Saturday, February 12, 2011

Justified: Season 2 Premiere

I love crime fiction. Not that I condone to any of these acts of violence, but it makes for great stories. When looking at pop culture, majority of the organized crime syndicates shown on the screen take place in the big cities like The Sopranos and Goodfellas. However, FX airs a great series focusing on crime in the Deep South: Justified.

Justified is based on novels by Elmore Leonard, who also wrote Rum Punch, the basis for Jackie Brown. The main character is Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, who is a trigger happy lawman who is reassigned from Miami to his hometown of Harlan County in Kentucky. Last season left off with Raylan taking down the Crowder family, a redneck gang that thrived on drugs, firearms, and racism. Boyd Crowder, son of the family's crimelord, helped Raylan take down his own father, ending in a firefight and him escaping.

With the start of Season 2, major plot-lines are forming to continue the flow of this great series:

  • Raylan is on the search for Boyd, a relationship that has turned each other into respected archenemies
  • Internal affairs is keeping a close eye on Raylan, as many of his captives end up in a pinewood box
  • Raylan is juggling a love life between Ava (once married to the Crowder family) and his ex-wife Winona
  • We are introduced to the Bennetts, the Dixie Mafia organization which will certainly provide most of the conflict this season. The family is led by Ma Mags, a motherly figure who runs the local shopping mart, bakes "apple pie," and farms "cash crops."
Justified is an awesome show that presents the grittiness of the South. One of the captivating features of this series are the intense moments created between the characters, whether its a standoff, interrogation, or torture. The premiere had a rough scene where a man had to make up for is wrongdoings by placing his leg in a bone-crushing bear trap.

In addition to the intriguing story, Raylan Givens is played by Timothy Olyphant, a complex and interesting character. Trademarked by his hat, Raylan is a smooth talker, knows how to take a punch, a sharp thinker who makes some-what questionable decisions, but remains a likable guy. Besides closely resembling Josh Duhamel (as pointed out in Timothy's appearance in The Office), Olyphant plays an appealing personality that the audience enjoys to watch.

So on Death List Five, as an ongoing series, Justified ranks #4.

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