Overview: The show follows the exploits of Deputy US Marshall Raylan Givens, who returns home to the lawless town of Harlan, Kentucky.

Channel: FX

Time: Premieres Tuesday Jan.17th


Raylan Givens: Very few shows have stronger leads. Raylan as played by Timothy Olyphant is the epitome of the strong silent type, often invoking comparison to a young Clint Eastwood, it’s high praise indeed but Olyphant more than delivers on it.  As Raylan, he exudes a kind of quiet, steely confidence, but as we and the fine people of Harlan County find out, Raylan is bubbling underneath the surface and ready to explode at a moment’s notice. The best description of Raylan came from his ex-wife turned lover Winnona. “You hide it real well, so most people don’t see it, but you’re the angriest man I’ve ever met.”

Ava Crowder: Trouble never looked so good. During the pilot episode we find out that Ava killed her abusive husband with a shotgun after serving him his super.  Raylan spends most of season one trying to protect her from revenge at the hands of her husband’s family, the Crowders.

Boyd Crowder: Raylan and Boyd worked in the coal mines before Raylan became Marshall. Which gives the two men a kind of frenemy dynamic; often finding themselves alternating between being on opposite sides of the law, and occasionally on the same side. When we first meet Boyd he’s the leader of a group of white supremacist, with a penchant for rocket launchers, later he tries to go straight, but that just wouldn’t be much fun.

Beau Crowder: Father of Boyd and mob kingpin of Harlan County, with an emphasis on collection and protection. Beau is released from prison in season one and seeks to rebuild his empire.

Arlo Givens Raylan’s estranged father ran Beau’s crime syndicate (poorly) in his absence. Constantly up to no good, usually of the criminal variety.

Winona Hawkins Raylan’s ex wife who has remarried, but the two obviously still carry a torch for one another.

Mags Bennet: Season two’s main antagonist. Mags is the patriarch of the Bennet clan running the county’s weed business with an iron fist. Mags is perhaps Justified’s most intriguing character. Much like Raylan she cloaks her anger in Southern charm, while her anger simmers just below the surface.

Genres: Western, Crime, Drama,

Why you should watch it

Timothy ‘Olyphant as Raylan Givens: There are few actors on TV that inhabit the character they portray so well. Olyphant is Raylan Givens, in the way he talks, walks even the way he wears his hat. The character’s creator Elmore Leonard  gave Olyphant’s portrayal a huge thumbs up.  Olyphant is so good it’s scary.

Southern Charm: There’s just something about the way these people talk, the trademark southern drawl, the splitting of verbs. Justified is a love letter to the South wrapped around a stick of dynamite.

Supporting Cast:  I have no idea if there’s an award for casting, if there’s not they should rename it after whoever casts Justified.  They’ve knocked it out of the park with every single actor they’ve chosen. Strong leading men, even stronger stereotype defying female actresses, and multi-facted villains. Hell, even the guest stars they choose perfectly fit the mood and tempo of the show.

Harlan County: Harlan county is one of those places where everyone knows your name. Not only do they know your name, but they know your mom, dad, and everyone else in your family. Harlan’s the kind of place where you’re defined by your last name, it’s inescapable. Despite all of Raylan’s success, he’s still the son of a fledging criminal.

Bottom Line: Justified is one of the best shows on television. I give it my highest recommendation.

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