I know there are plenty of Deadwood fans here, so let me ask what you think of the dialogue. When the series first started I watched it a while, and I really wanted to like it, but I finally had to quit watching when I couldn’t get past the hideously bad dialogue. It seems like just plain bad writing to me. Bad, bad, fucking bad writing.
There are two problems that keep me from enjoying the show:
The fucking bad use of fucking curse words in the fucking dialogue. Fuck. I have no problem with liberal, even gleefully plentiful use of Fuck and any other curse word they can think of. But they use them so poorly that the it sounds very artificial to me. Rather than using the curse words as any normal person would, sprinkling them into conversation for emphasis or to fill voids when your vocabulary is too weak, it seems the writers put them in almost at random. So for instance, a character says something like this (made up but I think it’s representative): “Fucking get your fucking ass the fucking cunt over the fuck here, cockcucker fuck.” It ends up sounding very artificial and strained to me, like a 10-year-old trying to sound naughty, so much that it becomes a real distraction. As opposed to, for instance, the Sopranos, in which people cuss plenty but it sounds natural, the way people really talk.
The show is extremely effective at recreating the gritty, filthy, rough and tumble reality of a frontier town and all the rough characters that inhabit it, so why do even the least educated and most ill-bred characters talk as if they’re doing Shakespeare in the park? I know some of the lead characters are relatively well educated and could be expected to speak in a formal manner, but it seems every last person there, down to the retarded drunk wallowing in mud and horse shit, speaks with the most eloquent phrasing and formal diction. (With plenty of “fuck” and “cocksucker” thrown in at random, of course.) I remember the scene from a season or two ago in which the town drunk ended up shooting Wild Bill, and when confronted about it, this pitiful guy who was so drunk he didn’t know what he was doing responded with something like “Pray tell, dear sir, please inform me as to my liability in this matter at hand.” (Someone will correct me with the actual dialogue, but my point is that it was absurdly formal for someone who probablly couldn’t speak that well even when he wasn’t drunk and throwing up on himself.)
Anyone else have the same problem with this show? Or am I ignorant of some key fact about how Old West denizens all spoke wonderful English but could only use curse words randomly?