What To Binge This Weekend: ‘Justified’

I don’t recommend much in the way of dramas when it comes to bingeing. There’s probably a reason for that. Comedies are better to binge. Or shows like Nailed It and Chopped. They tend to be more relaxing. There is no story to follow on a cooking completion show. Each episode sticks to its format, you can tune out, you can stop in the middle of an episode. Dramas tend to take more of an investment. That being said, sometimes you are in the mood to invest over a weekend. In that case, you can give Justified a chance.

Justified is a noteworthy show in my life, because it is the only show that I have paid money to rent episodes of on Amazon. These days you can watch it on Amazon Prime, so it’s all good. Well, if you have Amazon Prime. I was moving and missed a couple episodes and needed to catch up before the next episode aired. That’s how much I was enjoying Justified. Also, that’s what happened sometimes back in the day when people actually watched TV as it aired.

If you aren’t familiar, Justified is based on a character created by legendary novelist Elmore Leonard. You may know him from some of his other adaptations, like Get Shorty, Out of Sight, and Rum Punch, which was turned into the movie Jackie Brown. The show, which aired on FX for six seasons, starred Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens. He was fresh off a different kind of Western, in this case Deadwood. Justified is a modern Western, though, set in Kentucky. Givens is a U.S. Marshall who has been reassigned from Miami to his native Bluegrass State after a shooting. He finds himself often returning to his rural hometown of Harlan, while also working other sorts of cases.

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Every season there is some sort of overarching story, and also a big bad. However, through the entire series Raylan has a nemesis in Boyd Crowder, played by Walton Goggins. These two are basically the crux of the show from episode one through the series finale. They are two great characters played by tremendous actors in roles right up their alley. Raylan and Boyd are reason enough to watch the show.

I feel like you need to watch the first season to be prepared for the second season, but season two is definitely a step up for the show. Then there are a couple of seasons I think are good but not necessarily great. If you are starting a binge, though, you probably won’t get through more than the first two seasons. That’s good enough for one weekend, right. That is, if you like an occasionally funny, occasionally violent, altogether exciting modern take on the Western. Even though, you know, Kentucky isn’t that far west.

About Chris Morgan

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