Deadwood: The Movie & Finding Purpose In Life

A no spoiler review and some hippie nonsense.

Last night HBO premiered Deadwood: The Movie which picks up ten years from where the TV show ended in 2006. For many years there had been rumors that this would happen but then those rumors would fizzle out for one reason or another. During the buildup to the actual movie coming out I joked several times on Facebook about hoping the movie wasn't some sort of cruel hoax, going on about the elaborateness of the hoax, if that's what is was, after seeing the movie trailer. I watched the first 30 minutes of the movie live and jokingly posted that I was only 90% sure it still wasn't some sort of hoax.

The movie itself seemed pretty true to the show although maybe less profanity and violence (if you've never seen the show but watch the movie, I'm telling you that was less profanity and violence than the show). The only odd thing, truly odd to me, was the inconsistent aging of the characters in what was supposed to be ten years for the story (13 years in real life). Doc Cochran and Sol Star as examples had aged significantly, Bullock aged kind of a lot but Trixie and Jane Canary seemed to age very little. Without necessarily knowing how all the actors look these days, I would think make up and the like could have evened this out some. This point was mildly distracting but in no way detracted from my enjoyment of the film.

For any former film students, the inciting incident didn't come for about 40 minutes which if memory serves from film class is kind of late but they did a lot of background and filling in during that 40 minutes. I would also guess they spent 4-5 minutes on flashbacks to the show, as one incident from the show proved to be an ongoing source of guilt ten years later for several of the characters.

Unlike the TV show, the movie offered closure on many fronts. As a distinction without a difference it felt more like an episode of the show than a movie, but as someone who loves the show (my second favorite of all time with Northern Exposure number one) I really enjoyed the move a lot. It is one I will watch again.

NPR had an article about a study that concluded that having a purpose in life reduces mortality. The people in the study were ages 51-61. "People who didn't have a strong life purpose — which was defined as "a self-organizing life aim that stimulates goals" — were more likely to die than those who did, and specifically more likely to die of cardiovascular diseases."

I don't need any convincing that this is at least directionally correct even if not precisely so. We've long walked the walk on this with my involvement with the fire department and my wife with United Animal Friends. The are many different purposes, volunteering is just one avenue for purpose. I say repeatedly with volunteering that the more you put into it, the more you get out of it and I am sure that is the case with other forms of life purpose.

Taking care of yourself physically as well as loving something besides your family so much as to think of it as your life's purpose makes for a much more interesting and fulfilling life.



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