Thursday, May 31, 2012

There's rules to this game son, I'm justified

A lawman has come to town: Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, quick with his temper and his gun.

This isn’t a western: it’s the TV series Justified, set in modern-day eastern Kentucky.  The show just finished its third season on FX and the Ocean Books Library System has the first two seasons on DVD. It’s terrific.

Raylan is played with raspy, furrow-brow charm by Timothy Olyphant. He left Kentucky behind when he joined the Marshals, but his bad reputation got him transferred back to his home town.

There’s plenty of crime in this poor, coal-mining section of Kentucky, from methamphetamine-cookers to protection-men to homegrown local terrorists. Raylan’s own daddy Arlo seems to be up to something, and the prettiest woman in Harlan County, Ava, is newly single since she put her husband in the ground with a deer rifle.

Justified is an entertaining, violent slice of rural noir, based on characters created by Elmore Leonard (almost always a good sign). I just finished watching Season One, and I’m looking forward to deepening backwoods unpleasantness in Season Two. If you’ve missed this great show, put it on hold today.

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