50 best television shows set across the United States

42 of 52

South Dakota: Deadwood

The premise: Deadwood is also the name of the town in which the show takes place in the gold rush of the late 19th century. It starts with the story of Seth Bullock, a stoic, lonely would-be entrepreneur who arrives in the town to make his fortune. Once Seth arrives, however, he meets Al Swearengen, local saloon owner, and the show quickly becomes about their sometimes-adversarial relationship.

The setting: Deadwood is a lawless place, brimming with depravity and wickedness. There were forces on both sides of the war over good and evil, and it seems like there was a constant tug of war over which side would win. Deadwood becomes a symbol for the internal struggles of doing the right thing over doing the easy, more profitable thing.

Deadwood, South Dakota is a real place, named so for the dead trees in its gulch. The entire city has been deemed a National Historic Landmark District for its role in the Gold Rush era.

The most Deadwood thing about it: The real town was known to be a tough one, with murders as a rampant problem and very little justice for the endless amount of crime. The show captures this almost perfectly in almost every single episode, including the running plotline concerning pigs as a means of corpse disposal.