Hell On Wheels – A Quick Review, OK Not So Quick

Only read this if you’ve watched the series.  If you haven’t watched the series yet, then put it on your list.  There’s 5 seasons that are totally bingeable.


imagesWhat a quality show.  We have entered a golden era of TV programs.  Gone are the days where lame ass sitcoms with their fake ass laugh tracks rule the day.  The entertainment industry has finally figured it out with movie like series for TV watching.

I just finished watching Hell On Wheels 5th season and just assumed it would be the last.  While in the last episode it dawned on me that they weren’t leading us to a great finally, but setting us up for “The Great Race”.  Yaaaaasss!  Season 6 in 2016!

Again, how does a show get 6 seasons with no Mad Men like buzz?

Unlike Sons of Anarchy and a number of other shows I had to stop watching, not one time did I say, that would never happen or no one would ever do that or that doesn’t make sense.  NOT ONCE.  From the beginning to the end the story line appeared legit.  The interactions between people in the mid-1800s seemed likely.  Even when Common(Elam) got attacked by a bear and lost his mind.

The timeline from dealing with the Native Americans, (although eventually glossed over…which leads me to believe a TV Series on their point of view during these times seems a valid one); to the technologies that came along the way, the wires/telegram technology, the printing press/type writer, the keg spout, the steam powered mega-shovel; to Mormon country & San Francisco.

Although the women in this series were strong women, from Eva the prostitute turned house wife turned madam; the reporter/newspaper editor; the preacher lady; bad ass Stage Coach Mary and the wealthy woman on the same level as Durant; we could see what life was like back then, when women were certainly expected to keep in the kitchen and maintain the home.  But damn, out in the west like that, it must have been scary with regular threat of rape.  We’re doing good today even though people believe we live in a rape culture, but that’s a side note to explore another day.

Even what non-white people had to experience in a very white world.  From black people getting recently freed from slavery to a black man wanting a drink of booz in the regular bar to owning land.  From the Native Americans having their land taken & battling for it to trying to assimilate into the new age white culture.  From the Asians, particularly the Chinese that helped build the railroad for cheap pay with not the same rights as white men.tcrr_gallery_02HellInline_1323728341images22blackworkersHell_on_Wheels_How_the_Chinese_Built_America-600x339chinese-railroad-workers-082312-04282011Side note:  in this series, the Chinese came over to escape war that was going on over in China.  I think that also would make for a good series, because I had to google it to see what they were talking about.  See that’s why I love these historical period pieces.  Fiction mixed in with some facts and real life characters. ❤

What this tv series attempted to cover over time and how they did it was well done.

I was even ok with the never ending feud between Bohannan and the Swede.  The Swede played a good bad guy, although his story was a bit of a stretch from faking to be a Mormon preacher and ended up becoming the right hand man of Brigham Young to ending back in the railroad with Bohannon to ending season 5 in a chase scene to Bohannon’s long lost wife and son.

Oh, I just remembered, the ONE and ONLY scene that didn’t make sense.  Was when the Swede killed Bohannon’s pretty blond.  He had no motivation to kill her.  It wasn’t even on his radar to do so.  Yeah, for some reason, Durant said he wanted her killed, but there was no discussion between Durant and the Swede.  The Swede was kind of going bananas at that time and during the chaos, he just happened to be waiting for the blond and kill her.

So…I have to assume behind the scenes, Common and the pretty blond Dominique McElliot had to bounce from being the cast.  Whether they had something else going on or whether they got fired, the way they both went out was odd and ok, I’ll say it, didn’t make sense.  It was as if the writers had other plans in the long run for these characters to exit as the train moved forward, but had to switch gears to get them off immediately.

One thing I do know is that Anson Mount, Cullen Bohannon, has won me over.  Yes, they over played his hero abilities.  He became the man that could do anything, even with cholera. It was stretched a little bit, but it’s gotta be a little Hollywood.  But I’m crushing on this guy so hard and hope this series awards him much more work in the future.  To Anson Mount; I say YAAAAASSSS!bohanan

For a TV series, this can’t get much better.  There weren’t too many love scenes.  There wasn’t curses thrown in for the hell of it.  You could get dirty with the mud.  You could feel the heat when temperatures were soaring.  You could sense the open country of the west.  I’d 100% give this series 5 stars!  And have added this to my article on the top bingeable tv series.

What’s great is a lot of this series is based on real life of stories left behind.  Check it, Hell On Wheels isn’t just a clever name the TV producers came up with, it’s what they called the itinerant collection of flimsily assembled gambling houses, dance halls, saloons, and brothels that followed the army of Union Pacific railroad workers westward as they constructed the First Transcontinental Railroad in 1860s.

PBS Article – The Transcontinental Railroad

Library of Congress – Building The Transcontinental Railroad

A Kid in Hell On Wheels

I believe Cullen Bohannon was based on Jack Morrow, a real bad ass.

Stagecoach Mary was a real bad ass bitch, standing 6ft tall and 200lb, she was the 2nd woman to work for the U.S. postal service and obviously the 1st black woman.  That’s a tv series there too!  BAD ASS BITCH! YEP! Go Ahead Mary!stagecoachmary.0

Eva, with the tattoos on her face was real too.  Mormons forced west getting caught up by the native americans and brought into their culture.old pic Hell-on-Wheels-hell-on-wheels-35179906-1600-1200

There was so much to work with for this show, I have to say THEY NAILED IT!

Just my oponion.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s