Justified (Season 1 & 2)

I believe I heard about Justified from listening to Doug Benson’s, Doug Loves Movies podcast. I vaguely remember him saying he thought it was a great show. That or some other podcast, but I’m pretty sure it was his. Anyways, the mention of the show being good and Timothy Olyphant was enough to spark my interest.

The show Justified is currently on FX (season three will air in the spring I guess). The show essentially revolves around Deputy Marshall Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) who works in Kentucky and was born and raised in Harlan County. Raylan is trigger happy, which is what a lot of the show is ultimately about in a way.

I love the show –  all two seasons. I actually was going to post a topic about season one, but I was already halfway through season two. I just got hooked. That and season two features more tie-ins, but that’s something for later.

So season one is and isn’t great. Overall it was amazing. At times I was sort of upset that most episodes stood alone. They didn’t run together, but were basically solving a “case” or issue per episode and usually didn’t relate. That changed by the end of the season, but initially it was disappointing a bit just because it felt like they wanted to have a continuous flow, but were held back by the possibility of not being renewed or something. Minor issue.

Season two was great. They improved some things from season one and you could tell they were more comfortable by that time. The show seemed to take on a larger scope to me. That and a lot of season two is basically all one big story. Actually I don’t there was an episode that wasn’t connected to the main story, which makes it hard to not keep watching.

The writing on the show is pretty good. The stories are interesting, but they aren’t really cop/detective/CSI story lines which is refreshing. the dialogue is pretty good to. It’s partly what makes the show funny, which it surprisingly is. It doesn’t stand out, but really there’s a lot of humor in the show. The characters are probably the best aspect of the show. There are a wide variety of characters that are reoccurring, even minor ones. That for one is nice to see. It also helps that they’ve bothered to detail these characters. Even the henchmen have names and identities that make you remember them. Raylan and Boyd (Walton Goggins) are the best characters to watch. They’re paired with each other from the beginning and that keeps cropping up throughout the two seasons. They do a good job developing the pair, especially Boyd. The only character and subsequent story that doesn’t work for me is the one with Raylon’s wife, Winona. It just doesn’t really mesh with the rest of the show and get’s way to much time in season 2.

The cast is really good. Timothy Olyphant is great, though I guess a lot of people don’t like him, which I could sort of see. Personally I think he’s great to begin with, but I think he fits this role really well. I really liked him in The Crazies as the Sheriff there and I unfortunately have yet to see Deadwood, but he seems to do these roles very well. Walton Goggins is better though. Boyd is an interesting character, but Goggins really brings him to life. I’ll refrain from elaborating, but the “speeches” he frequently gives (depending on where you are at) are amazing. They actually reminded me of Michael Parks in Red State at one point. M.C. Gainey is pretty kick-ass in season one as well. Jere Burns is amazing as well. I recently saw him in Breaking Bad and he still bugs me. He’s one of those guys you recognize, but can’t place (at least I couldn’t). I go on IMDB to find out about him and I can’t quite figure out where I saw him first since he’s been in so many things. Great actor.

Season two though is were the casting really hit me, particularly with the casting of the Bennett family. I think everyone of them was great. Margo Martindale as Mags is amazing. Totally worth the Emmy nod (as were Goggins and Olyphant – none won). Jeremy Davies was great as Dickie. Actually he’s one I wish had more screen time.

There are so many people I’m failing to mention cast wise, but I can’t mention them all. That would be a couple of posts on it’s own, because everyone is really fucking good in this show.

One of the things I liked is how dual season one and two are. Season one focuses on a sort of patriarchal family set up with the Crowder’s and in some instances Raylan’s issues with his father. Season two shifts two a matriarchal family head with Mag Bennett and actually Aunt Helen becomes more important as does Winona. One of those little things that fascinated me, that may or may not be intentional. I do love the matriarchal family though. Animal Kingdom is a great film with a matriarchal head of a criminal family and season two of Justified reminded me of that.

The music is really good in the show, but I already enjoy bluegrass and blues. The shows opening is actually great. The footage at least is really cool. The them would be great if it cut out the rap. The rap just doesn’t fit for starters and it isn’t that good, though the lyrics are fitting.

Anyways, I could go on and one, but I already have a lengthy enough post. Basically start watching Justified because it is worth it. Thanksgiving is coming up so everyone on a break should sit and watch this. It’s only two seasons to watch the whole thing so it’s not a lot. I did it in a  week and I still have classes.


Just watch the first episode and see if you can resist.


Posted on November 18, 2011, in Crime, Drama, Television. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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