This is a matter of vital interest to those of us who honor and value great television.
I'm fully aware of the roster of Hollywood big-shots who write for this website, so I thought I'd use -- perhaps abuse -- my position as a writer here to issue a request to those of you who might be employed, or know someone who is employed in a position of influential status within the corridors of HBO. My simple request reads as follows...
Do not abandon Deadwood. Three seasons isn't enough.
Throughout the history of television, from Kovacs to Colbert, from Dragnet to Arrested Development, there have been few if any shows with the quality and intelligence of David Milch's Deadwood. Sure, it's peppered with obscenities both verbal and visual, but so the f--k what. None of that matters in the grand scheme of Al Swearingen's grand schemes. The characters of Deadwood and their words, equal parts real and unreal, congeal into a form of American art that supercedes our capacity to give a flying rip how many times Calamity Jane blurts out a spirited, "C--ksucker!"
Deadwood is American Shakespeare. It's a tragic comedy so absorbing through its poetic verbiage and it's twisting narrative that we can't help but to be involuntarily and via osmosis transported into our screens and back to the swampy camp Thoroughfare, stepping over horse apples and dodging Tom Nuttall's Boneshaker.
But due to apparent financial issues between the executives at HBO and the show's cast, the stories of Deadwood will conclude after a brief two-episode season four next year. That is, unless you act now, you Huffington Post Hollywood Big-shots.
Make some calls. Have some people out to dinner. Network. Do the Hollywood relationship thing. It's all about relationships, right? That's what people out there tell me. Use those relationships for the cause of great television. Dial up an agent friend on your Blackberry while waiting in traffic on the 405. Do something. If only half the cast are able to return, I can live with that. Hell, I don't care if the entire next season is a continuous conversation between E.B. and Richardson regarding the consistency of oatmeal. Get McShane to do a couple of walk-ons, and, well, there you go.
Here's what I'm going to do. I've written a check for $1000 earmarked for each of the HBO executives who successfully contributes to the pickup of two more seasons. That's all I'm asking. Two seasons. 24 episodes. A five season total. Maybe I can convince Arianna and John Cusack to take you out to dinner. Arianna? John? Can you help a guy out?
Short anecdote. After college, when I was broke I made it a point to scrape together some extra cash each month (don't ask how, but it involved selling hams to the Amish) for my HBO subscription so I could watch The Larry Sanders Show. I've been a subscriber for 12 years now, no matter what my financial situation has looked like or how many stolen hams I've had to sell from the back of a U-Haul. To the Amish. And now, I'm willing to toss in $1000 more to stave off the untimely demise of the best show on television.
And if Deadwood is allowed to die, well then, HBO, to quote Al Swearingen from last night's season premiere, "I will profane your f---ing remains. Gabriel's trumpet will produce you from the ass of a pig!" Actually, I didn't mean that, HBO. I just thought it would be cool to end with a Swearingen quote. Sorry. I'm so sorry. Didn't mean to offend or frighten. I love you.
Buy this movie or the terrorists win. THE WAR EFFORT on DVD.