AMC's Hell On Wheels debuted in the U.S. on November 6th 2011. Full disclosure: i am, always have been, always will be a fan of Westerns so this show is not a hard sell for my attention. Based on my interaction w/tweeps on twitter #HellOnWheels has a very strong fan base. But if i didn't have the benefit of their tweets and only went by mainstream press reviews i'd never know it. And so i can hold my tongue no longer. ENOUGH! Enough with the hating of this show. Hell On Wheels is not as some critics have lazily pronounced and even lazier critics endorsing that pronouncement a watered down version of Deadwood.
AMC's Hell On Wheels is the story of post-civil war migration to the west, the construction of the transcontinental railroad and the archetypical characters that populate that landscape.
There are 2 things about Hell On Wheels that i am not happy about. One of my fav actors
my favorite character is the 'Swede'. Thor Gundersen is Norwegian but the railroad workers mistook his accent as Swedish and nicknamed him the 'Swede'. Prior to the end of the civil war he was a bookkeeper but he now works as the head of security for the burgeoning railroad. The 'Swede', played by Christopher Heyerdahl is sadistic, conniving, and funny.
Another thing i'm enjoying about the show is it's authentic look and sound. The costumes, the hygiene or in some instances a lack thereof and the music. And to point out the patently obvious---plenty o' man candy. Now lest you think i'm only objectifying the male cast let me also acknowledge that Anson Mount as Cullen Bohannon and Common as Elam Ferguson bring considerably more than just handsome faces & bods to their performances. Great chemistry between the two in all their scenes. In fact the entire cast is entertaining and so are the scripts and direction.
There has been a slight drop in the show's ratings numbers but i don't think the network should go into panic mode over it. O.K. the numbers don't make you think train à grande vitesse but Hell On Wheels shouldn't be relegated to 'little engine that could' status either.
Hell On Wheels airs on AMC Sunday nights at 10:00pm Please check your local listings.