Justified

I’ve done a lot of talking about games on here and feel that I’ve neglected other forms of entertainment.  In an effort to correct this egregious error, allow me to apologize by telling you about a TV show that is something you should be watching.

Justified is a show on FX  that is currently on season 3 and has been approved for a fourth.  Amazon has a pretty good one line description of the show as ” a 21st century wild west show.”  Now, I know you just read wild west there and are getting ready to hit the back button on your browser but hear me out.   I will let you in on a little secret.  If you like Han Solo or Malcolm Reynolds, you will like Deputy US Marshall Raylan Givens.

The heart of the show is Raylan Givens.  He is a powerful yet flawed man played skilfully by Timothy Olyphant.  The trope of the laconic lawman fits easily upon his shoulders for this show while not becoming a straight-jacket allowing for character growth as the show progresses.  His flaws are the more entertaining aspects of Raylan’s character as they play up the very duality of the cowboy/lawman.  He showcases the necessity of having to take up the gun to protect those less powerful, but that to do so requires someone flawed to be willing to do this in the first place.  The opening scene of episode one will easily cement in your mind why the application of the wild west epithet is necessary and shows you that Raylan Givens is a bad-ass.  The entire first season is based on the ramifications of this opening scene.  Raylan is forced to return to his home jurisdiction and face the past he left behind in the great state of Kentucky.  Wait, don’t leave.  I know I said Kentucky but don’t leave yet as I still have not told you how he is like Han Solo or Malcolm Reynolds.  Though, I’m thinking from the little bit I’ve told you so far that I think you are getting the picture though.  The addition of the Kentucky backdrop and the hillbilly ancestry just increases that feeling of a modern-day wild west show.  It provides a way of highlighting the the disparate living conditions present within out country without the heavy-handed condescending tone belittling the backwoods people.  It just portrays them as people trying to survive.

The other strength of the show is that it does not fall into the trap of Raylan being the only bad-ass.  The Marshall’s office is populated with people that are just as skilled and colorful as Raylan.  Instead of a show with a protagonist that must save everyone, this show goes with a slate of capable supporting characters and villains.  This creates a much deeper narrative as you get to see Raylan as viewed by the other deputies in his office.  The villains of show are not given poor treatment either.  Each is given a depth of character and connections to our hero.  This weaves a textured tapestry into the story that is unexpected for a  cable network crime drama.

Justified is a show well worth your time.  All the parts are working together to provide a great hour of entertainment.  It is a show with the skeleton of a crime drama and the soul of western but that geeky core is hidden in there as well.  Han Solo and Malcolm Reynolds can easily be seen peeking out from behind the eyes of Raylan Givens when he draws his weapon.  Cowboys are cowboys, even in space.

Oh, I forgot to mention that you can stream season 1 through Amazon Prime or get the DVDs through Netflix or wherever you get your DVDs.

3 comments on “JustifiedAdd yours →

  1. Thanks for the comments! I am also a big fan of Olyphant. I loved his work in Deadwood and even enjoyed Hitman. I know it was bad, but I still loved it.

  2. Wow, crazy that I found your blog today because I just watched my first episode of Justified last night! I was pulled in right away, what a great show! The show was inspired by some stories by the great author Elmore Leonard (in which he created the character of Raylan). And yes, I pretty much like Olyphant in whatever he does. I often found myself frustrated with the Bullock character in Deadwood, though, as I thought he was very often a jackass. But that’s not the actor’s fault.

    I also like it that Olyphant is pretty much how the hobbits in Lord of the Rings pronounced elephant! 😉

  3. I totally agree with your thoughts on the show. I became a fan of Timothy Olyphant after Deadwood and actually feel like Justified is a continuation on the Bullock character from that show. Everyone I’ve convinced to watch the show has loved it.

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