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Rich Kennedy

Justified

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One thing I'm wondering about. In season one, it seemed as if Boyd Crowder, in trying to redeem his ways, became more "religious", but this season the religious aspect of his character seems tempered and almost forgotten (then again, forming a Christian militia isn't exactly a saintly endeavour...).

I thought Boyd more or less address this near the beginning of the second season. (Doesn't he?) After he loses most of his men at his backwoods camp, it seemed to have shocked him a bit.

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Salon.com's Kristopher Jansma looks at the complex interaction between Justified and its literary roots:

The further entwining of television and literature is bound to raise many hackles, and critics will surely expend much ink (or many pixels) lamenting the selling-out of novelists, the deficiencies of television, or the death of literature forever and ever (amen). But perhaps the education that HBO is providing television viewers is actually leaving us hungrier. An evening of watching FX might prompt a curious pause at a bookstore the next morning. If television viewers continue to embrace rich, complex, novelistic storytelling, then yes, we should expect writers like Leonard, Ames, Karr, Foer, Russell and Franzen to be drawn to the form. And we can also anticipate that these shows will likewise draw viewers back toward their tremendous literary works.

[snip]

Clooney was very good, but Olyphant is exact. So much so that his picture is even on the jacket of the “Raylan” novel, the broader hat pulled down low over his eyes as he points his gun over the reader’s shoulder. It is the same image used in promotions for Season 2 of “Justified.” Open the book up and start reading, and you’ll find that there is no description of Raylan’s signature hat anywhere to be found. There is no longer any need for it.

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Just decided to make Justified my summer TV-viewing project. Went to put a hold on Season 1 at the library. Discovered there are 14 holds on two copies, which means it'll be seven weeks before I get a crack at the show. Ah, life without Netflix.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Just started watching season 1 and like it very much. So this is what Timothy Olyphant can do as an actor, huh? He's been terrible in everything else I've seen him in, so this qualifies as a revelation.

 

I've only read the first page of this thread and am afraid to read further, for fear that the show nosedives later in season 1, or in a subsequent season.


I checked, and the library now has Season 1. I'm in the Holds queue.

Is this show now in its second season, or has it been on longer than that?

Heh. Just got Season 1 from the library this week. So that was only a ... two-year, four-month wait.

 

And I don't think I'll be finished with Season 1 before it's due back Friday!


Just decided to make Justified my summer TV-viewing project. Went to put a hold on Season 1 at the library. Discovered there are 14 holds on two copies, which means it'll be seven weeks before I get a crack at the show. Ah, life without Netflix.

OK, wait. The hold must have come through during a week when I wasn't able to pick it up, or watch it, so I had to put it on hold again. May to July ain't too long a wait.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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And now we're finished with Season 2. I lost the story thread sometime past the halfway point of the season -- I couldn't remember why certain people were feuding, or over what, exactly -- but those plot mechanics are never what draw me to a show, and the last couple of episodes were very good.

 

I very much like the main characters, despite some glaring flaws, and am interested to see where the relationship between Raylan and Art is going to go. Part of me wants to know more about Art, who I admire a great deal, and part of me fears that learning more about Art's life outside his professional day-to-day duties would prove disappointing.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Every time this thread pops up, there's a second where I wonder why a Justin Timberlake album is in the TV forum.

 

Every. Time.


It's the side effects that save us.
--The National, "Graceless"
Twitter Blog

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Just started watching season 1 and like it very much. So this is what Timothy Olyphant can do as an actor, huh? He's been terrible in everything else I've seen him in, so this qualifies as a revelation.

 

 

 

Wait-- DEADWOOD?  Terrible in that?

 

JUSTIFIED is sort of a comfort show for me, I guess.  I like the weird Dixie Mafia subculture the show created from Leonard's novels, and the show's writers and runner get Leonard's tone and black humor so thoroughly that it's entertaining solely as an exercise in adaptation, but the show's not really adding up to anything that transcends superior pulp.  


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He wasn't terrible in Deadwood, but I never found him all that effective in the role. A friend told me that the show was designed to be a vehicle for Olyphant, but after filming was underway, Ian McShane so dominated the show that the producers shifted the emphases of the story toward McShane's character and away from Olyphant. Now, I haven't ever tried to confirm that detail, but watching Deadwood, one could easily see how that might have been the case. McShane dominates that show -- and the scenes that include both characters together.

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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What bothers me the most about him in 'Deadwood'-- an otherwise unimpeachable show, in my view-- is that he never swings his arms when he walks. It's weirdly distracting.

 

As for 'Justified,' season 2 remains far and away the best season of the show, while the current one has caused my enthusiasm for the series to wane somewhat. With that said, it has brought a new world of complexity to the Raylan/Art relationship, which is reason enough to keep tuning in.


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That was the best season?

 

Drat. 


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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That was the best season?

 

Drat. 

 

I think all of the seasons are fine in their own way, and while the second tends to get the most critical praise, I think season four is by far the best. 

Edited by Jason Panella

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Ah, good. I liked Season 2, but it's not as though it ended with me thinking it could never be improved upon, or with the hope that maybe it hadn't already been improved upon.

 

I haven't read much about the show outside of this thread and am unaware of the larger critical response to Justified. I know that Matt Zoller Seitz blogs about each new episode, right? Who else should I be reading on Justified?


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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I just read through some of this thread, trying to avoid Season 3 spoilers, to see what everyone thought of Season 2. Lots of praise. Don't get me wrong: I join that praise. But I have a few caveats I'm itchin' to bring up, chief of which is: Was no one here bothered by

Ava's relationship with Boyd?

 

 

I didn't buy it. Not for a second. Was I supposed to think it was a put-on? That's not how it felt while I was watching it.

