Fans of Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, Mad Men and Twin Peaks will eat this show right up.
Based on a short story by Elmore Leonard called Fire In The Hole, it follows old school Deputy U.S. Marshal, Raylan Givens – punished for shooting a gangster on sight in Miami.
His punishment? He’s stationed in the hometown he’s always been determined to stay away from – an endearing cesspool that could have been plucked right from a Western – Harlan, Kentucky
What sets Justified apart is it’s dedication to a detail that a lot of TV shows don’t seem to care about – the fleeting moment. Even if a scene includes a disposable character, you get a real sense of who they are (and where they’re quickly going) through insanely fun and insightful dialogue that the writers consistently cook up.
TV hasn’t seen better dialogue. It’s no surprise seeing as the show’s creator, Graham Yost, works strictly within the parameters of Elmore Leonard. A conversation will go in a direction not in favour of the plot, but where the characters want to take it. That goes for the whole show itself.
(QUICK FACTOID: Tarantino derives his dialogue greatly from Elmore Leonard. Fans of the mighty chin and forehead will also eat this show right up.)
Justified gives rise to many recognisable yet un-nameable actors who you might have believed to be subpar in the past – but step up perfectly into their destined alter egos. Hell. PARALLEL MADNESS is now convinced Timothy Olyphant is an actor capable of pulling off brilliant performances.
You have Boyd Crowder – the best character on TV. Inscrutable. And hilarious.
Don’t believe us? Here’s one of his very first scenes in the pilot.
Outstanding cameos include:
Breaking Bad is the king of rapid plot development and fundamental change. Whereas Justified slinks with a southern gait, taking its time to breathe in the fresh Harlan air and soaking in the sights the town has to offer. But before you know it, the pace has shifted and you’ve been shot in the gut.
The curveballs get thrown left, right and centre, leaving any elements of predictability aside. Without nodding smugly to the camera, the show takes the piss out of many dramatic conventions. And as it progresses, it starts to undermine its own.
One final convincing reason to watch Justified. Many bullets are fired. But none are wasted. This is especially good for a show which prides itself on creating great bad guys.
Come to Harlan. Get drunk on bourbon. Eat fried chicken. And make love to a beautiful southern woman (or man). Just never, ever try to outdraw Raylan Givens.
I LOVE THIS SHIT. THIS SHIT MAKES ME HARD.