Show 101: Justified

By Tim Surette

Feb 09, 2011

SHOW: Justified

PREMIERES: Wednesday, February 9 at 10pm on FX

THE PREMISE: Based on the short story "Fire in the Hole" by Elmore Leonard, Justified follow U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant), a rugged dispenser of Kentucky Justice who looks really, really good in a Stetson. After botching things up in Miami, Raylan is relocated to his old hometown in Kentucky, where we reconnects with old friends and family, old enemies, and old girlfriends (including Natalie Zea). One of those enemies is Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins), a Bible-quoting cult leader with a penchant for rocket launchers and associating with skinheads.

WHY YOU MIGHT LIKE IT: Olyphant is very dreamy on-screen, and Justified's hick-country setting is like no other on television. There's no shortage of tough guys, realistic shootouts, and Bourbon drinking, so expect a viewing of Justified to put some hair on your chest. The snappy dialogue is also top-notch (and admittedly slightly cheesy at times), and feels like it could have been written by wordsmith Leonard himself. Even the country bumpkins say the darndest things. The show is worth watching for Boyd aloneā€”he's one of television's most interesting characters.

WHY YOU MIGHT HATE IT: Justified doesn't operate in a typical real-world setting; in Leonard's universe, guns are drawn willy-nilly and things take place the cowboy way. It also falls somewhere between action series and crime drama, creating its own flavor that may be too different for some. Also, Ava Crowder (a very pretty Joelle Carter) is annoying.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: At the end of Season 1, a lot of threads were left hanging after a blistering shootout between the newly minted team of Raylan and Boyd (who may or may not be reformed), meth-peddling Miami thugs, and Bo Crowder, Boyd's dad. Bo was dropped by the Miami thugs, and Boyd took off solo to chase them down. Raylan and his father's relationship hit a new low, as Papa Givens sold his son out to meth-runners, thus ensuring several uncomfortable Thanksgiving dinners in the future. With much of Raylan's personal business taken care of, the road is wide open for Season 2. One more awesome thing: Joining the cast this season as Raylan's nemesis is the excellent Jeremy Davies (Lost's Daniel Faraday).

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  • staind47 Feb 10, 2011

    Why you might like it - It is a freakin awesome show. Boyd is going to play another big role this season. Also Winona (Natalie Zea) is ridiculously hot. Timothy Olyphant is a complete badass. One of the best shows on TV.

  • bmill2 Feb 10, 2011

    I can't wait. New favorite show

  • bookperson39 Feb 09, 2011


    Sounds like you haven't seen the previews for the new season. Looks like Ava and Boyd become "friendly" from what I can see.

  • Locutus-of-Borg Feb 09, 2011

    Wow! Do you even watch the show?

    Winona [Natalie Zea] is Raylans Ex-wife

    Ava Crowder is Raylans FWB not Boyds.

    What is it with the people that write these? You get so many facts wrong.

  • DebraMcClure Feb 09, 2011

    You're preaching to the converted here - this is my favorite, and if last season is any indication, the best show on TV. It's not for everyone, you are correct - I hope, for example, that the people who love Vampires, don't try to watch. I'd say, if you loved (or even heard of) Deadwood, you might like this.

  • retroman77 Feb 09, 2011

    Can't wait