I Like to Watch

It's "Deadwood"-speak week, cretins and miscreants of every stripe! Those with frail temperaments and delicate sensibilities should seek solace elsewheres!

Topics: Rescue Me, Television,

I Like to Watch

Deadwood like me
Welcome, tender cocksuckers and the like, to this weekly fucking missive, concocted by the foul and narrow mind of an ink-stained wretch who dreams up rambling reports for finks, loafers and sad, sallow fucks, so that they might stay abreast of the latest televised entertainments, whilst perhaps saving themselves the time and concerted fucking effort of attending to such base and poorly conceived amusements themselves. That’s right, my jaw is set with impatience and disgust so yours need not be!

If you require resupply and respite, you stopped at the right fucking place. However, if you’re here to stir up trouble or whine about my disregard for some of the precious entertainments you happen to fancy, maybe you don’t value keeping your fucking guts inside your belly enough. I won’t stand for those who trumpet my intentions or herd me like a steer or question my cleanin’ up a little yella for my goddamn efforts. I’ve acted on your commission all along, keeping my eyes on whatever frivolous fucking tripe I figured you might relish whilst you pursued your preferred activities, and I’m mighty grateful for your fucking attentions. But I beg you to remember, them that butt into other people’s business and make the business of others their own are meddling no-good cocksuckers. I can see to my job the way I’m goddamned able, and that’s all I can goddamned do. The gist is, fuck yourself.

Dead in the water
If I’m feeling less than my full fucking self, you can blame the cocksuckers at HBO for recent actions so egregious, they’d give any reasonable man or woman cause to take up arms against them.

For those who’ve been hunkering down in some hidey hole for the past month or so, let me present the most recent fucking developments. It seems that, despite the continued assertions by “Deadwood” creator David Milch that he envisioned a tale told in four parts (the third part begins at 9 p.m. Sunday night on HBO), despite the fact that said show could be currently described as the finest, most notable feather in those big-city HBO cocksuckers’ hats, despite the general fucking lack of quality televised entertainments, “Big Love” aside, coming down the pike from HBO since “Six Feet Under” left the air and “The Sopranos” slowed to a crawl, those society people from New York City, who live with their heads up their asses anyway, decided not to renew “Deadwood” for a fourth fucking season. Gratuitous, hurtful, unnecessary! Lamentable, injurious, downright unthinkable! Shame the fuck on you!

It strains credulity. And then, on Monday, the latest news came off the wires that HBO and Milch have reached an agreement to replace the fourth season of “Deadwood” with two two-hour movies instead. As pleased as some may be that the show won’t unceremoniously disappear after what looks to be a very promising third season, I personally am not having any of it. I’d punch those cocksuckers in the balls before I’d cup ‘em for comfort, them that would pickle their pricks in the cunt-brine of frivolities like “Entourage,” or moderately intriguing yet disturbingly costly excesses like “Rome,” concocted with half the wit and genius that Mr. Milch might bring to the project, armed with half a pint of whiskey in his belly. You do recall that Milch originally intended to pen a tale of ancient Rome, but since the cocksuckers at HBO already had such a tale in the works, our good man refocused his efforts on the old West, much to our benefit. Ironically, HBO’s often lethargic “Rome” has emptied the coffers at $85 million for one damn season like some high-priced piece of pussy with an opium habit and, no longer strong in gold, those half-witted rats at HBO turned around and gave “Deadwood” short shrift.

How can the arrogant prick in charge possibly lay claim to a passable mind when he’d shortchange us on one of the most glowing examples of memorable, original, strange, unpredictable, invigorating amusements currently available? A man must put bread on his table, I well understand, but the current course defies fucking logic. Ratings are ratings, the color is any true entrepreneur’s only concern, but cutting this story short when it’s so clearly destined to bring great acclaim and good fortune to HBO henceforth is goddamn absurd. Milch had a story to tell in four fucking seasons, a healthy herd of cocksuckers nationwide are now addicted to said story like the dope fiend is to his concoctions, accolades untold await said tale as it continues to ripen and mature over time like a fine peach, but those short-sighted mules at HBO would still stop Milch short of his full fucking allotment? The imagination balks. Meanwhile, David Chase makes the most untenable request, be it three episodes this week, five next year, and 10 three years from now, and HBO gives it up like a whore half-drunk on bathtub gin.

