Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Deadwood and Lazy Writing

Last week I tweeted this...

An adjective is a modifier of a noun, or so says Dictionary.com Meaning if you want to add emphasis or emotion to a common noun, add an adjective.

On that fateful night of Feb 8th the man I sleep with* was watching Deadwood. I have heard amazing things about this show, not only from him and a number of friends, but from the internets themselves. I have been looking forward to getting into this show. I like good TV and I like good Westerns.

However, my working to the audio of Deadwood in the background has really soured my impression of the show. This is what I heard for the rest of the night,

In actual fact that is a video of all the swearing in one episode cut together, but it pretty much sounded exactly like that to me for an hour and a half.

Now, don't get me wrong, I have no problem with swearing. Anybody who has spent any time with me at all knows I don't shy away from a few curse words myself. And by a few I often mean long strings that make people wonder what type of person I am. Swearing doesn't offend me.

What does offend me is lazy writing! What offends me even more is writing purely for the shock value. And the swearing, particularly the use of the word fucking is a cross of both. First it's very lazy, both in Deadwood and in the language of many young people. Fucking is often used as an adjective before a noun to express anger. That's fine once in awhile, but if it is used every time it loses all meaning. Try another adjective like bloody, or shitty or douchey, or cunty.**

It's also clear the excessive use of the word fucking is purely for shock value. One character, Ian McShane's Al Swearengen***, has a lovely poetic use of curse words, full of cunts and cocksuckers and the occasional adjective fucking, so the writers understand that there are many beautiful words to be used, but choose not to the majority of the time. As well, it's unlikely that the word fucking was used commonly in the 19th century as anything more than a colloquial for sex, so throwing it in every other breath here is not authentic in the least.

Who would have thought that excessive use of swearing would ever turn me off anything, but in this case it has. Someone please convince me to give this show a try, or find a way to edit out at least every other fucking.

Footnotes (Really? How pretentious!)
*Commonly known as a Boyfriend, but since I have many friends who are boys that particular noun really describes nobody in particular. I guess I could call him my Fucking Boyfriend, but that's uncouth.
** Told you swearing didn't offend me
***Whose name is clearly descriptive

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