Discussion Has anyone here watched this post-civil war based show "Hell on Wheels"?

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absolutfsu

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Sep 23, 2013
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South Carolina
Just saw that AMC has this show called Hell on Wheels. Looked kind of interesting considering the era it is set in :smile: Was wondering if anyone here has seen it, and if it's worth me catching up 3 season of shows to get current with it! Here is the show description for those who havn't heard of it:

"Hell on Wheels
stars Anson Mount as former confederate soldier Cullen Bohannon, who is struggling to escape his demons from the recently fought Civil War. Colm Meaney stars as Thomas "Doc" Durant, a greedy entrepreneur taking full advantage of the changing times, and musician/actor Common is Elam Ferguson, an emancipated slave working to achieve true freedom in a world entrenched in prejudice. Hell on Wheels received a 2012 Emmy nomination for outstanding original main title theme music.

Centered on the lawless town known as Hell on Wheels that travels with and services the construction of the first transcontinental railroad, the series examines the railroad's institutionalized greed and corruption, the immigrant experience and the plight of the newly emancipated African-Americans during reconstruction. Hell on Wheels' second season wrapped in October with an average of 2.4 million viewers and 3.2 million viewers with Live plus 7. Season three of the series has been greenlit for ten, one-hour episodes and is scheduled for a special 2-hour Season Premiere on Aug. 10, 9/8c, with John Wirth (Falling Skies, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) serving as executive producer and showrunner."
 

SusanB

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Oct 9, 2013
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Canton, Georgia
We have Netflix. Our family got interested after the first few episodes. It was like a captivating novel.... Could not stop watching. Very interesting story line about the people who gathered around the railroad during the construction. It is a little crude in some spots but we really liked it. Enjoy!
 
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Irishtom29

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Comancheria
When that show started I watched it for awhile but after the first season lost interest as the show was so...stupid. I'd hoped it might be about building the Union Pacific and have at least some resemblance to reality. Stupid me.
 

Virginia Dave

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Waynesboro, Virginia
OK now you have my interest, but being a Chaplain I may have to have my wife edit it for me. She is from Ireland so she is tough and can take it. LOL. Is it really that crude and rude?
 
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Rusk County Avengers

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Hell on Wheels was truly a great show, I loved till it started going off the rails story wise to me.

The first season was awesome from beginning to finish! Second season, eh not quite as good as the first, but still great. Then the Third season, new writers came onboard (I'm glad they didn't kill off the Swede who was Norwegian) and its first episode was awesome, easily on par with the first season, then to me the rest of the season more or less went downhill. Then the forth season, it had its moments and killed off for good one of my favorite characters in a heartbreaking way, and the season was more or less going between boring and no good. I've never seen the whole forth season even though I have it on dvd, I just can't make it all the way through no matter how hard I try.

The fifth season "volume one" I've not seen a single episode of, but in season five "volume two" (why didn't they just say season five and six), the show came back! It was as great as the first season right from the get go, and stayed great till its end giving the show a great sendoff. I especially loved our renegade ex-Confederate officer railroad man being forced to join the US Army as an officer, but Custer "convinced" him to leave, (I love that moment!)

Hell on Wheels was a great show, even though for me it had some downhill moments, because it was so well written, and though it can be crude and rude, we should bear in mind that, that is exactly how the West was from the beginning. It's "crude and rude" and carrying on enabled the best line ever said of the Swede, Bohannon's favorite thing to say about him "Your an evil sum ***** you know that?" and one has to admit, they had to keep the Swede around simply because there was no other villain who could match him.
 

Rusk County Avengers

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Coffeeville, TX
One issue that can't go unmentioned, is its horrible track record with period correct props, and consistency on history.

A brass-framed 1860 Army revolver, (which never existed historically) standing in for a Confederate Griswold & Gunnison revolver, M1866 Winchesters everywhere from 1865 till the end of the series. Elam carrying a Colt M1872 "Open Top" revolver in the second season set in 1866, and no Spencer or Sharps carbines in sight, the real most likely longarms of the period, and no steel-framed Colt's, but I'm sure budgets have to be blamed. That and perhaps a clueless or uncaring armorer.

Clothing fashions off, the guns, saddles were horrible history wise, US Army uniforms were the most atrocious put on film in recent history, (the officers shoulder boards were often on the wrong way!!! How do you screw that up! I need that question answered!), but does any of that take away from the show?

Not in the least bit, not till the story went bad at least, after that it became more noticeable. One historic aspect that gets me on the movie, in the first season we hear Bohannon mention how his Mississippi cavalry officer self was at Antietam defending Burnside's Bridge, then in the second season we hear he rode with Lee, Jackson, and Nathan Bedford Forrest. History wise, all I can say is, was their writer an idiot? Their writers really needed to read some history before writing the character.

Still a great show.
 

upton j.

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pa.
OK now you have my interest, but being a Chaplain I may have to have my wife edit it for me. She is from Ireland so she is tough and can take it. LOL. Is it really that crude and rude?
I didn't think it was to bad some cussing you could watch the 1st episode and decide.
 
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UncleBourbon

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Sep 4, 2019
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Massachusetts
I watched it years ago.
The only thing to really stand out for me was what a phenomenal antagonist Thor "The Swede" Gundersen "from Norway" was.
He was the ideal antagonist; completely despicable and amoral but at the same time you don't want to see him truly defeated or killed because he provides so much conflict for the show that it would be much less enjoyable without him.

I did enjoy it but it had it's issues. I also remember and enjoyed the racist Irish worker fella who sorta had a dynamic character arc. He started out one dimensional but grew more nuanced as the show went on.

Spoilers ahead, but I found what was hinted at the end of the series to have as much, if not more potential than the rest of the show.
A Confederate veteran gunslinger making a life for himself in the late Qing dynasty searching for his crossdressing sweetheart would be incredibly unique and interesting. It's really a shame it ends there, but then it wouldn't about railroads anymore.

OK now you have my interest, but being a Chaplain I may have to have my wife edit it for me. She is from Ireland so she is tough and can take it. LOL. Is it really that crude and rude?
Hardly a spoiler but the first scene in the first episode had the hero murdering a guy in a confessional at a church.
 
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