Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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Contents

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vi-vi

My family loved Westerns. The aunt who babysat me on week-ends when I was five used to let me stay up past my bedtime to watch the first season of Gunsmoke. My father took me to see . . .

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Introduction

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pp. 1-4

When David Milch, acclaimed writer and producer for the police dramas Hill Street Blues (NBC, 1981–1987) and NYPD Blue (ABC, 1993–2005), pitched to HBO an idea for a . . .

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1. It’s Not a Western . . . It’s an HBO Western

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pp. 5-15

While Deadwood joined a long line of television Western series, its placement with HBO allowed it do things that no television Western had ever done. Variety’s review . . .

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2. David Milch’s Deadwood

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pp. 17-29

Assigning authorship to televisual texts is even more difficult than in cinema. Although the place of the director as first among creative equals tips more toward the writer . . .

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3. Language, Decent and Otherwise

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pp. 31-40

Television has always been more “talky” than the cinema, but in Deadwood the preeminence of dialogue approaches that of the stage. So many of its crucial scenes contain no . . .

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4. The Social Dynamics of Violence and Alliance

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pp. 41-60

Dozens of individuals weave in and out of the complex and layered plotting of Deadwood. Milch’s Deadwood: Stories of the Black Hills lists thirty-five regular and recurring performers . . .

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5. Deadwood’s Political Economic Narrative

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pp. 61-78

For the past 25 years, the narrative structure of each episodic television drama has fallen somewhere on a continuum between having each installment tell a self-contained story, so that . . .

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6. Women and Power

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pp. 79-91

In the season 1 DVD Special Features, Milch points out that in 1876 the Deadwood population was 90 percent male; of that 10 percent who were women, nine out of ten were prostitutes. . . .

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7. Dirt Worshippers and Celestials and Niggers . . . Oh, My!

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pp. 93-107

Perhaps as shocking as hearing the words cocksucker, fuck, and cunt thrown around so casually on Deadwood is hearing the racial epithets chink, coon, and nigger, as well as blatant . . .

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Conclusion

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pp. 109-113

A month before Deadwood’s third season premiered on June 11, 2006, media reports confirmed that there would not be a fourth. Milch had developed a new show for

Works Cited

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pp. 115-117

Index

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pp. 119-120

Back Cover

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