Discussion Thread: Deadwood

This is what happens when a review is 13 years in the making. You’ll understand when you’ve read to the end!

Those of you who have been reading this blog for some time–or, for that matter, those of you who know me in person–probably realized pretty quickly that I have some odd hang-ups when it comes to pop culture. I prefer to think of them as eccentric, but really, that’s just to make me feel better about myself.

One I don’t think I have chatted about on here is my tendency to delay reading or watching something that I suspect I will like simply because I fear being disappointed by it.

So, instead of eagerly trying something that I am excited about like, I don’t know, a normal human being, I will procrastinate about it. And I’m not talking about a matter of days or weeks or months. I mean putting it off for years.

Such was my experiences with Deadwood, the 2004-2006 HBO show about the rough mining camp of Deadwood, South Dakota during its heyday in the 1870s. I first read about the show when it was airing. I was a teenager without access to HBO, but my curiosity was piqued. I love history, and as we established a couple of weeks ago, I also really like Westerns.

I’m also a big fan of several of the character actors in the cast, so knowing that there was a show that brought together the likes of Powers Boothe, Keith Carradine, Garret Dillahunt, Ray McKinnon, William Sanderson, Brian Cox, Zach Grenier, and Leon Rippy just made me ridiculously happy.

After I started working at the library, every time someone would check it out or return it, I’d think, “Oh yeah! I’ve wanted to watch that since I was a teenager. I should put that on hold.”

I also would stumble across discussions about it on pop culture websites, and I was always intrigued by the nostalgic tone its fans adopted when talking about. After reading any article and comment section devoted to Deadwood, I’d think to myself, “I really need to watch that show.”

But I kept putting it off and delaying because I also read about how the show was cancelled suddenly and doesn’t have a proper ending. I didn’t want to devote hours to something that would disappoint me.

I also secretly feared that I wouldn’t even like the earlier seasons before the cancellation was an issue, and for something that I had built up so much in my head, that was just something I couldn’t quite bear. So, I spent nearly 13 years not watching Deadwood but frequently thinking about watching it before late last year, when I finally decided that I was being ridiculous.

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Discussion Thread: Poldark

1783 was not a good year for Captain Ross Poldark. A British army officer, he has just returned from their defeat in the American Revolutionary War. He comes home to find that his inheritance is in shambles, that his family thought he was dead, and that his beloved Elizabeth has married another. Well, specifically, she married his cousin Francis. As you can imagine, complications ensue. . . .

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Television Review: Endeavour (2014)/Fortitude (2014)

Ready to binge watch some TV shows now that the weather is (finally) turning cooler?  Here are two great series you might have missed (I had before I received some excellent suggestions)!

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Bernard Cornwell’s The Last Kingdom (2004)

The Last Kingdom

Confession: When I was a child, I was pretty blasé about learning the Easter bunny and Santa weren’t real. I was more angry at feeling like I had been lied to than sad because I had had my suspicions for quite some time .

However, learning as a teenager that Vikings didn’t really wear horned helmets was extremely upsetting to me. As in, it motivated me to try to debunk this theory, only for me to realize that no self-respecting historian believes they wore these helmets.

fake Viking helmet

As someone who doesn’t often wear hats but loves historically-quirky headgear and also has a collection of strange historical hats (it’s a long story), I was inconsolable.

Helmets aside, I’ve always thought Vikings were fascinating.  I like reading and watching things about Vikings, but I also tend to procrastinate on watching them or reading them. For example, I own all seasons of the show The Vikings and still have never watched it. I think my hesitance is borne out of fear of being disappointed again about them. (I really cannot overemphasize how attached I was to those fake helmets as a child.)

However, I recently overcame my very neurotic complex about this issue and read Bernard Cornwell’s The Last Kingdom, which transports readers back to 9th century England, when England was not a united country and was at the mercy of the feared Vikings, who were descending on the country from their native Denmark. Fortunately, this book did not disappoint me.

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2016 Library Challenge: A Book Based on a Television Show

How much television do you watch?

Now, be honest.

I saw you trying to shave hours off of how much time you spend glued to your TV every day!

But, seriously, if anything, this is a safe space to confess because I watch unholy amounts of television myself and, therefore, cannot judge you.

I like to think I watch a pretty broad range of stuff, but upon reflection, I’ve realized that I tend to return to the same general categories of shows–comedies about terrible people, dramas about terrible people, crime procedurals, period dramas, dramas about Machiavellian political intrigue, and–my personal favorite–period dramas about Machiavellian political intrigue.

But as much as I like television,  I like reading more. And the 2016 Library Challenge is generous enough to combine two of my favorite things. So, if you’re participating in the challenge and need a book to fulfill this challenge, look no further. And if you’re not participating in the challenge but need something to occupy your time while your favorite TV show is on hiatus, you might find your answer here too.

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