An epic saga about the secret history of the 1930s American heartland, centering on the mythic conflict and bloody struggle between big money and the downtrodden.An epic saga about the secret history of the 1930s American heartland, centering on the mythic conflict and bloody struggle between big money and the downtrodden.An epic saga about the secret history of the 1930s American heartland, centering on the mythic conflict and bloody struggle between big money and the downtrodden.
One of the differences between the two series is that "Damnation" is, while set in the past, deliberately intends to comment on our current state of affairs in the early 21st Century. The 1930's, like our time now, was a time when the economy failed millions, institutions such as the press, law enforcement and the courts appeared to have been corrupted, and the answers to these problems seemed they could only be solved by revolutions either by the extreme right or the extreme left. The comparisons can be taken a little far: one character, representing the "Big Business" interests coming after the small farmers, reveals that the interests he represents wants to eventually kick the farmers off their land to not only mechanize agriculture, but also mechanize factories and warfare (I think with our fears of Artificial Intelligence, this is more a fear of our time than the 1930's).
Another difference between "Deadwood" and "Damnation" is that the ruthless business interests are actively being opposed. The farmers are attempting to unionize and strike to protect themselves (though two of the main characters, who are the main labor organizers, would likely really prefer a workers revolution). Also, media like the investigative press and radio may also end up playing part in opposing "Big Business" and their enforcers. So far however, the local paper in "Damnation" is covering up the attempt to drive the small farmers off their land by price fixing and violence by strikebreakers.
The USA Network provides excellent video interviews with the director and writers, who make clear this is their intent. "To understand the present, go back to the past," one of the writers says, or that the series, while set in the 1930's "Mirrors the Past (director Adam Kane)." USA also provides a couple of good mini-documentaries "Legacy of the Heartland: The One Thousand" and "Legacy of the Heartland: War of Words." The documentaries and the interviews put the characters and the action in better context, and really make this interesting, well thought out series more understandable.
- Nov 22, 2017