What I’m Watching: Justified


Hey there guys, this is Chuck and its time for: What I’m watching.

This week I am watching a show called Justified.

Justified is a show about a US Marshall, Deputy Raylan Gibbons, who has a bit of a temper. Gibbons is a born and raised Kentucky man who, through some incidents in Miami, gets transferred to the last place he would ever want to be, Kentucky. While back in Kentucky, Gibbons performs his duty as a Marshall but is also haunted by his dark and violent past in Kentucky.

The show itself is a western but in a modern way. As seen in the picture, Raylan(played by Timothy Olyphant, “Deadwood”) looks very much like a cowboy. He has the hat, gun, badge, and swagger to match the genre and plays the role very well. This should come as no shock as Olyphant previously portrayed a cowboy in the HBO series “Deadwood”. Though the character of Raylan is very similar to the character Olyphant played in Deadwood, it is the nuance that really sells this show.

Even though this show is set in modern day Kentucky, it still manages to be a solid Western. It does this in very subtle ways starting with Gibbons and ending with the story arc of the first season. The writing is exceptional too. There is a little bit of predictability but, only just a little. The writing is on par with Deadwood and has a genuine Western feel to it. Matter of fact, if you replaced the cars with horses and Kentucky with the old west, the show wouldn’t change. It would still be about a badass Marshall who is fighting to escape a dark past, confront his demons, and make it out alive.

One thing that I mentioned earlier is the writing. The writing is very tight and leads to a lot of suspense and comes off as being very dramatic if not exhilarating at times. You become immediately fixated with the characters and become attached to them quickly. This is of course in part to the writing and fine acting on the program.

This show also features a lot of heavy hitters in terms of actors. As I have mentioned, it features Timothy Oliphant from Deadwood but it also features a delightful ensemble cast that builds an intricate show and very much so puts it above most. First, you have Nick Searcy who plays Raylan’s boss Art. Raylan and Art taught shooting together and have a rocky yet entertaining relationship. Raylan tests Art and Art tries to keep Raylan from going off the deep end. Their relationship is very balanced as they are somewhat funny together but, at the same time almost thrilling; mostly because despite a friendship, Art is Raylan’s boss.

There are two blonde beauties in this as well, both with very interesting roles in the show. The first is Ava Crowder played by actress Jolle Carter. Her character in season 1 is a love interest for Raylan but is also involved in a case he is working. Ava, at the start of season 1, just murdered her husband and is in need of protection from his white supremacist brother Boyd. I don’t want to ruin anything from about the early plot but, the situation between Ava, the Crowders, and Raylan does get very sticky. The other blonde is Winona Hawkins, Raylan’s ex-wife. Though her contribution to the show is slow to start, it gets rocky and even violent eventually.

My favorite character after Raylan has to be Boyd Crowder; the bad guy turned prison minister turned creep turned bad guy maybe. The character of Boyd is so dynamic and is an incredible foil of Olyphant’s portrayal of Gibbons.

Crowder is brought to life by Walton Coggins who has to be a professional bad guy as, he more times than not, plays the bad guy character and does it so well that you forget that he is an actor and not just a villain all around. The two of them together make up the classic western archetypes of the sheriff and the outlaw and do it seamlessly.

This show has a little bit to offer everyone. It has action. It has romance. And to top it off, it is funny. Genuinely funny. If you’ve not seen this show, I highly recommend it. Justified airs on FX but is available online at the FX website as well as online at Amazon’s digital store and wherever you purchase DVDs.

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