Really enjoying this new FX crime series about a Deputy US Marshall reluctantly returning to his native Kentucky.  It started out good and just keeps getting better with every episode.  One of its chief pleasures is its accurate depiction of criminality:  unglamorous, low, venal and so often incredibly stupid.

The Star of Justified - At Least, In My Mind

But what really lifts the show is the cast.  Timothy Olyphant, whom I’ve frankly never noticed before in anything, is almost perfect in a modern Clint Eastwood role made more intimate and inward for the small screen.   Nick Searcy is a great foil as his boss and the show could use more of their dry, witty exchanges.  And Joelle Carter, whom again I’ve never noticed, is just absolutely heart-melting as the woman who makes it hard for Olyphant to leave Kentucky, as she would make it hard for any man to leave anywhere she was.  Walton Goggins – who proved in the last season of FX’s The Shield that he’s one of the best actors working – has also signed on for several episodes.

Not a revolution in crime drama, but a really strong, solid entry in the field and well worth tuning in.

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  • Pete

    Certainly appreciated the heads-up on Justified, Andrew, and I echo your sentiments. Went and watched all six episodes so far after seeing your comment on it a few days back. I happened to cue up Episode 6 right before the latest three CSI episodes. Made me wonder why I bother with the Bruckheimer stuff at all. It may be slick, but it’s horribly predictable and the dialogue seems painfully tinny after 44 minutes of Searcy and Olyphant exchanging quips in the cruiser or Walt Goggins’ character ‘gettin’ religion’ behind bars. Between Justified and The Good Wife, Tuesday nights are looking pretty impressive right now.

  • Rick

    I have really enjoyed Justified so far and have enjoyed watching Olyphant grow as an actor. From Gone In 60 Seconds, through Live Free or Die Hard, and now here, he has really developed excellent “eye” acting. He sells his character with more than just the dialogue. Raylin’s underlying anger is fantastic, and using the Marshal’s Service as the law enforcement base for the show is heartening. They are a superb group of people, doing the work behing the scenese that no one notices. God Bless them.

    Good time on Laura Ingraham today too Andrew!

  • anonymous

    Unglamorous would be the defining characteristic of the show. Thanks for the recommendation Andrew, only up to EP 3 and loving it so far.

    Loved the scene when Olyphant realizes the guy behind the counter is a convict. No scary music, no fast zooms or stupid SFX, especially none of the overused (by now) Shield/Galactica shakycams… just an understated oh…kind of moment. Not that I don’t like the Michael Bay/Bruckheimer stuff but the show’s aesthetic loves to undercut the hyperrealism of a tense situation.

  • http://www.BaronRBirtcher.com Baron

    Great review, Drew.
    Justified gives me hope that tv may still have programming for grown-ups. Burn Notice is also an entertaining show with great cast chemistry and fine repartee. BTW, if you like Tim Olyphant, check him out in HBO’s DEADWOOD, particularly season 1. (Beware, however, the dialogue contains mucho profanity. Oh, and don’t bother with season 3).