Saturday, 23 November 2013

TV: Hell on Wheels (S1) (6/10)

Why did I watch it?
Season one originally aired in 2011 and I saw a re-run advertised and looked up the show's premise. On the back of that and the fact that it comes from the network behind The Walking Dead and Mad Men I thought it was worth a watch.

What's it all about?
After the US Civil War finishes, former farmer and Confederate soldier Cullen Bolhannon travels West to Hell on Wheels, the travelling settlement accompanying the construction of the transcontinental Union Pacific railroad in 1865. Although looking for work at the railroad Bolhannon is secretly on the trail of the Union soldiers who murdered his family during the war.

The Good:
  • Excellent production as you would expect from AMC. Epic Western setting.
  • Mostly decent acting from the likes of Anson Mount, Colm Meaney and Tom Noonan
  • The Swede (he's actually Norwegian you know)
The Bad:
  • Common's performance as former slave Elam Ferguson isn't the best
  • Disappointingly Hell on Wheels' storylines (Bolhannon's manhunt, Durant's financial difficulties, the Indian problem and Elam's fight against racial inequality) are underwhelming and not as interesting or absorbing as they could have been.

Favourite line:
'Do you not believe in a higher power?' - Sean
'Yes sir. I wear it on my hip.' - Bolhannon

Stand-out moment: Bolhannon going after Union soldiers or Indians

Like the show? Watch: Deadwood

What my wife would say: The historical setting and story-lines wouldn't appeal. 'Boring' I would imagine.

What the world thinks:
Metacritic - 63/100
Twitter -

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