Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My Ramblings on Justified

This is going to be a huge post. Let's just start with that fact. Initially I was going to talk about my current favorite books and the TV show that made me want to read them. It was so long that I couldn't even get through it, and I was writing it. I'm not talking about just one book here, but three full books and one short story. Plus three seasons of the show. It was ridiculous how much I wrote. So I broke that sucker in half and today you are getting just the show stuff since that's how this obsession started. Tomorrow, the books.  

So once upon a time this was my favorite show:

Deadwood- Greatest. Show. Ever. 

and this guy was a big chunk of the reason.

Seth Bullock- gun fighter, law man and general bad-ass. 

Seriously, Timothy Olyphant was brilliant as Bullock. Everyone on the show was pretty fabulous, but Bullock was my favorite. Have I ever mentioned my wedding? It was a theme wedding. 1880's western. My mom and I made a bunch of the clothes or my Dad and I bought them while we were on vacation in Wyoming. We also had a mechanical bull instead of a dance floor. Basically it was awesome. At any rate, the hubsters request for his clothing? Make me look like Bullock. So that's what we went with. A Deadwood themed wedding. If you've seen the show you know how absurd that it, but we did it anyways. Although my sister/maid of honor put her foot down at dressing like Trixie ;) Longish story short: I LOVE Deadwood and I love Olyphant/Bullock and was pissed as hell when they cancelled the show.

And then....
Justified- Timothy Olyphant being a bad--ass.
Obviously I'm in. 

We were late in the game in getting hooked to this show. We watched the first season on demand, then watched season three and then we watched season two online. Luckily each season is pretty much stand alone and they do a great job of reminding you what the hell happened last season, so we were able to follow along. I was obsessed right away. That tends to happen to me. If I like it, I want to watch it all right now (and then buy the books and then watch everything else the actors have ever been in, and so on). This show is brilliant. Set in present day Kentucky it follows US Marshal Raylan Givens as he goes home to Harlan County and gets sucked back in to all the screwed up-ness that is his home, a place he tried to escape. The dialogue on this show is top-notch. I can't even begin to recap 3 seasons so I'll short hand it. The three seasons include: lots of dead bodies, drugs, a lot of smart people doing bad things and a lot really stupid people doing bad things and a few people trying to do good and it all is strung together by these twisted and perfect relationships. Some of the plot lines are easy to buy, others (um...Dewey and his missing kidneys) are not so believable until it all wraps up and suddenly you realize. "Shit, I'm just as stupid as Dewey Crowe", because no matter how silly the plot line is, the writers do a great job at pulling it together in a way that totally makes sense. Plus it was all about Raylan and just like he was great as Bullock in Deadwood, Olyphant is great as Raylan. 

Olyphant as Raylan- I like this picture even though he's hardly ever
this relaxed on the show. He usually has a gun or is getting into
it with some bad guy and being awesome. 

The characters on the show are great. Raylan Givens is a great lead characters. Flawed but doing his best to get by. He's screwed up, has a messed up family, an ex-wife he still loves and an itchy trigger finger. I came to the show because of Olyphant, but the other characters get under your skin fast. I was going to try and highlight some of the stand outs and then had to delete the paragraph because I realized I was mentioning everyone that has ever been on the show and that's a lot of people over the three seasons. Suffice it to say, every character is there for a reason and the actors all do a great job at making you care about them. Even the stupid ones. The fact that I might love the ones that don't stand a chance of getting out of Harlan alive is a testament to how well they are written. The fact that I feel bad at all for Dickie Bennett is a miracle.

Jeremey Davies as Dickie Bennett
I care about this guy despite him being a total waste
of air. I think it's the epic hair that he is always rocking.

The best character, besides Olyphant as Raylan,  is Boyd Crowder.

Walton Goggins as Boyd Crowder
He's firing a bomb at a church here, full of African Americans,
because he was a white supremacist in Season one. Yet somehow
by the middle of season two he's redeemed himself enough that
I totally love him. That's what good writing can do. 

I'm not going to recap his whole arc, but it's awesome. Boyd goes from skin head blowing up buildings, to a man struggling for power, to a man in a love trying to keep that power in his grasp. His girl Ava goes from husband killer, to reluctant side kick to Boyd, to a legitimate power player in her own right. The moment she declared where she stood with Boyd by sharing gunshot wounds was spot on and really made me love them both so much more. I loved how this season ended for them. They've got a chance to make a go of it, both as a couple and as the rulers of Harlan County. I love the show as a whole, but I particularly love Boyd and Ava. Together they are better then when they are apart and I can not wait to see what happens next season.

Boyd and Ava
They quickly became my favorite part of this show.

I can't say enough about Raylan and Boyd's relationship either. It drives the show. They were friendly when they were in school and worked the coal mines together and occasionally they really need each other. Most of the time they are on opposite sides of the law and every time they are on the screen together it's good. they are tangled up with each other and it bugs both of them, but they can't get around it. I'm so glad they decided to keep Boyd around (originally he was killed off in the pilot) I can't even begin to imagine this show without Boyd getting under Raylan's skin. 

Boyd and Raylan
On the same side for a minute or two

If you aren't watching this show you should get on it. Netflix it, onDemand, whatever you have at your disposal you should check it out. I'm not sure how I'm going to manage the wait until next season, but I'm seeing a lot of repeats, some Deadwood and discovering the Shield for the first time in my future, just so I can get my Justified or Justified adjacent fix while I wait in anticipation for the next go-round!


  1. This is a perfect post. I totally agree that this show is amazing and I can't imagine the wait until next January to get my Raylan/Boyd fix!!

  2. Where did you find that photo of Bullock?

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