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Looks pretty good, hey?
Thought this would be right up DiS's collective street.
It's honestly the best pilot I've seen of anything for ages. It's great to see Walton Goggins in something again, and his scenes with Timothy Olyphant are really terrific. It got great ratings in America as well in its first week, so looks like it should stick around...
Really looking forward to seeing where it goes...
Can't really tell until I've seen it properly, but it looks a bit "Dirty Harry".
Beyond being a highly effective argument for severe gun control laws in the US: Meh+. The acting and production is slick enough, but it labours under a flaw common to the kinds of shows that focus on an individual in a unique line of work: No other career exists in its usual fashion. Seen last in Damages, where had the cops been as smart as the ones in a cop show the season would have been half as long. Unfortunately for the victims of crime, Damages is a lawyer show.
In the same vein, Justified is not a cop show or a lawyer, but a US Marshal show, which means that the Marshals are frequently shown doing things that you would have sworn required the expertise of those in different departments of law enforcement. But then, that would require more actors.
I must have shouted "JUST CALL THE POLICE!" about nine times during this episode and not once did the characters bother to listen to me, the fucks. I don't even think that town had any cops, or lawyers, or a free press. Some nazi gun nut blows up a church that I swear had a bunch of people in it - instead of sending the FBI after the guy responsible, the Marshals run down a warrant on him resulting in a cosy chat in an SS clubhouse instead of a police station. Similarly, when a beaten wife guns down her husband at the evening meal, she doesn't seem too worried about revealing that it was actually premeditated murder to the protagonist. That's because he's not a cop - he's a US Marshal... who doesn't speak to cops. Or care about the law.
That said, these are problems with the concept - Tim Olyphant is decent enough; the characters seem amiable and hard to hate, and there are some glimpses of an interesting history for a few of them. But I sense a lack of cold steel in the writing that keeps me coming back to shows like Damages and BSG - both are shows that believe in putting characters through the wringer for our entertainment; firing them at each other like cannons from a warship so we can see the pretty effects.
Justified, on the other hand, is like a calming gloop of molasses - kinda like the environment it's set in, appropriately. Even the Nazis are quite nice and mostly harmless. They make half-believable death threats (for no real reason) over moonshine. The protagonist has an ex-wife and an ex-dad we know he should be bothered about (because after every character keeps asking him about them, he gets a little eye tic), but is just too damn easy going to sell it properly. If he can't care (and no other character has anything to care about) will I? We'll see, anyway...
I'll be downloading every week because... hell, I have the hard disk space now; and I need something to fill the coming Caprica-shaped hole for the next six months.
Final Rating: 6.6
Episode four last night.
Characters nice and settled in. Super strong guest star performance.
Updated rating 8.1
Perhaps a bit more of a procedural than I was expecting, but it's still really great. I'm hoping they can keep up the run of guest stars; Ferris Bueller's pal was just about the highlight so far...