Justified Season 4: Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing

You know, I really can’t remember what it was that got me hooked on FX’s Justified, but all I know is that I’m glad I am. For those of you who read my editorials regularly, you’ll know that I can be a bit critical in regards to what these networks believe is quality television. And for those of you that don’t read my editorials, well, I think you guys need to get your priorities straight.

When it comes to TV shows, I really don’t discriminate. If a program is catchy, funny and has a solid storyline, then I’m hooked like phonics. Fortunately for me, Justified has all of these qualities and more. I can’t say that I’ve been a faithful viewer since episode one. On the contrary, I took a chance by buying the first season in Best Buy two years ago…which is saying something for a dude that occasionally freaks out over spending money for items on the McDonald’s dollar menu. However, after purchasing the DVD set, I recall being entranced by the concrete acting, superlative storytelling and persuasive characters. All in all, I found the first season to be a bonafied hit. The same can be said about the series in its current year — season four.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is a fact that television has become overly saturated with fare that is tawdry, uninspired and downright horrid. If you ask me, I believe that Hollywood is running out of ideas. To that end, I find programs such as Justified to be a breath of fresh air in a sea of TV programs dominated with filth. Now, let’s not get it twisted — Justified definitely isn’t family fun. It’s pretty edgy for a cable show. I recall watching an episode or two with my mom and the woman couldn’t handle it. But I could.

And I still can.

What can I say? I like what I like. For those of you don’t have a clue what Justified is about, the FX program follows the story of US Marshall Raylan Givens, played to perfection by Timothy Olyphant. Givens is the kind of man who shoots first and asks questions later, a real down to earth badass. Ah, he reminds me so much of myself…in my dreams. The small country town that he lives in is semi-corrupt and it’s his duty to pretty much put out the fires. One of the things that I particularly enjoy is how each season tends to revolve around a big baddie. Last season featured two in the form of Neal McDonough and Mykelti Williamson. This season, the writers ditched that concept and have gone for a new approach — a mystery.

Color me intrigued.

Justified has never let me down. For me, it’s appointment television. However, it’s not just the story that excites me, but the characters as well. The show has quite a remarkable confluence of characters, but if I had to choose one that I really liked, it would have to be Boyd Crowder played by Walton Coggins. Crowder is a real mystery man. One minute he can be trying to forgive someone of their sins and the next minute he could be trying to have someone killed. Perhaps he’s bi-polar. I dunno. I’ve always viewed him as the main villain, the thorn in Givens’ side, but as the series has progressed, he’s turned into a real diamond in the rough. You just never seem to know what he’s going to do next. He’s smooth…just like me…in my dreams.

So, what would I like to see in Justified this season? Well, I’ll admit that while I am intrigued by this new mystery angle that’s been added, I would have much more preferred to have seen a new villain. I know it’s a formula, but if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Also, I’d like to see more of the supporting characters. I understand the show is about Raylan Givens, but can the other characters at the police station get a little love too? I’m just sayin’.

I believe that FX has a real gem on their hands. It’s funny because there once was a time when I didn’t even know FX was a network. They’ve obviously been making strides in the right direction. If the writers of Justified can keep up the quality of the previous three seasons, this one will shape up to be nothing short of excellent. And why should we expect anything less? Solid acting and wonderful storytelling shouldn’t be asked for.

Heck, it’s simply justified.

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