 

I'm glad Season 2 moved away from

Raylan's relationship with Ava, although I'd enjoyed that in Season 1, and to his relationship with Winona, but I wondered whether Ava had become so tangential to the show that she'd be written out of future seasons. And then the final episode, and ... well, I see Joelle Carter's IMDB credit lists episodes through 2014, so I guess her fate isn't as grim as it seemed by the end of Season 2. Still, her and Boyd? Come ON.

 

I take it my view is not widely shared.

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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I take it my view is not widely shared.

 

I think I might've said "come on!" too at some point in the second season. That changed down the road, though. 

 

I think the AV Club reviews are generally fantastic for this show. 

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Alan Sepinwall's recaps are always rewarding.

 

I'm glad you liked season 4 so much, Jason. I did, too-- is easily my second favorite season, and not that far behind season 2-- and I'm not sure why some critics (including Sepinwall) seemed to see it as a step backward.


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I'm glad you liked season 4 so much, Jason. I did, too-- is easily my second favorite season, and not that far behind season 2-- and I'm not sure why some critics (including Sepinwall) seemed to see it as a step backward.

 

There was so much to love in season four: the story, the new wrinkles added to the Justified formula (mystery!), more Tim and Rachel (with a bona fide Tim subplot), some great character actors roles, and on and on. I feel like Sepinwall is in the minority, honestly. 

 

I haven't yet seen season 5, but it seems like it's regarded as the most bland of the bunch. Still, I saw some non-spoilery chatter that the season is starting to really come together at the end. But that isn't anything new for the show: season 3 pulled the same trick, from what I recall. 

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This piece is so good I didn't care about the post-Season 2 spoilers. The article made me more eager to catch up on subsequent seasons, and that's a good thing. We'll see how quickly I follow through.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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This piece is so good I didn't care about the post-Season 2 spoilers. The article made me more eager to catch up on subsequent seasons, and that's a good thing. We'll see how quickly I follow through.

 

Love it. While I genuinely think Justified's plotlines are often good, it's the lip-flappin' and dude shootin' that it gets perfect. And that's kind of the point.

Edited by Jason Panella

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And now this:

 

Something like a consensus seems to have developed among fans of the excellent "Justified" (FX) that the show's 5th season, which ended on Tuesday, has been the show's best since the sainted second.

 

I've tried hard not to let these comments affect my previous enthusiasm for watching seasons 3 and 4, but I can feel it waning. Maybe that's for the best: lower expectations could lead to a better experience as I catch up.

 

I'll try to stop linking to articles about seasons of the show I haven't seen and can't discuss.

 

EDIT: This is a spot-on quote from Walter Hill. I don't think I've heard it before. ([Olyphant's] sangfroid reminds us of a great line of director Walter Hill: "In my movies, when somebody pulls a gun, character is how many times you blink.")

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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I don't think there's a bad season of this show, and in fact I love that each season has its own unique character and shape.

 

I love the third season-- really I do-- and my only complaint about it is that the plot is maybe just a shade too complicated. I've watched it twice, and don't think I really understood all of the plot machinations the first time around.

 

The fifth season is my least favorite, thus far, just because the Raylan story arc interests me way more than the Boyd story arc, which makes parts of the show seem draggy-- but then, I'm barely halfway caught up with it, and I understand things really come together at the end. I stand ready to have my mind changed.


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We finished Season 3 a few weeks ago, and I'm pleased to say that I enjoyed it at least as much as Season 2. I didn't feel the lulls in Season 3 that I felt during the middle stretch of Season 2 (I'm not sure anyone else had a similar experience), and for that I enjoyed Season 3 -- even if the highs of Season 3 didn't match the best moments of Season 2.

 

We're now on hiatus, waiting for the right time to dive into Season 4.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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I'm glad you liked season 4 so much, Jason. I did, too-- is easily my second favorite season, and not that far behind season 2-- and I'm not sure why some critics (including Sepinwall) seemed to see it as a step backward.

 

There was so much to love in season four: the story, the new wrinkles added to the Justified formula (mystery!), more Tim and Rachel (with a bona fide Tim subplot), some great character actors roles, and on and on. I feel like Sepinwall is in the minority, honestly. 

 

I haven't yet seen season 5, but it seems like it's regarded as the most bland of the bunch. Still, I saw some non-spoilery chatter that the season is starting to really come together at the end. But that isn't anything new for the show: season 3 pulled the same trick, from what I recall. 

 

We're four or five episodes into Season 4, and I keep waiting for it to catch fire. Admittedly, I was very sleepy during the early episodes and may not have been at my most attentive, but I feel like the season is treading water so far. I'm hoping to watch more of it tomorrow and/or Sunday.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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[earlier comment withdrawn; Season 4 has taken hold!]


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Two things about Season 4:

 

Last night we finished the episode that concludes with

Boyd's proposal to Ava

, and I turned to Sarah and said, "I just don't buy any of this." 

 

That's not an insignificant problem with the show. And I realized it's not just that I struggle to believe their relationship is true to their characters. It's that whenever they're on screen together, I don't sense any chemistry between them. That's fatal to whatever romantic charge I'm supposed to be experiencing in those moments.

 

So, that's an ongoing struggle, but the show is pleasurable in enough other ways that I'm not too concerned about that particular shortcoming. Season 4 has surprised me because, without going back and totaling the new characters rolled out each season, it seems like Season 4 has thrown in so many characters that it's more of a challenge than ever to keep up with who's doing what to whom. And now, just over the halfway point of the season, several characters -- not all of them new this season --

have been killed off

.

 

The episode we've just completed, directed by John Dahl, has been a real humdinger -- probably the best of Season 4 so far. The

body count feels like it's been astronomical

, although I may be combining this latest episode with the one immediately preceding it. Those episodes have been rather traumatic to watch.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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