There are two kinds of guys in the world: those who have seen the television show Justified and think it’s terrific, and those who haven’t seen it.
If you haven’t caught it yet, tonight is your chance to watch one of the best dramas on TV when FX brings back this gritty, witty tale of U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens, as he deals with a charming cross-section of ne’er-do-wells, organized crime bosses, backwoods drug dealers, redneck thugs, and various hot yet elusive women in his attempts to keep Harlan County, Kentucky from descending entirely into a cesspit of perpetual crime and corruption.
And if you are familiar with it, remember that Season 4 starts tonight.
The series is based on a character created by author Elmore Leonard in his novels Pronto and Riding the Rap. He later wrote a short story centered around the character of Givens — Fire in the Hole — upon which the TV series is based. A prodigy with a pistol, the only thing more dangerous to outlaws than Raylan’s shooting skills might be his mind.
In its first three seasons, Justified has become a success for the FX Network, earning critical acclaim, good ratings, and a number of awards. Viewer ratings for Justified on IMDb are 8.7 and on TV.com are 8.3, solidly positioning the show in “hit” territory. (By comparison, on IMBd users give Downton Abbey a rating of 8.9).
The show features terrific acting and writing, as well as evocative cinematography. As you might expect from a show inspired by Elmore Leonard, the dialogue is the most entertaining (and deadpan funny) of any show on television.
Every character is memorably drawn and portrayed. In the role of Raylan, Timothy Olyphant has received an Emmy nomination as best Lead Actor in a Drama for his good-humored, edgy, self-deprecatingly sexy performance.
Playing Marshall Givens’s sometime-nemesis and occasional ally, Boyd Crowder, Walton Goggins has been nominated for an Emmy for Best Supporting Actor. Nick Searcy and Raymond J. Barry turn in attention-getting performances as Raylan’s boss and father, respectively, as you’d expect from these veteran actors. In 2012, Jeremy Davis won the Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama series for his portrayal of Dickie Bennett in the series, and in 2011, Margo Martindale won the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her portrayal of homicidal family matriarch Mags Bennett.
What we have here is excellence across the board.
If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of viewing Justified, check it out tonight on FX (see your local listings). And be sure to catch up on the first three seasons, which are all out on DVD and Blu-ray. It is definitely a series worth owning. Start with the complete first season of Justified, preferably on Blu-ray, which you can get from CD Universe here. You can also find all three seasons on DVD and Blu-ray from Barnes & Noble.
When I wrote my voluminous post on the All-time Best Television Shows for Men on DVD and Blu-ray, Justified was in its first season and, from the first episode, I figured it would be a show to pay attention to. As I mentioned in that post, as good shows come along (or as I catch up on recent TV series not yet reviewed), I’d add them to the list.
I can now say without reservation that Justified should be included as one of the best television shows for men. It is consistently entertaining, original, surprising, and inventive. Add it to your library. And catch the beginning of Season 4 tonight. Below is a trailer…