"When faced with a problem you do not understand,
do any part of it you do understand; then look at it again."
~(Robert A. Heinlein - "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress")

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Monday, April 11, 2011

"My name is Boyd Crowder...

You can come after me if you want, but it will be the last thing you ever do. I promise you that."

Walton Goggins, as Boyd Crowder
(Photo by Robert Zuckerman, from Los Angeles Times, March 2010)

(Updated at end - now on Tuesday nights, instead of Wednesday)

Thusly does one of the most interesting characters, in the absolute best TV show currently on the air (Justified , Wednesday nights on the FX channel introduce himself to one of a bunch of miscreants who, after being relieved of excess cash, threatens, "We will find you, a**hole!"

During that intro, he was holding a revolver instead of that Bible, but his delivery was very quiet and soft, which somehow made it even more menacing.

The show is actually supposed to be about this guy...
Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens
(Photo from Eonline.com )

... Deputy U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens, reassigned from Miami back to rural Kentucky (from whence he came, hoping he had left it forever), after a "justified" shooting of the lieutenant of a Miami drug kingpin.

First thing he runs into is his old friend/rival/whatever Boyd, who's often been rather casual about which side of the law he was on (he had an earlier hobby of using smuggled in RPG's to bust armored trucks).

Boyd is still what he is, a very multi-layered character, of whom it's difficult to believe that he was originally meant to be killed off in the very first episode.

But, Walton Goggins was so amazing with what he was doing with the character of Boyd, that that idea was quickly scuttled, and he will most likely endure as long as the series (which has already been renewed for a third season).

Is Goggins' Boyd Crowder up to the level of Ian McShane's Al Swearengen (Olyphant's nemesis on his previous hit series, Deadwood )? Well, no -- but who the Hell could be? That dude was Shakespearean.

But Goggins will get there someday. He reminds me of a young Bruce Dern, with the same crazy edge to him, making his characters seem capable of almost anything.

Seemingly doing nothing special at all, he manages to come across as dangerous as a rattlesnake, giving off a vibe of, "Son, you do not want to mess with me!" (as I said of actor John Hawkes in another post).

Somewhere near the top, I described Justified  as the absolute best TV series currently on the air.  I'm saying that again.

If it's not on your "must see" list, put it there!

Olyphant and Goggins are just the icing on a very wonderful cake. There are numerous other fine actors and characters in this series, and if you don't get hooked, well I'm going to wonder, "What's WRONG with you?!!!"

Update - Tuesday 31 Jan 2012 - The opening 3rd season episode "The Gunfighter" was broadcast Tuesday, the 17th at 10e/9c on the FX Channel. Tuesday will be its regular night this season.

That episode was a doozy.

Some fascinating  new characters.  Ava demonstrating that you do not want to mess with her any more than you would with Boyd ...
   Arlo: "You didn't have to do that".
    Ava: "Of course I did.  Otherwise, I wouldn't have done it."

After dealing with a particular problem almost as neatly as The Joker's "Disappearing Pencil" trick in "The Dark Knight" ...
   Raylan: "Sorry about your tablecloth."

This opener suggests that the third season will be every bit as good as the first two.  If you don't become a regular watcher, well;  your loss.  I tried.

Update - 1840 CST, Friday, 04 Jan 2013 - The fourth season begins Tuesday night, 08 Jan 2013, on the FX Channel. What more needs saying?


gcotharn said...

I love "Justified". You have good taste in TV shows. I did not realize that Boyd was originally supposed to be killed. I had not fully considered what you correctly point out as the deliciousness of the character, and as the excellence which the actor brings to the role. I like the way Boyd flipped between sincere Christianity, then insincere Christianity, then - when Earthly opportunity presented itself as a large enough payoff in wealth and power - Boyd kicked Christianity to the curb and dove headlong into Earthly things. I can relate. Earthly pleasures rock, for just a bit, and then they turn to agony. And knowledge of this does not prevent me from wanting, oh so much, to partake.

Paul_In_Houston said...

And, if Boyd ain't enough, how about the Bennets, and their operation? Especially Margo Martindale as "Maggs" (the mother)?

After she's laid down the law to her sons that the "last thing we need is a Fed snooping around our business", one of the idiots later declares that he "ain't afraid of no Fed."

To which his more level-headed brother responds, "Well, how about mama?!!! You afraid of her?"

Shortly afterwards, after the first one went against her orders, she takes a ball-peen hammer ("Don't worry; I'm not going to hurt your shootin' hand.") and demonstrates why they damned well better be afraid of her.

Like Deadwood the show is loaded with fascinating characters (but without the language issue to deal with).

Timothy Olyphant has found a very worthy successor to Deadwood, and he's even allowed to show a sense of humor this time. :-)


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