Filler: Hell on Wheels

I have an on-again, off-again relationship with Westerns. They’re in, they’re out, I like ’em, I don’t care for ’em.

I think the creative vision behind each Western title I experience goes a long way towards my liking them or not: Unforgiven – all time favourite; Silverado – all time favourite; True Grit – overhyped but entertaining nonetheless – I suppose you get the drift. Or not.

The Hell on Wheels pilot tried to be many things for this genre – too many things, I think: it’s about revenge but it’s also about the newly emancipated nigra, as well as – I expect from our toffee-sounding Brit female character – a woman’s place in this world, and encompassing one and all is the railway, that unifier, that beast, that engine of progress. Okay, that’s only four things but still, it felt crowded and well-meaning and –

What can I say? It takes itself so seriously. And the vengeful hero lead character – he looks like a newly promoted O.C. extra with facial hair. Nope, the show’s not for me.

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