My Love for Justified is Justified

10 May

For those of you whose thoughts went straight to Justin Timberlake after reading my title, you are a little off. But I will not berate you for being a Timberlake fan. Justified is a great album. And he was good in Model Behavior (Disney Movie flashback!) and The Social Network. But right now, I’m talking about Justified, a crime series on FX. You should watch it. I’ll start my argument with why we were compelled to try it out. You know, to make it personal and all.

1. We watched all of Sons of Anarchy available on Netflix. Single tear.

2. We were intrigued to try another FX show after our Sons success.

So if you like great TV from a network that lets the writers take their time and develop a story from unexpected perspectives, you should check out FX shows like Justified. Oh, and I have more reasons after the break so you should keep on reading.

My One Criticism, sort of

I’m a sucker for arc-story based shows. Exhibit A: The many hours I spent watching and discussing Lost. Case closed. Justified, on the other hand, took a while to reveal a cohesive story. And it bugged me at first. But eventually, I started really enjoying all the characters. As I said before, this is a crime show. And although it centers on U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens (more on him later), each episode typically explores a ‘bad guy’ or group of them and their situation. I found the characters interesting and worth getting to know, even if they only have a one ‘sode run. But just as I was getting over the non-arc story nature of the show, a very interesting one finally started to take form. So I’ll say this, if you try the show out, be patient. Let it develop. Get to know everyone before you decide to violently remove it from your queue.


Raylan Givens, played very well by Timothy Olyphant, is a U.S. Marshall. But more than that, he’s an old-fashioned gunslinger who is quick on the draw but only shoots when he feels justified to do so. Get the show title now? He’s an old west sheriff-type in the 2010s, so he makes both the bad guys and the U.S. government uncomfortable. Finally, his character is put in an interesting position. (This detail isn’t really a spoiler, but you can skip down to the next heading if you don’t want to know anything about the show. I won’t really judge you.) In the pilot, he is forcibly relocated from swanky Miami to his backwoods, coal-mining, meth-invested and bad-family-memories-filled hometown in Kentucky. Interesting.

The Source Material

This show also introduced me to an author I’m eager to try out, Elmore Leonard.  Apparently, he’s a pretty big deal in contemporary American lit. You may have even seen a movie based on his work without knowing it. Do 3:10 to Yuma, Out of Sight, Jackie Brown or Get Shorty ring any bells? If not, sorry. Justified’s pilot is based on the characters and situation of Leonard’s short story, “Fire in the Hole.” I’m really enjoying the Leonard-inspired mixture of crime drama and western hero elements.

I like Justified. It is smart and entertaining. And it makes me want to read more. What else could I ask from a new show? I’m thinking people, and I’m coming up blank. Enjoy your day!

One Response to “My Love for Justified is Justified”


  1. You have to BBC These Shows « Milk & Cookies - June 22, 2011

    […] been sampling shows by network. Earlier in the year, I shared my adulations for a couple FX shows, Sons of Anarchy and Justified. I know, I would not have thought I would be an FX type of gal either. This time, we’ve hopped […]

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