This is an episode I’ve been dying to try out since we started, an in depth look at HBO’s brilliant Western TV show Deadwood. Starring Ian McShane and Timothy Olyphant, it tells the story of the historic South Dakota mining camp where Will Bill Hickok was killed. This being the first episode we’ve done wherein we try to cover the entire breadth of a television season, of one of the more complicated and philosophical television shows ever made, we are all over the map with this, bouncing across the season’s larger plot lines, and I hope it makes sense! We talk about the history the prestige series on HBO, the way the show deconstructs the very idea of good guy versus bad guy in its portrayals of Seth Bullock and Al Swearengen, the show’s larger thematic concerns regarding the impromptu formation of society, the amazing and impressive set constructed for the show, and quite a bit about the show’s characters and plot lines, and their amazingly intricate overlaps and intricacies. Look, I’m not gonna lie, I just go on and on in this one, I can talk about this show forever. I’m doing impersonations of Doc Cochrane, EB Farnum, The Reverend Smith, it’s pretty indulgent. Look there, I just listed those names with the confidence you’d know who I was referring to. So self indulgent. It’s a lot to take in, I’m not gonna lie, and our longest episode to date. But the point is, you should watch Deadwood. It’s absolutely brilliant. There’s two whole seasons after it that we don’t touch on. Watch them before we try to take those on as well!

The only other thing we’ve been watching is American Gods, the new Ian McShane starring show, now on Starz. With all our chatting, we never even get around to all the ways you can reach us. Visit us on the web at, and if you have questions or requests for us, please email us at You can also find back episodes available for download on our website! In the next episode, we’ll be talking about Thunderheart, a modern day western starring Val Kilmer.

Deadwood was created by David Milch, and stars Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, Molly Parker, William Sanderson, Powers Boothe, John Hawkes, Paula Malcolmson, W Earl Brown, Brad Dourif, Robin Weigert and Keith Carradine.


1962’s Ride the High Country is the subject of this week’s episode. An early Sam Peckinpah and a late victory lap for golden age Western stars Joel McRea and Randolph Scott, it follows a pair of aging gunslingers as they attempt to transport gold cross country. It’s a nice adventure film about the twilight of the West, and a pair of aging gunslingers wondering what their place will be in the days to come. And also an odd little jaunt of a film involving Carnival barkers, farmer’s daughters, and rowdy miners, plus a surprising amount of sexual assault. The plot twists in a few unexpected ways and we both end up liking it very much. Topics of conversation include the semiotics of the Wild West Stunt Show, various forms of masculine competition, Randolph Scott’s surprising range as an actor, Double Feature matinees back in the day, the showcase Wedding at a brothel sequence, the etymology of the word ‘horndog’, and the slight cheap out of the final shootout. Solid movie, and another strong showing on the podcast for Randolph Scott.

Other films discussed, in fairly perfunctory fashion, are a George McGovern western Dad can’t recall the name of, and Wonder Woman. This episode was a recommendation from a listener like you! If there’s a Western you’d like to hear an episode about, or have any questions you’d like to hear us answer on the show, let us now at! And visit us at our website,! And why not also got to iTunes and leave us a rating and/or review, which improves the visibility of the show! Next time, we’ll be talking about one of my favorite things ever, the first season of the HBO television series Deadwood. I’ve been waiting for this one, let me tell you.

Ride the High Country stars Randolph Scott, Joel McRea, Marietta Hartley, RG Armstrong and Warren Oates, and was directed by Sam Peckinpah.