Ian McShane returns to the daily struggles of whore-house management.
If the first season of this anti-Western pushed boundaries even for HBO, then a second visit to the pioneer town finds profanity and poetry shacked up in the Gem Saloon, minglin in a way that would make our good Lord blush. Indeed, as Ian McShanes monstrous Al Swearengen delivers another profound soliloquy about the virtues of whorin n gamblin, its easy to believe the story that creator David Milch lies on his back to channel scripts rather than sit by
a computer. Swearengen still dominates Season 2, but Milch makes sure the canny hotel owner faces greater challenges than ever before not least a gall stone as the dark forces gather (very) slowly for a climax both bloody and oddly moving.