Thursday, April 1, 2010

TV Thursday: Justified

I'm loving FX's new show Justified! The show, based on an Elmore Leonard character, follows US Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) as he's re-assigned to his home state Kentucky after he shoots a suspect under slightly suspicious circumstances. The supporting cast includes Raylan's boss, his fellow US Marshals, his ex-wife, and assorted people from his past.

The first villain introduced in the pilot is Boyd Crowder (such a great Southern name, and I'm pretty sure I've known several Crowders and a couple of Boyds), and I hope he's the one that sticks around. He's played brilliantly by Walton Goggins as a Neo-Nazi hellraiser. Olyphant is just as brilliant as Raylan, and I think the show would work just as well for me if every episode spent half the time just watching these two interact. Olyphant (who I've always liked, even in cheesy movies like Live Free or Die Hard) is hugely charismatic, playing Raylan with a simmering intensity that's hitting all the right notes for this viewer.

The writing on the show so far seems to balance drama with some hilarious one liners that keep the show from being too heavy. I've watched the pilot and episode two, "Riverbrook," and those two episodes seem to suggest that we'll be getting a mix of overarching plot and stand alone procedural type episodes. That's a difficult line to walk, but I'm impressed with what I've seen so far.

I think my favorite part of the show, besides Olyphant and Goggins, is the way the show has captured the atmosphere of a small Southern town. I know there's a lot of miles between Arkansas and Kentucky, but the show still feels like it could be taking place in one of the small towns I grew up in. The music is a huge part of that, and I'm loving the rap-bluegrass-country tone of it.

Its also worth noting that the accents on this show don't get on my nerves, which is quite an accomplishment. I'm usually driven up the wall by fake Southern accents, but that hasn't happened here. Fingers crossed that remains the case.

Justified airs Tuesdays at 9 central on FX!

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