On Wednesday night, in response to a Tweet from actor Garret Dillahunt, HBO announced that there had been "very preliminary conversations" about making a movie out of a slow-paced western show that had been unceremoniously cancelled nearly a decade ago. This made a lot of people on the internet very, very excited.
To understand why those people were so excited, you have to understand that Deadwood was no ordinary slow-paced western. It was a profane, complex—sometimes almost Shakespearean—dirt-encrusted, incredibly brutal beast of a show, an ensemble drama about a small South Dakota town in the bloody grips of a gold rush during the 1870s. In the early episodes the drama centered around the conflict between Timothy Olyphant's Seth Bullock, a painfully upright sheriff, and Ian McShane's Al Swearengen, a gleefully profane, amoral, scheming brothel proprietor. The plot expanded to include more and more characters over the course of the show's three seasons, but you can summarize it by saying it was a show about desperate people with horrible flaws trying to build something on rocky soil and sort of succeeding, even if there was a lot of blood and death and lies involved in that process.
In the third season, which first aired in 2006, more characters arrived in town, more subplots were set in motion, and a lot of changes seemed to be in the works—but nothing was ever resolved, because HBO cancelled the series, and some talked-about TV movies to give fans some sense of resolution never materialized. Since then, more and more people have been discovering it through DVDs and streaming services, then going, "This is great! Why isn't there more of this?" while series creator David Milch went on to make the even shorter-lived (and less-loved) series John from Cincinnati and Luck.
Obviously the HBO announcement doesn't mean we'll ever actually see a new Deadwood thing come into being, but it can at least serve as an excuse to look back through the many, many fan-made compilations of Deadwood characters cursing: