Narrative, Perspective, and even more Deadwood.

As I’m unable to let it go I ended up pondering Deadwood far more than was perhaps necessary. But it’s not all bad, because it’s made me realise why the story felt so respectful and all-inclusive. At first I thought it was a result of a multiple and wide narrative, but I’ve come to realise it’s more than that. The very many characters obviously help, but I think the main reason it feels so wide, deep, realistic and respectful, is because each story has at least two perspectives that are allowed both attention and loving care.

Take for instance the matter of established Deadwood inhabitants versus those newly relocated. On the one hand you have Al and Trixie who show you two very different sides of what it’s like to be part of the existing Deadwood. Then you have the new arrivals, Alma Garret and Seth Bullock. Mrs Garret taken to Deadwood against her will and at first considers it yet another prison within which her soul can keep on decaying. Mr Bullock on the other hand sees it as a new opportunity and goes willingly with hope of prosperity, both material and that of the mind. Their mindsets and circumstances wide apart, but they’re both used to tell the same story; the story of the newly arrived prospector. Then later on we have Cy and Al to contrast what it’s like to be the proprietor of a saloon.

They even extend this dual perspective to include the nature of a single individual and their personality traits; Trixie and Bullock both share similar volatile and reactionary personalities that cause their blood to run hot and for them to repeatedly abandon reason to sate their impulsive temperament. Again, same story, very different perspectives. The list could go on and on.

I feel like each and every story has at least two mirror perspectives that help give the final picture three dimensional proportions. I think perhaps this is the true reason beyond the more conspicuous elements like writing, acting, directing, cinematography, costume and set design, that made the show extraordinary. Because I can’t think of a single show before or after that mixed a double-digit multiple-narrative with a compulsory dual perspective.

And the best thing about it all is that it was done so smoothly and with such skill that while enjoying the show you never once notice the seams of the carefully preplanned patchwork where the crew managed to build theoretical ideal into practical perfection without never once losing the fiction to preaching. Still it is both a lecture and a legend to how it should be done, but never fails to be the most radiant and infectious of escapism.

Yeah, still not over how good Deadwood is.


~ by Ape on February 17, 2013.

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