood & Treasure to premiere. I mean, we start off with “a brilliant antiquities expert and a cunning art thief.” I’m already in. I don’t care what they’re doing. They could be trying to open a Chili’s franchise. But they’re not. They’re trying to catch “a ruthless terrorist who funds his attacks with stolen treasure.” There are dozens of more practical ways to fund terrorism. Think about how much work goes into stealing treasure. Like, one treasure. It’s needlessly complicated and I love it so much I might die.

This brings us to the second sentence, which includes the phrases “criss-cross the globe” and “a 2,000-year battle for the cradle of civilization.” So it’s like, what, National Treasure crossed with Tomb Raider crossed with The Thomas Crown Affair, but on CBS as the weather begins to get warm and attention spans start to disappear? Oh hell yes. I hope it’s bad and great and fun and nuttier than a pecan pie. I can’t wait.

Perhaps I’m setting my expectations too high. I probably am. I do that sometimes. I’ll see a title and description and trailer and build a show up to a point that the real thing can’t please me. I did this just last year with Deception, the show about a disgraced magician who starts working with the FBI. In my defense, I mean, come on. How was I supposed to go around living my stupid life after discovering the existence of a soon-to-premiere show about a disgraced magician who works with the FBI? I’m only so strong.

Blood & Treasure.

Blood & Treasure!

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