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Klavan On The Culture

TV Roundup

April 20th, 2012 - 5:00 am

Mm, mm, good...

As I’ve said ad nauseum now, it’s a golden age of television — the stuff on the small screen is much better than most of what’s on the big ones — and there’s nothing I like more than to sit down with an Obama Brand TV Dinner (see pic above), and watch me some home entertainment. Here’s a quick look at what I’ve been looking at.

Justified.  This is currently the best show on TV — the best one I’m watching anyway. For all I know, Mob Wives is Shakespearean. But in the eyes of this old crime writer, Justified is crime writing like it oughta be. The tough guy dialogue is sharp. The hillbilly characters are riveting. The deep Kentucky setting is fascinating. The scenes of violence are exceptionally well done: they’re genuinely tense and frightening. There’s a sort of running gag that the villains of the piece are almost universally stupid and ineffective — but that doesn’t stop them from being scary and threatening. You know they’re never going to make the big score, but that doesn’t mean they won’t kill you in the process of trying.

Great cast. Timothy Olyphant has elevated himself here from second rate movie hero to star. Walton Goggins, who was Shane on The Shield, is, within his range, as good as any actor alive. Nick Searcy should have more scenes; he’s hilarious. And Joelle Carter is expertly taking her character on its arc from beautiful loser to beautiful fearsome gangster, and have I mentioned she’s beautiful?

The seasonal storylines can be a little meandering, but all in all, this show is top-notch and keeps getting better.

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