Genre: Drama / Crime / US Marshall
- Elmore Leonard: wrote the story that the series is based off of. He is now one of the main writers and executive producer of the show. Several of his books have been adapted to films, such as Be Cool, Get Shorty, 3:10 to Yuma (both films), and several others of note.
- Graham Yost: Yost is Leonard’s co-writer for the series, man that has a long history with film and TV shows.
Based on numerous recommendations and the longevity of this series by FX, I prompted my hubby to watch the first episode with me to see if it was worthwhile. We finished watching the first of the four series within a day. The series is based off of Elmore Leonard’s Raylan Givens novel Fire in the Hole.
After provoking and shooting a mafia minion, US Marshall Raylan Givens is transferred from Florida to his home state of Kentucky. As one of his first cases, he is asked to investigate Boyd Crowder’s connection to numerous bombings and armed robberies as well as a link to a murder. Raylan quickly learns that his former co-worker at a mine in his youth is now linked to a white power group. After avoiding killing Boyd in a shooting, Raylan is offered revelations about his own father and numerous members of his hometown by Boyd who creates his own church of former criminals and miscreants.
With a glimpse at Elmore Leonard’s writing through movie adaptations such as Be Cool, I had a mild idea of his strong characterization and dialogue. This carried through to Justified, with strong character development on the part of both Raylan and Boyd. There was an main story arc while all of the other stuff was happening. There was enough chaos to lend authenticity and entertainment value to the storyline. We were offered numerous questions throughout, though the writers were careful not to give too much away before time as part of the pacing.
I loved the characters, with great casting doing justice to Leonard’s unique witty and comical (if sometimes understated) dialogue. You really need to be paying attention to the conversations as well, otherwise you will miss something that will either leave you in stitches laughing or dropping your jaw with shock. Yep, there is a lot of cool scenes in this show but no major focus on the sex scenes as it could have potentially taken away from the story. The attention to police procedure was enough that I didn’t have my husband complaining like with other shows such as Under the Dome.
I really loved this series. There was enough action and drama coupled by great dialogue and consideration of police procedure to satisfy mature viewers. While I loved the dialogue, folks looking for a quick fix will probably find it a little boring which is quite sad given the awesome payoff offered by those rather cool conversations. Season 1 of Justified is well worth the watch with the second starting off where the first ended. From a storyteller and viewer standpoint, Justified was spot on.