It’s no secret that I love a good Western, and “Hell On Wheels” is the best made for the small screen since “Deadwood.” I grew up with TV Westerns that were true to the mythology of the American West, but these two shows attempt to portray a more historically accurate picture, and I like that better. The characters are more nuanced than those we enjoyed mid 20th century—much more interesting—which gives the story some depth, a flawed hero in the classical sense.
Granted he’s no Prince of Denmark, but he’s involved in world-changing events and the times are certainly out of joint. There’s enough graphic bloodshed to satisfy a zombie lover, no skimping on the sex, and enough sexual tension between the tortured hero and the feisty heroine to satisfy the ardent romance fan. (That would be me.)
Yes, that’s a ring on her finger, but she’s a widow. He’s a widower. Played by Anson Mount (I like this guy), Cullen Bohannon is a former Confederate who’s out to avenge the murder of his wife and child. They meet in Hell On Wheels, a ramshackle end-of-tracks camp site for the Union Pacific, and they’re both beholden to the man in charge of laying down tracks come hell or high water. The supporting characters have rich stories of their own, and it’s a good cast.
Common—hip-hp star in his other life—plays Elam Ferguson, a former slave trying to carve out some kind of a foothold in a world that’s almost post-apocalyptic, as close to every man for himself as he’s ever seen. (I like this guy, too.)
There are only a couple more episode left of Season 2, and who knows whether there’ll be a Season 3? The love scene fans have been waiting for finally materialized last week, and, yes, it was worth the wait.
What’s your favorite TV drama these days? What do you like about it?
Through this weekend (Sept. 30) you can get THE LAST GOOD MAN in e-book for $1.99. It’s been on the Amazon Top 100 Bestseller list for almost 2 weeks, getting terrific reviews.