This week on Deadwood: The town elders meet to discuss what to do about an increasingly Darth Vader-like George Hearst. They decide to... publish a letter in the newspaper about the miner Hearst had killed, without mentioning Hearst's name. This appeal for decency will, presumably, rile up the town against Major Dad's evil maneuverings. Meanwhile, Joanie and Jane make out, Odell wants to partner with Hearst on a gold claim in Liberia but will probably end up pig food, and Al sends Dan to get some hired guns (who according to the preview for next week's ep are the Earps! BADASS.)
Also worthy of note in last Sunday's episode is Doc Cochran's deteriorating condition. Doc has tuberculosis, but Deadwoodians call him a "lunger," while I prefer to shout in an exaggerated hillbilly accent, "He's got the gallopin' consumption!" Rumblings from the Deadwood fan community (population: 14) suggest that the show may have jumped the shark by making such a beloved character a sure bet for this season's Big Death. I say, at least be thankful we have a realistic portrayal of TB for once.
Doc's condition led me to hearken back to past cinematic interpretations of that once-perilous disease (well, still perilous in Africa, but who cares about them??? Eww, poverty.) And there, burning a hole in my brain, was the memory of that blight upon screens large and small, the film whose popularity and critical acclaim may trouble me even more than the question of God's existence: Moulin F*cking Rouge.
I hate Moulin Rouge with the fire of a thousand suns. I hate its offensive misappropriation of pop songs, I hate its tongue-in-cheek anachronisms, I hate its artier-than-thou, seizure-inducing camera work, I hate its overacting, I hate its ADHD character development, I hate its celebration of vague nouns like TRUTH, BEAUTY, and LOVE, and most of all I goddamn hate Nicole Kidman's limp-rag, breathy, creepy Victorian doll / hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold performance. When her Satine gets TB, she coughs swoonily into a pretty handkerchief and then dies gracefully in Ewan's arms. Even the blood she spits up is dainty and jewel-like. WHATEVER, Baz Luhrman. How's your Alexander-the-musical picture going? Yeah, that's what I thought.
This is to say, kudos to Deadwood for having Doc cough and wheeze to the point of annoying the other characters and me, and having him spew up a repulsive mixture of phlegm and blood. Jumped the shark? At least it's not romanticizing slow death from a horrible disease just to avoid making Nicole Kidman look yucky and un-ladylike.
Please commenters, especially angry anonymous ones, try to change my mind about Moulin Rouge! I love ripping into this crapfest.
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