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Underrated and Overrated TV Shows of the 2000s – Deadwood and its Impact on Modern Westerns


The 2000s was a decade that saw the rise and fall of numerous TV shows, some of which were underrated and underappreciated during their time, while others were overhyped and overrated. The western drama series Deadwood, which aired from 2004 to 2006, is one such underrated show that is now regarded as a cult classic. In this article, we’ll explore the impact Deadwood has had on modern westerns and why it continues to be a show that’s worth watching.

Deadwood: A Brief Overview

Deadwood is a TV show that premiered on HBO in 2004. Created by David Milch, the show is set in the late 1800s and is based on the real-life mining town of Deadwood, South Dakota. The show centers around the town’s residents and their struggles to survive in a lawless and violent environment. From brothel owners to saloon keepers, prospectors to gunslingers, Deadwood is a diverse and colorful cast of characters that offers a unique and authentic perspective on the Old West.

Underrated Gem

Despite its quality and critical acclaim, Deadwood was initially overlooked by audiences during its original run. The show was canceled prematurely after only three seasons, leaving many fans disappointed and yearning for more. Over the years, however, Deadwood has gained a cult following, with many fans hailing it as one of the greatest TV shows ever made. This underrated gem has stood the test of time and has influenced numerous TV shows and movies that have followed in its wake.

The Impact of Deadwood on Modern Westerns

Deadwood’s influence can be seen in many modern westerns, which have sought to emulate the show’s gritty realism and complex characters. One such show is Yellowstone, which premiered in 2018 and has been praised for its portrayal of a modern-day western. The show stars Kevin Costner as John Dutton, a rancher who fights to protect his land and family from those who seek to take it away. With its sprawling cast of characters and emphasis on the harsh realities of life in rural America, Yellowstone owes a debt of gratitude to Deadwood for paving the way.

Authenticity of Language and Setting

Another way in which Deadwood has influenced modern westerns is through its authenticity of language and setting. The show’s creator, David Milch, went to great lengths to ensure that the language used by the characters was historically accurate, even if it meant including profanity and vulgarities that are not commonly used today. This attention to detail has been emulated by many modern westerns, such as Godless and Hell on Wheels, which have also sought to accurately depict the language and setting of the time period.

Complex Characters

One of the hallmarks of Deadwood is its complex and nuanced characters. From the morally ambiguous Al Swearengen to the upright and honorable Seth Bullock, Deadwood’s cast of characters is multifaceted and compelling. Many modern westerns have sought to replicate this emphasis on character development, with shows like Justified and Longmire featuring complex protagonists who are not afraid to bend the rules in order to get the job done.


Deadwood is a show that continues to have a lasting impact on modern westerns. Its influence can be seen in many of the shows and movies that have followed in its wake, and its legacy as an underrated gem has only grown in the years since its original run. If you haven’t already watched Deadwood, now is the perfect time to do so. This show is a testament to the power of great storytelling and complex characters, and it will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on anyone who gives it a chance.

So there you have it, a breakdown of why Deadwood is an underrated show from the 2000s that remains relevant today. From its complex characters to its attention to historical accuracy, Deadwood has had a lasting impact on modern westerns and continues to be a show that’s worth watching. So sit back, relax, and let the grit and authenticity of Deadwood transport you back to the wild west.