Deadwood fans and admirers of the flamboyant use of the F-word were bereft last week: Jeff Kay went camping. That meant Kay’s episode-by-episode tally of the number of F-words used in HBO’s Old West cuss-a-thon was suspended, pending Kay’s return from a trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C., from his home outside Scranton, Pa. (Or at least that’s what we gleaned from the West Virginia Surf Report, the blog where he’s listed as the proprietor and where the Deadwood F-count can be found).
Disproving the widely-held theory that Deadwood characters use the F-word so effing much that no one could ever keep track, Kay is not content just to track each utterance; he also crunches the numbers. Kay vowed to update the totals once he crawls out of his tent, but here are a few intriguing numerical morsels he has uncovered so far:The F-word per-episode frequency has increased from the first season, when many folks were agog at all the cursing. In its rookie year, Deadwood achieved a 69.3 F’s-per-episode rate; this season, it has improved to 96.4 FPE. The F’s-per-minute are up as well, of course—from 1.23 to 2.10. Indeed, the show recently reached the high-water mark so far in the FPM category, rattling off 51 F’s in the last 10 minutes of episode 19. Yes, that’s quite a gaudy score, perhaps unbeatable, but those Deadwood boys need something to aim at other than each other.