This weekend S and I caught the features DVD of HBO’s production of Deadwood, which we’ve been enjoying via Netflix. The conversation between creator and writer David Milch and Kieth Carradine was particularly fresh and insightful: two very smart guys talking about order, history, writing, character, and the creative process.
Milch and Carradine 1) are passionate in their work 2) know what they’re talking about 3) have a sense of humor 4) are sensitive to and seriously smart about a wide range of subjects: Victorian literature, psychology, history, politics, linguistics, religion, and image making. Deadwood’s excellence comes from Milch’s concentration and devotion to developing characters, which you can feel in the experience of the drama, hear in the crack dialogue, and react to as tensions unfold organically.
It was simply nice to see “smart,” textured, and uncontrived for a change. This is a marked difference between the podcasts of the writers of Battlestar Galactica, whose concentration has now become all about slavery to format and character and story incoherence.BG’s first year was tight, sometimes brilliant, and spellbinding. In the second season, the characters forgot who they were and are now experiencing things they should not be doing or thinking.
Character is core, whatever the format, film or hypertext.