Whoever first said “It’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all” had never loved and lost like my husband did with the HBO series Deadwood.
You see, the series was suddenly canceled after only three seasons. And after watching the last episode ever, my husband – who had enjoyed every minute of it while there were still minutes of it left to watch – stamped his foot and declared he wished he’d never watched it all, such was the magnitude of his disappointment.
I was a bit more forgiving. While there are plotlines that would never be resolved and characters I’d never understand, I was happy enough to have gone along for the ride. After all, I was once an avid viewer of Lost, which, like my daughter, has a habit of asking far more questions than it ever answers. (Apparently the upcoming Lost series finale aims to answer the Big Questions and the only way I could possibly imagine them doing that is if they suddenly cut to actual footage of the writing team finally coming to after a six year Tequila-binge only to discover that someone had actually taken those scripts they wrote on the back of beer coasters whilst under the influence of the mescaline-soaked worms and had turned them into a hit TV series. Honestly, it’s the only way to explain that show. You know it’s true.)
Anyway, whenever I lend out Deadwood to friends, I always do so with the caveat that it does end abruptly (along with the warning that every second word is “cocksucker”). I do this A) to respect my husband’s pain and B) to not make myself out to be a hypocrite. After all, as my post “Classification My Way” demonstrated, I still harbour feelings of unresolved rage at the makers of Love My Way for not adequately warning me of the content of their program.
However, I recently discovered that my hand-over disclaimer for Deadwood was woefully inadequate.
A week or so after I’d lent the series to my friend Mamselle X, I received an email from her titled “Hell is…”. Turns out that for Mamselle X, hell was not so much watching that scene in Deadwood where one of the main characters delivers a lengthy and insightful monologue while receiving a headjob, but rather hell was watching that scene with her parents.
I am no stranger to this type of situation. My father took me to see Puberty Blues when I was ten, a film based on the book by Kathy Lette (and friend) in which the main protagonist loses her virginity in the back of a panel van. If it felt awkward at the time, it felt a hundred times worse a few years later when I actually found out what a panel van was and even worse still when, as a young adult, I read one of Kathy Lette’s other books. I mean, what had my father been thinking?
Anyway, Mamselle X is obviously made of stern stuff because she rang a few days later to see if she could borrow Deadwood Season 2. I was going to slip it into her mailbox but, seeing a car in the driveway, I thought I’d knock on the door and deliver it in person.
Mamselle X’s father answered the door.
Now, the last time I had seen her father, he had sincerely thanked me for being a good friend to Mamselle X during a difficult period of her life. As I handed the discs over and he saw the title, I plummeted from being Number One Friend to being Number One Enemy of All That Is Decent In This World. I had officially become a pusher of degenerative filth and the corruptor of his daughter’s fine mind.
Still, it could have been worse, I consoled myself as I walked back to my car, somewhat crimson-cheeked. It could have been a whole lot worse: I could have been dropping off a Kathy Lette book for Mamselle X to read. Now, there’s some bad shit.