Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Justified Binge Viewing

I came to the FX TV series, Justified, staring Timothy Olyphant, late and reluctantly. 

At first I resisted because I had too many shows to watch. And then it was because it looked like a western and was perhaps a little too violent. Then I was worried about starting in the middle of a season. And it probably wouldn't make sense if I didn't know any of the backstory anyway.

But then my friend Pat convinced me that I should disregard all of that and just start watching. Because she loved it.  She is a tough audience and I realized I had run out of excuses, so I borrowed the season one set of DVDs. 

I watched the entire season in three nights, giving up sleep to watch just one more episode. Quickly, I borrowed season two and devoured that. Then went onto season three (luckily I had DVRd it) and watched until I had run out of episodes. It was one giant Justified binge.

I love this show.  Justified is violent, but most of the time I get over the violence quickly. It is a western, even though it takes place in Kentucky, while technically not the West, it has the feeling of a Western.  

The characters are deliciously nuanced and so inter-related it's one mixed up stew.  The protagonist, Raylan Givens, is a U.S. Marshall who is quick on the draw and is related by blood or circumstance to most of the outlaws he winds up chasing, including his own father.

The outlaws themselves are complex and unexpected. Some times I absentmindedly find myself rooting for Boyd and Ava Crowder and I think Raylan does too at times, which is part of the complexity.  I never know what is going to happen next. 

Thanks Pat. I owe you one. Thanks too to Elmore Leonard who created the characters, the world and the story. 

The season finale is on tonight. And you can read Regina Thorne's recaps of Justified episodes here on Criminal Element, but if I were you, I just go ahead and get your hands on season one and start at the beginning. 

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