Our moment permits interest in one question only: Will we, HBO’s until-now-loyal audiences, be more than targets for ass-fucking? Like many fine outspoken sorts before me, I’m raising the general fucking question, that’s all. Let us not forget that subscribing to HBO is not an inexpensive fucking endeavor, and we hold the purse strings. Personally speaking, I can’t with sound mind walk away from HBO’s offerings, lest I fail in my duties to my fine readers and in so doing, lose my source of gainful employment. As much as he’s her misery, the pimp’s a whore’s familiar, so even as the fist is raised, he draws her to him.

That said, and while I’m not normally a partisan in territorial rivalries, I’m no bought-out cocksucker either, one who’ll lift her skirt to remain in the good graces of a reckless capitalist as forward-looking as a dog next to a plate of unattended gizzards. Thus I’d be remiss if I didn’t strongly encourage the rest of you to cancel HBO as soon as the fine third season of “Deadwood” has concluded, so that those big-city fucks might feel their position weakening. And as for those of you who haven’t seen a single fucking segment of said televised spectacle, or you saw an episode a ways back but found it tough to mount that ornery mare mid-stream, I want to strongly encourage you to rent the first season DVD, and then the second. Cast aside any hasty assessments you may have made in the past, and mark my words: This show is not to be fucking missed.

Once you, too, join the strike against those ghoulish hounds of industry, I promise to alert you to anything of quality that might air, whilst saving you some hard-earned cash that you’d only waste on skin-deep trifles like “Entourage.” Certainly “The Wire” and the last eight episodes of “The Sopranos” can’t be forsaken, but until those noteworthy amusements once again see the light of day, let’s strike a blow to the belly of the beast. To make our voices heard by the bean counters, it’s clear we’ll have to do more than grab ankle. Those that doubt me suck cock by choice!

Unsavory blond layabouts and the like
More on “Deadwood” in a minute, but I must cast aside my burgeoning rage for the moment, lest I get so thoroughly consumed by my anger that I wander the thoroughfare gibbering like a simian.

Truth be told, there are plenty of brand new summertime entertainments to peruse, and while I clearly can’t speak to half of them in this sitting, I’ll do my damnedest to address just a few.

The most foul and inexcusable of the lot is “The Hills” (MTV, check listings) populated as it is by the whoring sea donkeys of “Laguna Beach” fame. Whatever limited charms “Laguna Beach” may have held for those easily distracted by the wiles and worries of winsome whippersnappers up to their collarbones in gold, the sorts with soft hands and weak minds who’ve never worked a day in their lives and likely never will, suffice it to say that “The Hills” has none of those charms whatsoever.

We join up with Lauren, flavorless young lady of “Laguna Beach” fame, just as she’s arriving in the big city, Los Angeles, and pulling up to her brand-new many-storied fortress in her horseless, roofless vehicle filled to the gills with an absurd glut of earthly possessions. Before we’ve time to blink in the strong Southern California sunlight, here comes her charmless sea donkey associate, Heidi, who immediately clues us in to the fact that she’s got the wit and graces of a tin of stale biscuits.

As the two lily-livered, tender-pawed society girls gasp and guffaw over their posh, elaborately appointed dwelling, we wonder how on God’s green earth they might afford such a residence, fresh from secondary school and without gainful employment in the works. Lest we sense the whole thing is just an elaborate exercise in fantasy, a fiction concocted by the capitalists at the dominant musical television concern, we next witness the two young fillies scurrying off to a school of higher education focused on “fashion and merchandising,” the sort of place where the classics are abandoned for more pragmatic approaches to mercantilism and trade.

Heidi, her head as empty as a drunkard’s bottle of spirits, expresses her most heartfelt desires for the future to an official administrator at the school: “I wanna be, like, the fun, party P.R. girl in L.A. type of thing.” When the sensible administrator patiently explains that high-level publicity whores don’t generally land their positions armed with little more than a lifetime of getting pawed by miniature bourgeois cocksuckers in short pants and wasting daddy’s gold on overpriced vestments, our little wenchlet looks confused. The administrator, undaunted, wonders out loud if the young lady might take an interest in acting as a sales associate at a retail establishment. The spoiled tart responds, “You mean, like, actually working the floor and stuff? Yeah, I don’t think I could do that.”

