Thursday, April 8, 2010

Justified: Is This Show Outlaw Enough For FX?


Has anyone seen the newest ballsy television show on FX called Justified? It stars Timothy Olyphant (Live Free Or Die Hard, Deadwood, Gone In Sixty Seconds) as a gun-slinging, old school cowboy-looking U.S. Marshal who is transferred to his hometown in Kentucky after shooting a criminal at the Delano Hotel in Miami. As Raylan Givens, (that’s a cowboy name if I’ve ever heard one) Olyphant is as soft spoken as he is ruthless. He can calmly talk his way through almost anything and prides himself on being the quickest draw anywhere – and he can back it up for sure.

So far the first few episodes of Justified are mediocre at best but Olyphant is fantastic. With an ex-wife who calls him the angriest man she’s ever known and a father who is no stranger to jail, Givens plays it cool wherever he goes. He is becoming more and more interesting as time goes on, but unfortunately I can’t say the same about the rest of the drama unfolding around him. The storylines are forgettable and the other characters aren’t nearly as enigmatic and charismatic as Givens which begs the question: Is this show going to be as good as other FX shows like Sons of Anarchy or Rescue Me or is it going to be a subpar wannabe?

Sons of Anarchy (a show based around a badass motorcycle club) and Rescue Me (I’ve written about this one before – it’s about the FDNY and features Denis Leary) are exciting shows with intricate characters and superb acting. So far all that’s keeping me watching Justified is our resident cowboy – and that’s not going to be enough. Givens’ boss is kind of fun with his snarky comments and jokes about how Raylan thinks he’s John Wayne and I am definitely interested in learning more about his ex-wife and meeting his father. But the other characters need to step it up if this show is going to stay on the air.

We’ll see how it goes….hopefully the show gathers steam as the weeks go by because I’ll always make room on my DVR for another gun-slinging cowboy.

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