Hell On Wheels: (Review)

Hell on Wheel’s is AMC’s new Sunday night show that follows The Walking Dead and this week I indulged in some Heel on Wheels hoping it would fill the hole that Red Dead Redemption left after I finished playing it last year.   The western is a tough genre to tackle for a television but this show comes at you with a solid story and some mystery to lure you into a series recording on your DVR.

The opening scene gives us a man confessing sins in a confessional only to discover that the man in the booth is no priest but a man hell bent on revenge.  This is where we meet Cullen Bohanan played effectively by unknown actor Anson Mount who plays the mysterious hero hell bent on revenge and does it with a familiarity that we’ve come to love from spaghetti westerns of the past.  A personal love of mine from spaghetti westerns is the dialog and this show captures that in an early scene after Cullen dispatches the Union solider in the church and hops a train to hell on wheels. (The settlement that moves along the progress of the pacific railroad)  He has small talk with two religious Irish-Men who asks “Do you not believe in a higher power?” so Bohanan places his hand on his gun and utters the word “Yes sir, I wear it on my hip”  This caused me a little smirk and you can pretty decide at that point weather this show is for you or not.

Thomas Durant (Colm Meaney) is the entreprenuer building the railroad and getting rich while doing so and seems to be set to be the main villain in this series.  Through this episode we meet Lily Bell (Dominique McElligot) who is the wife of one of Durant’s surveyors who survives an attempt on her life by a native American tribe and now holds some plans that belong to Durant.  Also an actor who shines is Common as Elam Ferguson, and one of the key points of this show is the ineffectiveness of the emancipation proclamation post-civil war which is portrayed through his character.   The meat of the episode is Bohanan arriving at Hell on Wheels and getting a job running a crew of recently freed slaves underneath a man who possess a secret to Bohanan and this is where the story really unfolds.

People have compared it to HBO’s Deadwood but I’m guessing that’s because everyone look dirty because this show is no Deadwood, nor is it trying to be.  Hell On Wheels is much more of a character driven drama, and less of an ensemble epic affair which is what Deadwood was, two very different shows.  Also unfair because this has yet to find it’s footing, using the first episode to set up the story and pretty effectively.  The acting so far is excellent and gives some of these scenes so real tension to keep your attention throughout.  This episode did what pilot  episodes are supposed to do, which is give you a reason to come back next week, and this episode accomplished that.


~ by ATOM on November 10, 2011.

One Response to “Hell On Wheels: (Review)”

  1. Between Common and Cullen I cannot wait for the next episode. ❤

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