Having “actually worked the floor and stuff,” I can’t in good conscience blame the sad little harlot, but her inability to cloak her true feelings of entitlement sends the mind reeling. In short, it’s a rich scene that might bring joy to any breast, but sadly, such moments of high comedy are rare indeed on “The Hills.” Most frequently, we’re treated to thoroughly staged scenes as unnatural as the dirt worshippers’ craven rituals: Lauren secures some variety of apprenticeship at one of those perfume-scented lady’s rags, and is required to help out at a P.R. event, where she’s instructed to keep a certain area of a vast and highly adorned saloon free from patrons, since the area is reserved for those whose fortune and widespread popularity precedes them like the stink of shit precedes the heifer’s arrival in the barn. What happens next, you ask? Why, several young ne’er-do-well friends of Lauren’s arrive, unannounced, in all their finery, and insist not only in exhausting us with their tedious banter, but also in seating themselves in precisely those seats Miss Lauren was instructed to keep free from strays and lollygaggers and the like. Thereafter, some supervisory official arrives on the spot and reprimands Lauren for her oversight in allowing the fair but aimless young malingerers to gather thusly. Breathtaking, how the goddamn geniuses at the dominant musical television concern manage to drum up such transparent conflict without fucking fail!

Shit-talking, smoke-breathing hero types and the like
But while we’re discussing the drumming up of conflict, we can’t rightly skip over the foul-mouthed miscreants of “Rescue Me” (10 p.m. Tuesdays on FX), what with their near-constant ability to forsake safety and even odds in a future fight for immediate fucking dubious combat. One of the longest-awaited dramatic amusements to hit the television in recent weeks, “Rescue Me” has never been a personal fucking favorite of mine, and yet I found myself affixed to the glass screen of my television set, my eyes unwavering from the flickering of the first three episodes, unable to wrench myself from the tales of Tommy (Denis Leary) and his various ill-mannered associates.

In past missives, I’ve called this show flashy and shallow, its characters simple-minded and undeserving of remark, and I’ve compared their relative lack of depth to the more nuanced shades and complexities of the characters inhabiting the oft-cited and oft-praised “Six Feet Under.” However, having focused my attentions almost entirely on dramatic series in the past year, hoping to deepen my understanding and appreciation of all that the genre might have to offer like a student resolutely glued to his composition book, I recognize that not every character navigating every stage need be armed with a bevy of neurotic tics and self-deprecating yet caustic asides, nor need be prone to extended forays into a deeper understanding of the self. As much as I might, personally, enjoy the Nates and Brendas of the televised universe, there is room for all variety of creatures on the lush hillsides farmed by the hoopleheads and hellions of Hollywood.

But all grandiose, expansive treatises aside, this particular dramatic amusement currently strikes me as worthy for its wit alone. Indeed, while Tommy’s joyless antics, whether drinking or bedding some local wench or tossing a bottle at the head of his estranged wife, may have seemed melodramatic and rough-hewn at some former juncture, the focus of such tales remains on a certain species of man for whom it is not unusual to rush to battle upon hearing one ill-considered remark, be it uttered by friend or foe. While last season brought the bloody death of Tommy’s offspring under the wheels of a horseless wagon manned by a certified drunk, a story that might appear unbearably sad and sick to any passersby, such a tale is not unlike the slaying of Mr. Bullock’s son William under the hooves of an unfettered stallion in the thoroughfare during the second segment of “Deadwood.”

It’s true that Tommy’s closest associates are prone to making oily remarks, such as, “Kinda girl I call a firecracker. She’s got one good bang in ‘er, that’s about it,” the fact remains that many a man has thought as much while pickling his prick in the cunt-brine of a young thing sauced on spirits and made the more willing by it.

The addition of noted thespian Susan Sarandon to the stage as an expert seductress certainly doesn’t dim my enthusiasm for this tale in any way, nor does the recent twist in which Tommy discovers that his own brother is having relations with his estranged wife. In a most dramatic fashion, Tommy discovers this unsavory alignment at his father’s birthday party. Upon seeing the lovers hands entwined under the table, Tommy plays it as dumb as a pile of rocks, but the grim look on his visage tells us that he’s working damn hard not to murder his brother where he fucking sits. Seconds later, upon finding the ingestion of birthday cake an impossibility, Tommy dives across the table at his brother’s throat and proceeds to unleash a hailstorm of punches upon his person.

