Hell on Wheels – The Complete First Season (Entertainment One)

Breaking Bad, Mad Men and The Walking Dead may have collected the most coverage over the past few years for AMC, but the upstart Hell on Wheels proves just as worthy of praise.
The series is set in 1865 in a tent city sprung up around construction of the first transcontinental Railroad. The first season focuses on the quiet, tough former Confederate soldier who takes a job with the crew (played perfectly by Anson Mount), while probing the mysterious hanging of his wife years before. Her killer(s) may or may not be part of the group behind the railroad. The show plays up the drama nicely and adds just the right amount of comic levity from time to time to keep it interesting (and from veering too far into that overly-dramatic category owned by The Killing, the only AMC drama that didn’t manage to live up to the hype).
Throw in corrupt politicians, immoral business men (including a brilliantly cast Colm Meaney), Native Americans fighting to preserve their land and scrums of rowdy Irish workers and you’ve got another stellar series for AMC. The network has wisely opted for a second season.
Hell on Wheels – The Complete First Season/3 DVDs/450 mins./Entertainment One/2012

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