Sep 012014
 

Hell on Wheels "Life's a Mystery" Sid plays poker with Eva

Hell on Wheels Episode 4.05, Life’s a Mystery, is the first episode in quite some time that endeavors to be more than an episode of a good television show. Which is to say, the show has broad themes: About the American Dream, about transcending the past, about being an outsider; but it doesn’t often do that theme-per-episode thing like many other excellent shows (including Mad Men).

Life’s a Mystery, though, is different. It’s a tour of the Spaghetti Western, Clint Eastwood via Sergio Leone, with an opening straight out of Hang ‘Em High, music courtesy of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, and slo-mo bullet holes borrowed from The Wild Bunch. It roots itself, not just in “the Western”—a genre that traverses literary and film history—but a very specific era of the Western. The spaghetti Western and its brethren are almost always set in Mexico or near the border, are invariably bloody, are highly stylized, and have a distinctive sound. Continue reading »

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Hell on Wheels 4.04: Reckoning

 Posted by on August 24, 2014 at 4:14 pm  Hell on Wheels, Slideshow  5 Responses »
Aug 242014
 
Photo Credit:Chris Large/AMC

Photo Credit:Chris Large/AMC

So. That happened.

Hell on Wheels Episode 4.04, Reckoning, was about what happened. It was a plot-builder, laying down groundwork for future episodes. None of the character work we saw (and we saw some good stuff) was meant to stand on its own; all of it was there to lead us to future episodes. This is a normal problem with even the best episodic television, sometimes you have to set things up in order for a pay-off to be worthwhile. An episode like Reckoning doesn’t make for thrilling television, but it has its rewards. Continue reading »

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Hell on Wheels 4.03: Chicken Hill

Hell on Wheels 4.03: Chicken Hill

Aug 17, 2014

Let’s recap Hell on Wheels Season 4 so far: Episode 1, snoozefest. Episode 2, interesting, exciting, with a really great, really weird pivotal scene. Episode 3, Chicken Hill: excellent, straight-ahead television. So far, so good. I’m inclined to completely forgive the season premiere.

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Hell on Wheels Episode 4.02: Escape from the Garden

Hell on Wheels Episode 4.02: Escape from the Garden

Aug 9, 2014

You sound like an unreconstructed Southerner, but we’ll remedy all that. Now that’s more like it! Hell on Wheels came on flabby with a slow season opener that left me doubting if it could continue to deliver strong stories with compelling characters. One week later, Escape From the Garden, another Neil LaButte episode, leaves no [...]

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Hell on Wheels Season 4 Premiere: Elusive Eden

Hell on Wheels Season 4 Premiere: Elusive Eden

Aug 2, 2014

Hell on Wheels offers us a season premiere that is in no way different from its season finale. Season 3 closed with a lackluster episode, as if director Neil LaBute had no sense that a finale was a different animal from a regular episode. He’s back a year later with Elusive Eden, an episode with [...]

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Vacation news

Vacation news

Jul 30, 2014

I will be out of the country, with limited internet access, from July 31 through August 12. Mad Chick will be handling Masters of Sex duties. Season premiere and episode 2 of Hell on Wheels are already written and will post as soon as each episode ends. Karl will keep the News running. Other people [...]

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What the heck happened?

Jul 14, 2014

Business trip, of course. I’m all over the map. I didn’t even get to watch Masters of Sex yet. The problem with Sunday being Prestige Television Night is that I always travel on Sundays for arrival Monday morning. Rest assured, Masters of Sex will be blogged in this space, although not necessarily on time, because [...]

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Fan Art Thursday 12/12/13  Cullen and Lilly by nerdboy69

Fan Art Thursday 12/12/13 Cullen and Lilly by nerdboy69

Dec 12, 2013

For this week’s Fan Art – Here’s Cullen and Lilly by nerdboy69 Sorry for the mix up earlier; from the comments I read below the picture, I was under the impression it was from Hell On Wheels (in fact it was classified as such!) Sorry.  Enjoy this!

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Fan Art Thursday Hell On Wheels by Spencer Platt

Fan Art Thursday Hell On Wheels by Spencer Platt

Oct 10, 2013

This week’s work is by artist Spencer Platt of Mr. Bohanon from Hell On Wheels.

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Hell on Wheels  Episode 3.10 (Season Finale): Get Behind the Mule

Hell on Wheels Episode 3.10 (Season Finale): Get Behind the Mule

Oct 6, 2013

Pin your ear to the wisdom post Pin your eye to the line Never let the weeds get higher than the garden Always keep a sapphire in your mind Always keep a diamond in your mind. —Tom Waits, “Get Behind the Mule“

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Breaking Bad is over? Don’t despair!

Sep 29, 2013

Breaking Bad is over. Hell on Wheels is over for the season. But we are still bringing you great TV! The Walking Dead Season 4 premieres Monday, October 7. Our new Walking Dead writer is Peg Aloi. I’ll be writing Masters of Sex. In addition, I’ll be keeping up with Agents of SHIELD. I’m not [...]

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Hell on Wheels 3.09: Fathers and Sins

Hell on Wheels 3.09: Fathers and Sins

Sep 29, 2013

Victory needs an audience, and you is he. Water is renewal. It is rebirth. It is where things transform. To open the episode with Cullen Bohannon washing his face is to suggest that this is an episode where everything changes for him. And as much as Hell on Wheels tends to go for artsy cinematography [...]

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Hell on Wheels Episode 3.08: It Happened in Boston

Hell on Wheels Episode 3.08: It Happened in Boston

Sep 22, 2013

What happened in Boston, Mickey? SPOILERS AHEAD: This is what I was talking about with Searchers; someone in the writer’s room likes to throw in references, not because they pertain to some hidden meaning in the episode, but because they’re fun. The Death of Sean is not the Death of a Salesman. I guess the [...]

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