Some people have religion; the Fatling has Deadwood.
For a long time, the Fatling, like most self-respecting bleeding-heart hipsters, counted The Wire as her favorite HBO series. This despite my belief that only the first three seasons are canon and a pretty strong distaste for the fifth and final season. It’s still a terrific show, and it introduced me to the man candy that is Idris Elba.
Sometime last year, Adoring Husband and I got our hot little hands on Deadwood and I went completely apeshit for it. It’s imperfect, in the sense that it was canceled after its third season with a wealth of unexplored plotlines, but it quickly supplanted The Wire in my affections.
So why am I telling you this? The Fatling has been searching for some sort of non-comedic writing project for some time now, prompted by the realization that, in the absence of formal schooling, my critical writing skills have turned to shit. Seriously, I cannot even tell you how many of my blog comments elsewhere have been stymied by my inability to organize my thoughts coherently. And my internet comments will not be silenced!
But it’s also a way to just get me writing more frequently in a low-stakes environment. My original idea was “Deadwood 365,” wherein I would watch an episode or special feature on Deadwood every day and then write about it. Considering my complete inability to, you know, do anything every single day, this idea was quickly consigned to the creative dustbin.
I didn’t have a clear idea on how to go about this until the other night, when I picked up my old copy of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little Town on the Prairie. I fucking loved the Little House books as a child—I dressed up as the Ingalls sisters with my friends for Halloween one year, and that same year, my mom took me to the Laura Ingalls Wilder festival in Mansfield, Missouri. Little Town was always my favorite in the series, since it chronicles the building of the Ingalls family’s final home, in De Smet, South Dakota. And as to why the Fatling is reading a children’s book at this point in her life, shut the fuck up.
At any rate, the timeline of Little Town takes place about five years after the start of Deadwood, and they’re both set in South Dakota. See where I’m going with this? Add to this the fact that one of my favorite television series growing up was Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, and the blog posts almost write themselves. I’m just utterly fascinated with the American pioneers, and how they built their society in hostile, unforgiving environments. There is, of course, the ethical issue of driving Native Americans from their ancestral land, which all three of these tales touch on in varying degrees, but there’s still something about people brave/crazy enough to go out and push America westward.
So, basically, I’ll start out writing about Deadwood and see how the other stuff applies and go from there. It’s going to be a Fatling good time.