• Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Mar 1, 2004
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3
Deadwood Image
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics What's this?

User Score
9.3

Universal acclaim- based on 93 Ratings

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  • Starring: Dayton Callie, Paula Malcomson, Garret Dillahunt
  • Summary: In an age of plunder and greed, the richest gold strike in American History draws a throng of restless misfits to an outlaw settlement where everything - and everyone - has a price. Welcome to Deadwood...a hell of a place to make your fortune. From Executive Producer David Milch ("NYPD Blue") comes DEADWOOD, a new drama series that focuses on the birth of an American frontier town and the ruthless power struggle that exists in its lawless boundaries. The story begins two weeks after Custer's defeat at Little Bighorn, combining fictional and real-life characters and events in an epic morality tale. Located in the Black Hills Indian Cession, the "town" of Deadwood is an illegal settlement, a violent and uncivilized outpost that attracts a colorful array of characters looking to get rich - from outlaws and entrepreneurs to ex-soldiers and racketeers, Chinese laborers, prostitutes, city dudes and gunfighters. Expand
  • Genre(s): Drama, Action & Adventure, Suspense
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Oct 3, 2013
    100
    HBO just might have found its next great dramatic addiction --- a vulgar, gritty, at times downright nasty take on the Old West brimming with all the dark genius that series creator and screenwriter extraordinaire David Milch has at his fingertips. [19 Mar 2004, p.2]
  2. Reviewed by: Staff [Not Credited]
    Sep 30, 2013
    100
    A fascinating and disturbing vision. [21 Mar 2004, p.F5]
  3. Reviewed by: Steve Johnson
    Oct 3, 2013
    90
    In the same way that "The Wire" showed there is an HBO way to update that staple of regular TV, the cop show, Deadwood demonstrates that the western can be revitalized, too, with a dose of extreme realism. [19 Mar 2004, p.C1]
  4. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Sep 30, 2013
    80
    It's a true character piece with top-notch acting all around. [21 Mar 2004, p.TV-5]
  5. Reviewed by: David Bianculli
    Oct 3, 2013
    75
    Get past the language, though, and Deadwood slowly but surely draws you in. Keith Carradine, as Hickok, brings quiet stoicism and strength to a new level; Timothy Olyphant as Seth Bullock, who has hung up his lawman's badge to hang a hardware-store shingle in town, isn't far behind. [18 Mar 2004, p.101]
  6. Reviewed by: Preston Turegano
    Sep 30, 2013
    75
    Technically, Deadwood is marred occasionally by sloppy continuity. One gaffe occurs after Bullock and Hickok discover the slain pioneer family at night. As they ride back to town with the sole survivor of the crime, darkness suddenly gives way to bright daylight as the rescue party makes a turn in a road. In another scene, Bullock is shown shaving his neck and the sides of his baby face, only to be seen with stubble five minutes later. [21 Mar 2004, p.TV-6]
  7. Reviewed by: Hal Boedeker
    Sep 30, 2013
    40
    The bonanza of off-color dialogue makes Deadwood a hard sell: Who knew the Wild Wild West could be such a joyless place? [21 Mar 2004, p.4]

See all 26 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 16
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 16
  3. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Aug 21, 2011
    10
    A very small number of TV series are as compelling as a terrifically written book, and provoke a sense of loss when one completes watching them. For me, this is not only once of those few, but arguably the best, contending favorably against (some) seasons of 24, Lost & Prison Break. Well before the end of the 3rd series, I liked or disliked and cared about the future about almost every character. The show has too many outstanding features for me to credit, but the dialogue does delight and beguile. Watch. Expand
  2. Mar 8, 2013
    10
    The acting, the direction, the set design, the economical use of music and the plotting are all fantastic. What really makes this the best television series in history, however, is the engaging literary style that Milch and the other writers bring to the dialogue. All I can say about the cancellation is "what conceivable godly use is our suffering? What conceivable godly use was the screaming of all those characters? Did you need to hear their death-agonies to know your omnipotence, HBO?" Expand
  3. Jan 31, 2011
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. uh ....! i just brought it :)
    Apparently it is based on history of Deadwood , South Dakota @Trilby , @ Anfractuous ....thnx that encouraged me for it
    Expand
  4. Jan 8, 2014
    10
    Many people who have not seen David Milch's under-appreciated HBO series "Deadwood" tend to assume that it is a revamp of the Western genre, perhaps similar to "3:10 to Yuma", or "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly". This is not the case. If you watch it (which I highly recommend you do), you will not see horse chases, stick-up robberies, or standoffs in the middle of town square. You will not hear "varmint" or "goldarn" or "I'm lookin' for the man who shot my paw"; you'll only witness a bizarre blend of Shakespearean dialogue and 20th century slang and cussing (enough F words to make your grandmother faint). Milch did not set out to make a Western; he aimed to create a period drama through which he could voice his views about chaos and corruption's effects on society. In all, this was one of the best shows on television. The tragedy of Deadwood is its premature cancellation, and one of my greatest disappointments in the history of entertainment is that it will never get the proper conclusion it deserves. While frustrating, this is no reason not to watch the series. Expand
  5. Dec 17, 2011
    9
    2011 and I finally get to see the series. The wife hates Ian McShane, but we ran out of series from Netflix. After a fight she conceded and now says (as I suspected she might) "when's the next episode." I love this stuff, in it's Dickensian look at the old bad west. The language is very raw, but after 4-5 episodes it's so glued to the dialog that it's necessary for the characters, especially Calamity. Shows like this have to be loved by actors who can get their teeth into characters, like "The Wire." The history is questionable (Wild Bill was 39 when he was shot, and not Carradine's age) and Calamity was known for lying like a politician. It's great to have a show with dialog that's thought through and rich. 2 more seasons, yay! Expand
  6. Nov 3, 2010
    9
    Excellent cinematography, art direction, staging, costumes etc; a technical tour de force, particularly for television. The scrip and acting is brilliant. If you haven't seen it you must. The only thing keeping me from giving it a 10 is that they only made three seasons of the five originally planned so the 'wrap up' at the end of the third season is awkward. Expand
  7. May 28, 2011
    8
    Very good television show. Ian McShane as Al Swearengen is the most charismatic character I've ever seen on television. Well written, well acted and believable as f**k. Sometimes it's a little slow and sometimes you want to throw up when Calamity Jane is speaking/on the screen, but this show has created it's own goddam dialect that, hell, even if it's completely ahistorical (which I have no f***ing idea either way), fits perfectly and makes it better than it ever would've been. Expand

See all 16 User Reviews

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