February 29, 2020

Deadwood on HBO, the series and the new movie

My father was a U. S. Attorney for 8 years and had to spend summers in Deadwood, South Dakota for federal court sessions. Our family benefited by spending weeks exploring the whole Black Hills area, Mount Rushmore, the Badlands, Hot Springs, Hill City with its coal train locomotive and horseback riding being some of the attractions.

The real draw for me on these trips was the town of Deadwood with its storied past as a gold rush town, a gambling mecca and the place where Wild Bill Hickok was murdered by the infamous Jack McCall.

Show creator of Deadwood, David Milch set the HBO series in the time period when the lawless town was literally being mined for profit and being dragged into the orbit of government and civilization.

The excellent cast of Deadwood reads like an impressive who’s who of future tv shows. Timothy Oliphant subsequently added Justified and Santa Clarita Diet to his resume. Anna Gunn as his school-teacher wife went on to play the beleaguered spouse in Breaking Bad. Ian McShane as the town underworld boss has been seen in American Gods, Ray Donovan and Game of Thrones. Mollie Parker went on to House of Cards and Goliath. Paula Malcomson played Katniss’ mother in the Hunger Games movies. Kim Dickens and Garret Dillahunt both have been in Fear the Walking Dead. William Sanderson as Mayor and hotel owner E. B. Farnum plays a quirky sheriff in True Blood. Titus Welliver has done stints in The Good Wife, Sons of Anarchy and Bosch. Seasoned actor Powers Booth has been recently seen in Nashville and Agents of S. H. I. E. L. D. Calamity Jane played by Robin Weigert recently popped up as a therapist on Big Little Lies. And I have not even touched upon the guest stars.

I make special note of Keith Carradine who is a wonder to behold as Wild Bill Hickok and Gerald McRaney as powerful bad guy, George Hurst.

The language is as raw as I remember. Four letter words and graphic scenes of sex and violence abound. This is unique dialogue that gives a nod to the time period and allows the characters to use the rough and raw words of whore houses, gambling dens and booze joints.

As you may have noticed, streaming services are revisiting series that still hold interest for viewers. In the case of Deadwood: The Movie (May 2019), David Milch picks up the story ten years after the end of the original series.

While I loved communing with these characters again and loose ends are indeed tied, the film was not of the same artistic quality of the series. By all means, watch this ground-breaking remarkable series as a newcomer or as a repeat customer. The Movie may be optional.

Just remember, aces and eights are the dead man’s poker hand. At least in Deadwood.

Sioux Falls, SD Restaurants

Sioux Falls dining has become full of variety in the past ten years, including K Restaurant, a fantastic Contemporary American cafe located in the East Bank neighborhood next  to the Sioux River running through downtown with chef Tina Kuehn in the kitchen. Another excellent dining option in the same building complex is Sanaa’s, a Mediterranean restaurant owned by the wife of former Senator James Abourezk. No dilettante she, Sanaa has a degree in Agricultural Engineering, a Masters in Nutrition from Cal Poly and did training stints in Paris at Le Cordon Blue and with Master  Chef Masha Innocenti in Italy. Not only are the Middle Eastern selections delicious, but the menu features vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. Maybe she can open a Chicago branch?

K Restaurant
401 East 8th Street #128
Sioux Falls, SD 57103-7011
605 336 3315

Sanaa’s Gourmet Mediterranean
401 E 8th St # 100
Sioux Falls, SD 57103-7005
(605) 275-2516

I have to mention two other Sioux Falls restaurants that are consistently visit-worthy.
In the downtown area, Parker’s Bistro features American Cajun/Creole and French dishes and could hold its own in any larger city with its well-prepared dishes, romantic atmosphere and periodic live music.
Spezia, part of a small four Italian restaurant chain is another reliable favorite with locations in Sioux Falls (Spezia and Bracco), Okoboji, IA (Bracco) and Omaha, NE (Spezia.) Light and open Italian decor, moderate prices, a good wine selection and consistently executed Italian favorites make this a regular stop when I’m back in the heart of the Midwest.

Parker’s Bistro
210 South Main Avenue,
Sioux Falls, SD
http://www.parkersbistro.net/ParkersonMain/Welcome_to_Parkers.html ‎

4801 S. Louise Avenue (near 57th & Louise Ave.)
Sioux Falls, SD
(605) 334-7491