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Klavan On The Culture

Another Great Season of Justified

April 16th, 2014 - 6:05 am
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I’ve entered one of those periods when I’m so busy, I can only watch one TV show at a time. Pitiful, I know. Fortunately, for the last thirteen weeks, there’s been no difficulty deciding which show it would be. Graham Yost’s Justified remains one of the best crime shows ever, even in this era of unbelievably great crime shows like The Wire and The Shield.

I think the last two seasons have been the two best. As always, it’s the characters, dialogue and tough Elmore Leonardian attitudes that make the thing pop the way it does. But I do like a good story, and the plotting has grown better over the seasons and in these last two seasons, the stories were really superlative.

The actors are all great. Timothy Olyphant, Nick Searcy, Walton Goggins, Joelle Carter, the whole cast. The fact that none of them has won an Emmy for this show is a miscarriage of Emmy justice but (watch the funny Conan interview with Olyphant above) they seem to be surviving. Olyphant, I think, gets underrated because he’s a good-looking hero type who’s paid his dues in some second rate films, but you can tell he constructs his performances from the ground up. He even moves differently in different roles. I still haven’t forgotten Goggins’ performance in the last season of The Shield — the best acting I ever saw on a TV screen — and he continues excellent here. And this season, Joelle Carter finally got a really interesting storyline all to herself and pulled off a major character shift so subtle that the final jolt seemed unexpected and completely natural at the same time.

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Top Rated Comments   
I'm late to this party called "Justified" and regret that I haven't watched from its first season. I just started this past year as was hooked before that first episode I watched completed. I immediately went to OnDemand and watched the season from the top and now am experiencing withdrawal as I await next season,

31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (16)
All Comments   (16)
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I just love it when I get the following,
"The uploader has not made this video available in your country"!
Bigoted?
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Season 2 was the best.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have not missed one episode since the series started. Considering the lack of original writing, acting, and production values available, Justified is the best of the best from day one. As much as I will miss it after the upcoming final season, after 4 years and the series is just as fresh, the 5th year is enough and it is a smart move to avoid the usual trap of rehashing old ideas.

Absolutely the best damn series on television and thank you Tim Olyphant for bringing Raylon Givens to life and to Walton Goggins for bringing Boyd Crowder to be the nemesis and playing it so well. Goggins is one of the best actors ever and what else can be said about Nick Searcy?

Looking forward to the new season and watching the last episode of Season 3 a few more times which I think is one of the best ever.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm late to this party called "Justified" and regret that I haven't watched from its first season. I just started this past year as was hooked before that first episode I watched completed. I immediately went to OnDemand and watched the season from the top and now am experiencing withdrawal as I await next season,

31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Justified" is the only series that I will willingly engage in "binge watching". Glad you found the party and enjoying the best thing on television.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
I wasn't thrilled with the entire middle of the season, we got about the right amount of Dewey, but while I liked Kendal, the reset of the crowes... eh.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
It’s had a few Emmy nominations for acting and a couple of wins in supporting and guest roles…which, considering the caliber of acting talent on the TV screen the past few years, is nothing to sneeze at (woe to the actors who have had to stand before the mighty Cranston during his reign).

I love this show. Although I’d respectfully disagree with the wise Master Klavan - it was seasons 2 and 4 that were the best. Season 2 for the magnificent acting; season 4 for the truly labyrinthine, yet fascinating, plot.

It’s nice to have a show where the hero is a hero, not an anti-hero. He’s a little rough around the edges, kind of douchebag, and doesn’t always make the right choices, but he’s still comfortably in hero territory. It’s a conservative-ish show, but not overt and bludgeoning…which is what we conservatives should want in art. Our complaints about liberalism in television and movies isn’t so much that it is there, but rather than we are bludgeoned with it. We shouldn’t lower our art to their standards.

Mr. Klavan, thanks for this post. It’s a great show that doesn’t get noticed by the “taste makers” (e.g., Girls, Mad Men, Scandal)…so it’s nice to hear proper praise…and from a real crime writer, no less.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
I LOVE that show. It's nice to have a show that's full of characters who are both well drawn AND nice to look at! No compromises.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
I was watching reruns of Law and Order, and one from the late 90s had Joelle Carter in one of her first television roles (a small part as a call girl/coed). What was notable was just how wooden an actress she was then. Damn, she has mastered the craft over the years.

I, too, will miss Justified when it wraps. It might not be the best show on television these days, but it is the one I wait for with the most anticipation.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Call me crazy....but it's Boyd Crowder who gives this show its flavor and zest
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Given Nick Searcy's politics, I'm genuinely surprised his character wasn't killed off long ago. I've liked that guy since he was in 'American Gothic'. Liked him even more when he went after MSNBC over the Romney photo nonsense. He's the character with the bedrock moral center I turn to when Raylan and especially Boyd go off the rails.

And I know the show's ultimately about Raylan and Boyd, but I wish they could get some more screen time for Tim and Rachel.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Tim and Rachel are criminally underused. I hope next season’s swan song lets them do more…
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
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