Why I’m Justified

We’ve talked about the new FX show “Justified” a little bit on Kulturblog, but now that I’m addicted to it like hillbilly heroin I thought I’d try to justify my obsession (so to speak). As has been said, there’s the great writing, which infuses all aspects of the show, but there are other appealing elements as well. To enumerate just a few:

1. The theme song: There haven’t been many great TV theme songs lately (I guess they waste precious advertising minutes), but this is definitely an instant classic:

This comment, from a YouTube user who was apparently frightened by the new genre that this song seems to spring from, is priceless:

Holy fat hogs in the sun! I am going to start drinking right now and it’s only 8:40 in the morning. Please tell me this won’t be the new wave. Gangstagrass? If? ol Snoop starts ta playing a banjer (not banjo) I will start drooling from my feeble brain. The banjer is a deadly instrument that causes mind rot and soul shivers. Run for the hills when you hear the plinky plink.

Awesome.

2. The villain: Boyd Crowder has to be the most intensely bizarre villain ever created since Jason Compson (for evidence, see the clip at the top). It’s still not clear exactly what his game is, but there are some twisted things going on in his brain, you can bet your pick-up truck.

3. The women: Joelle Carter and Natalie Zea as Ava and Winona are smokin’ hot, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. These women are deeply complicated, intelligent and interesting characters with plenty of their own plans and they’re only telling the guys about half of it. The start of the series roughly coincides with Ava’s decision to end her abusive marriage via deer rifle just in time to meet up with Raylan, newly reassigned back to the place of his youth. Winona is Raylan’s ex-wife, whom he met in a bar in Salt Lake City, and who is now a court reporter in the same town. Unresolved feelings and crossed motivations abound.

4. Tim Olyphant: There are a lot of great members to this cast, but Olyphant, as Deputy Marshall Raylan Givens, pretty much needs to carry the show on his shoulders if it’s going to have much success. Luckily, he’s up to the job. He’s a little bit of Nathan Fillion in Firefly and a little bit of James Garner in the Rockford files and a little bit of James Arness in Gunsmoke and a whole lot of his very own thang. Bottom line: he’s in no hurry, he’s not scared of much, and he makes it fun to watch.

Let me know what you think.

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2 Responses

  1. OK, you’ve got my attention. I’m only surprised there isn’t more hubbub about this show. And, as I’ve been trying to find a subject to resume my own blog after over a year, I think this is a great topic: What’s new on TV.

    Of course you don’t have to be an Elmore Leonard fan to love this show, but it helps. Hollywood has seemed enamored with his slick, streetwise stuff– Get Shorty, Jackie Brown, Out of Sight, etc.– but has largely ignored his more Western/Southern “good ol’ boy” stuff, and I guess Leonard noticed this, too, ’cause he’s helmed Justified himself as an executive producer.

    Like you, I love all the main characters, particularly Boyd Crowder, who harbors a cool love/hate relationship with Raylan. I’m only catching up on past episodes now, and last night I watched as he deftly weaved clues (mingled with scripture) for Raylan to point him to who was trying to kill the marshal (and had Ava), and how, just when he was about to get shivved as a snitch, his bull daddy came to the rescue ’cause he knew the boy was up to something diabolical, too. Oh man, good stuff. And the way they fit stories, anecdotes, into their conversations? Classic Elmore Leonard.

    Speaking of theme songs, FX is certainly on a roll. Besides Justified, I also love Sons of Anarchy and Damages’ opening music.

  2. I haven’t heard those theme songs, so I’ll have to check them out.

    I love the fact that neither we nor any of the characters on the show seem to know what Boyd is actually doing.

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