Hell on Wheels


I’m delaying (again!) the book discussion, but only until tomorrow. I’m having a wee bit of altitude sickness. Nothing serious, just a pounding headache. It’s mild at the moment, which means instead of wrapping up Life After Life and writing my thoughts, I watched the two final episodes of the 2nd season of Hell on Wheels. It’s a show I’ve been wanting to watch. I watched two episodes a couple of months back after Phaedra commented on the majestic scenery. She is so correct about the scenery. It is, indeed, majestic.

For whatever reason, I didn’t get into it. Actually, my husband didn’t get into it. We started watching Tudors, but I never forgot Hell on Wheels. I trust you, and when you all say a show is good, I know it’s going to be good. I got an overwhelming urge to start it up again in Lake Tahoe and by the 4th episode, the Mister was hooked. He didn’t need to convince me to keep watching. Now I just need to go back to the comments in the Netflix post and read the commentary on Lily. I studiously avoided the HOW comments because I didn’t want any spoilers. I can’t wait to read them, because some pretty heavy hitting commenters weighed in with their opinions on the show.

Side note #1: Anson Mount (I’m almost 3 months older than him, which for some reason I find unsettling) has the same gray eyes as Mikey. Sometimes they’re green, rarely they’re blue, but most of the time they’re gray like set concrete. The episode when I first noticed this I must have mentioned it to the Mister 200 times until finally he turned to me and said, “Yeah, I see that.”

He may not have found it as interesting as I did. Or, perhaps, he was tired of me waxing poetic about gray eyes.

Side note #2: You did realize I would start researching the show and the characters, yes? You should see what I’ve done since I’ve started watch Tudors. I have an honorary PhD in King Henry. I’m a nerd. But look!

Olive Oatman

This is Olive Oatman, the character upon which Mrs. Eva Toole is very loosely based. Very, very loosely. As in, pretty much just the chin tattoos.

My geekery: It knows no bounds. I think once a month I’m going to share all the images and articles I have found based on rabbit holes I’ve descended after reading books or watching TV. I have to do something with them to justify my obsessive behavior.

Well, it’s late, my head is feeling better, and that 2 hour season 3 Hell on Wheels premiere on the AMC website isn’t going to watch itself!

Jules Kendall writes about books, family, and easygoing simplicity.


  1. says

    What is with those chin tattoos? They completely creep me out, and yet I’m completely fascinated. Is there a story behind them–do you know? Great, now you’re sending me down rabbit holes . . .

      • Phaedra says

        I would not steer you wrong in this category. That being said, I really enjoy the show since it’s different than most of what’s on my line-up of (Mad Men, Downton Abbey, Call The Midwife, Deadliest Catch). But the scenery! Honestly! I could wax poetic about those eyes, too. However, I don’t have the excuse to do so as my child does not share a similar color. I would just be going on and the mister in this house has chocolate-amber eyes so he might not take well to that. Ahem. I will just keep that between you and me. 😉

        Loved the Tudors and I would love to see your nerd research. I honestly like that period of history and find it incredibly interesting. I was reading the Cousins War books by Philippa Gregory (fiction) and realized that I didn’t know very much at all about how the Tudor line came to power. (The show was super fun and … again…. THE SCENERY! Hellooooo there Henry Cavill I can’t seem to tear my eyes away from you whenever you’re in the scene)

  2. Kate says

    The scenery does look amazing. As for King Henry – I find him fascinating. All of the Tudors actually and that time period, as well. The idea of living then makes me shudder. Central heating and plumbing are too important to me.

    • says

      That’s how I feel about running water and floors after watching Hell of Wheels. When The Tudors was going through that plague episode, I could have kissed a box of vaccines.

  3. Kellee says

    So do you mean scenery or, you know…SCENERY? It’s an important question to have answered before I devote hours and hours of time to a new series :)

    Also, you are certainly not the only crazy obsessive who goes diving down rabbit holes with reckless abandon. When I started watching The Tudors, I went on a months-long binge of reading everything I could get my hands on that had any tangential relationship to the history of the British monarchy. (And I wonder why my lawn is 9″ tall and mostly weeds.)

    Enjoy your geekery and I hope you’re feeling better!

    • says

      I mean the SCENERY. My God, the SCENERY.

      Do you have a list of books you can recommend? I’m dying to read up on some more, but I’m hesitant because there is so much out there. Not sure what’s good and what isn’t.

      • Susan G says

        Have you read the Hilary Mantel books? I have the first one but haven’t read it yet. I come from a long line of Tudor-geeks. My mother has a fold-out chart of the whole British monarchy family tree so she can follow along. :)

      • Kellee says

        Sorry that I’m a bit late to respond, but I’d recommend anything by Alison Weir. Her research is impeccable and she presents it in a way that is still interesting to read. I’d start with The Six Wives of Henry VIII and let yourself get sucked in from there. And then read A Treasury of Royal Scandals because it is just fun. Like trashy television, only you get to feel slightly superior about it because it is a *book* and it is *historical*.

        And now I have to go watch Hell on Wheels. For the SCENERY.

  4. says

    I didn’t realize the next book club discussion was around the corner! I am so out of the loop. I haven’t read the book yet, making it one more discussion I’ll have to catch up on later. I don’t know how I missed it!

  5. says

    Oh my, I do the same obsessive research. With movies, books, series… I just read about the symbolism in The Great Gatsby (I grew up in another country so I am now reading the English/american classics!), and I went crazy with LOST! I love finding these curiosities! Will definitely check these two shows (we only have Netflix now, no cable, no commercials, no non-sense-reality-junk!)

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