I guess the most surprising thing about HBO’s recent Deadwood movie was that I didn’t have strong opinions about it. It was good. Solid, even. A nice ending.
was one of my favorite shows of all time — and I know I’m not alone there — because it was so chaotic and ornery. It was a show that burned out, ending abruptly after only three seasons, with the promise of a fourth season — or two originally proposed
movies to end the series — seemingly dead as we passed a decade of dormancy. And then suddenly it was back, set not quite 13 years later — the same time we had waited in the real world.
It’s obviously an abnormal way to end a series. Many shows get revisited as feature films or mini-series. But they’re usually massive hits that played on network television. And we’ve obviously seen many shows now reborn in new incarnations
thanks to the rise of the streaming services. But this was just different, a mildly popular (though critically acclaimed) show reborn as a feature movie on the same channel over a decade later. Again, the end result is a pretty restrained, conservative coda for a show that was anything but.
I suppose in that regard the show ultimately ended as a reflection on the character Al Swearengen himself. I feel better thinking about it that way. At least I feel something.