Something strikes me fuckin’ melancholy about that creature. There’s a mood about Tommy, an air that tells the world, “I may have fucked my life up flatter than hammered shit, but I stand here before you today beholden to no human cocksucker!”

Deliriously delicious scoundrels and the like
Although HBO has fucked our moods up flatter than hammered shit, let us not allow that to dampen our enthusiasm for the ensuing episodes of “Deadwood,” for they feature the kind of exquisite storytelling that leaves all those within earshot rapt and hungry for the next mesmerizing fucking turn of events.

Perhaps the most alluring and provocative character to inhabit the small screen this summer, Al Swearengen (Ian McShane), as charismatic as he is devious, finds himself in cahoots with Seth Bullock (Timothy Olyphant), and this makes our hearts glad, for rooting against a man as engaging as Swearengen is damn near impossible.

Meanwhile, Hearst (Gerald McRaney) has revealed himself to be that variety of ruthless capitalist who’d slit his own mother’s throat if she stood in the way of his ability to secure the color from the bowels of Mother Earth. Even Hearst’s most beloved cook seems to loathe the fucking ground he walks on, yet as a high-profile captain of industry, he remains untouchable, as any harm that came to him would alert various meddling fucking forces of government to stick their nose into the workings of a town that prides itself on being beholden to no human cocksucker — or at the very least, a town that struggles, with all its might, to keep the sticky fucking fingers of outside influences and high-ranking officials and the like out of its goddamn pie.

So Bullock and Swearengen find themselves forging an unlikely pact for the continued sovereignty of Deadwood, even as self-serving cocksuckers like Cy Tolliver (Powers Boothe) sidle up to Hearst and stick their heads so far up his ass they can’t see past it to the welfare of the overall fucking community. Reminds you just a little bit of aforementioned bought-out big-city fucks with an unrelenting eye on the bottom line, don’t it?

Hoping for the fucking best
But the hour grows late and my typing fingers grow weary, dear cocksuckers, so I’ll hasten to the end of this missive and skip the intricate details of a show that you should see with your own eyes anyway, and use your own fucking faculties to assess its obvious worth. Why spoil the main course with my yammering, when you should savor the rich flavors of Milch’s stylized stew for yourself? I dare you to find it underdone or overcooked or sloppily assembled in any way, and if you do, and would like to question my judgment or call me nasty things in response, well I guarantee you, I’ve been called worse by better. And if you inhale and expel pure righteousness, my olfactories are keen to the smell of shit. Based on recent correspondences on the so-called letters page, you’re not a lot I want mistaking my intentions. Were you bullied when young and incapable? Now you see wrongs everywhere and bullying you feel called to remedy? Show me the secret grip that proves my sincerity and let’s be about our fucking business. I am a sinner who does not expect forgiveness. But I am not an HBO bigwig with the blood of one of the finest shows in recent television history on my filthy mitts.

It’s no accounting for why people do things. These days, our man Milch is developing a pilot for HBO, “John in Cincinnati,” a drama about a surfer in California, of all confounded things. Having worked on his deployments and flanking maneuvers with regards to “Deadwood,” even going so far as to attempt to raise the sizable pile of gold necessary to see his vision to its rightful conclusion, Milch finally resorted to compromise. No blame should rest with the man for securing a final chapter for his epic tale, but the stalwarts among us will continue to push for a full fucking slate of 12 episodes and nothing less. If the mind imagines other paths to the purpose, let’s hear them. Perhaps, with our concerted and combined fucking efforts, we’ll turn the goddamn tide. In short, one hopes for the best. One perseveres. One reevaluates constantly. One is an asshole if one doesn’t.

Next week: Janice Dickinson searches for her own gaggle of top models, and tells all who apply, “If you ain’t here to fuck or be fleeced, get on your merry way!”

Heather Havrilesky is a regular contributor to the New York Times Magazine, The Awl and Bookforum, and is the author of the memoir "Disaster Preparedness." You can also follow her on Twitter at @hhavrilesky.

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