Deadwood is a fucking show about swearing in the cocksucking Old West.
I will rate the following aspects of the show on the Al Swearengen Cuss-o-Meter for Dramatic Excellence, as shown below, and stolen from myself on the Breaking Bad topic page, because fuck you for not watching the most intense show on television, you ignorant shitkicker.
Why is it when David Milch maps fresh roads in offensive language, it's a breakthrough for his medium, but when I coin the pejorative "sly-eyed dick-tickler" here my Dad sighs wearily and asks when I'll get a real job?
Which brings us to:
Civil War documentaries make great-grandpappy's war letters sound staid, but this show is what happened when Fuck met You. Like a linguistics study, Deadwood cares less about what events occur and more how people swear about them.
Most programs have a three-act structure; Deadwood follows The Wire's example, in which 0.5 to 1 thing happens each week. (Note that this is far more activity than a week in real-life South Dakota.) The rest of the hour is consumed by realistic street talk.
Or was it realistic? The 19th century was a funny old time; bare arms were scandalous, but prostitution was legal. The Women's Christian Temperance Union hadn't outlawed everything that made people move to the Old West yet, like pissing in the street, or asbestos pie.
Back then the richest railroad barons often set a wild horse loose in the street to see how many urchins it could trample before lupper, a meal served at 3 p.m. It's not very popular anymore because you need fresh passenger pigeon. Anyway, the winner got to drink the dying child's tears.
The point is, when the bars pour drinks brewed from cleaning chemicals and everyone sipping them for breakfast is armed, folks are much less concerned with unimportant shit like fucking swearing. If you really wanted to offend someone in Deadwood, today's frilly swears wouldn't cut it.
Back then Hell still existed, so the ultimate curse was for a man's gol'durned spirit to fester in the cankers of the inferno. The only problem is, today we damn everything in sight and buy tacos with Jesus' face on them, so Milch had to impose anachronistic fuck-chatter on his characters for the audience to understand when shit was getting fucking intense.
Acting? There's no acting here. Someone ate the heart of Nicolas Cage (Academy Award Winner - Best Overacting) and then sneezed in the soup at their craft services job, infecting the cast with pure sincerity. Why do you think every character Tim Olyphant's played since Deadwood is a sheriff in unorthodox circumstances or a haunted gunslinger? He's stuck in a world he never made.
The real question is how long Cage's rampaging corpse will keep pretending to be alive.
The only safe way to look Bulloch in the eye is through smoked glass. After he fathers an inconvenient pregnancy, the fetus realizes the vagina isn't big enough for the two of them and leaves. The only time his fists unclench is while switching to gun mode. He doesn't talk much, probably because his nemesis never shuts up.
Sometimes name is destiny, like a dentist called Dr. Payne, or all those strippers named Amber. Al Swearengen (real name: Alfonse Fuck-Engine) is the Thomas Edison of cursing. This pimp (that's a descriptor, not a compliment) is a font of fuckitude. His method of rumination by fellation produces deep fucking thoughts via fucking deep throats. He'd disembowel his own mother if she swallowed a gold coin.
Did a damned fine job and should be proud, but ultimately, this show is about the opposing forces of human nature represented by those two cocksuckers above.