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4.5 out of 5 stars183
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Old-school U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens is reassigned from Miami to his childhood home in the poor, rural coal-mining towns in Eastern Kentucky after an episode where he (once again) was a bit too fast on the trigger. This is close to the last place on earth he wants to be, but he figures that if he follows orders and keeps his head down, he'll soon be back in Miami... unfortunately, keeping out of trouble is not what he does best - especially not when his old friend Boyd Crowder, who also happens to be his worst opponent, always seem to stir up trouble. Of course he is not much helped by his romantic interest in his ex-wife (who is now happily married to another man) and his old "fan" Ava Crowder, who recently shot and killed her husband, who also happens to be Boyd's brother.

I am a fan of this first series - it's cool, well-acted, modern and it has a good mixture of a long-running storyline combined with the side stories that fit the individual episodes.

The dialects are delightful (a bit in line with the "newness" of True Blood - I spent the first two episodes of that particular series just listening to the drawls of the characters rather than paying much attention to the contents) and the cast seems to be pretty much perfect for the roles - both the tough opponents and the romantic interests.

The characters are bordering on caricatures, but as long as they stay on this side of the line, I'm more than happy to embark on series 2 (which is already ordered).
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on 24 June 2010
A little over 18 months ago a programme known as The Shield came to the end of its Tuesday night run on American channel FX. Known as the best show on FX, having some of its highest ratings and lasting 7 seasons, it left a pretty big hole on Tuesday nights. FX needed something to fill it. Justified is that show. But as much as it was promoted towards Shield fans (Doors being kicked in, guns going off, Walton Goggins featured prominently in advertising) Justified is a much different style of cop show.

Using Elmore Leonard's 'Fire In The Hole' as a jump-off point for the show, it nails his style completely. From the pilot the the season's end it maintains a slow and steady pace, each episode heavy on the dialogue, loads of great character moments and typically ending with someone catching a bullet or two.

The jist of the season is Deputy Marshall Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant of Deadwood fame) with having to protect his old flame Ava from the biggoted and corrupt Crowder family she was married into - before shooting her husband with a shotgun over dinner - in particular white supremecist Boyd Crowder, played by Walton Goggins. Meanwhile Raylan has to keep a lid on his temper as he's being investigated for his tendency to fill criminals with lead. And his issues with his Ex-wife and her new husband. And his dad.

The first half of the season (pilot aside) are procedural like, with their stand alone storylines and excellent one-off characters (How about a former mob accountant, now working as a dentist who attacks one of his more annoying patients?), but the second half gets into the serialised story, Boyd gets more screen time and it builds towards it's Wild West climax.

Most shows first seasons are uncertain about that they want to be as they expand their world beyond the pilot and find that the show that works isn't necessarily the ones the creators had in mind. Justified is one of those that know exactly what's up from the first minute and works like a charm.

Those of a downloading persuasion should check out episodes 4,8 or 9 for a great taster.
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on 10 June 2011
It would be really easy to steriotype this as a cowboy in the modern world crime series. The reality is that it surpasses the cliches and and is much more complex. It is incredibly well written with each episode being an original story in its own right. The cast and the dialogue is superb.

Half way through the first episode I had to check the box to see if it was an HBO production because the production standards and script were so good. The story lines are entertaining and gripping, but not without humour and whit.

All this aside it also gives an interesting insight into redneck kentucky small town crime and drug supplying. Im tempted to say that its like a redneck version of The Wire, but that would do it an injustice as its far more original than that.

Very original, very entertaining, very well made.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 15 August 2015
“You got ice-cold water running through your veins.” - Boyd

The Peabody Award-winning cop drama “Justified", Season 1, is based on the short story “Fire In The Hole" by the acclaimed novelist and executive producer Elmore Leonard who helped expanded that story with writer/developer Graham Yost into a marvelous TV police drama which debuted as an FX network original drama. The show opens up with Deputy US Marshall Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) walking into a Miami hotel wearing his usual tan cowboy hat, boots, badge and gun, exactly 23 hours and 59 minutes after having ordered a tough guy out of Miami in 24 hours. What happens as the countdown goes to exactly 24 hours shows Raylan’s approach to peope who don’t listen and who may be armed. Ordered by his boss back to his own home state of Kentucky, he joins the staff of the head marshall played by Nick Searcy (7 Days) in an area of Southeastern Kentucky he knows only too well since he grew up there. Full of conflicts between the cops and skin heads, the ubiquitous Crowders, drug runners, ex-cons, bank robbers, con men, hot women, old friends, family, lovers, and convicts all of which collide in a very interesting, realistic, TV drama. The writers get off some great 'laugh out loud' moments amid the gore and some of the best writing on TV. Centered in Southeastern Kentucky, this show is marvelous in an often-understated, always deliberately-paced manner with the occasional shootings along the way. There are a number of threads, but episodes can be enjoyed as stand-alone eps although newbies could get lost, so start with Episode 1 because the very first scene of Episode 1 is discussed over and over later on. Also featuring Joelle Carter, Jacob Pitts, Erica Tazel, and Natalie Zea. Highly Recommended. Five SUPERB Stars. (FX Productions, Rated TV-MA, Color, CC, 13 episodes. There are 6 seasons, so far.)
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If he says it, he means it - as the Miami mobster soon learns. That fatal shooting is to have consequences throughout the season. The first is Marshal Raylan Givens' immediate transfer to Kentucky, where he would really prefer not to be.

Timothy Olyphant is excellent as the laid-back cowboy marshal with humour and charm. Also impressive is Walton Goggins as his wily adversary Boyd. The two have much in common, including fathers who cannot be trusted an inch. Their confrontations are great and often very funny - especially when Boyd gets religion. At first this seems a humorous plot development, but there are surprises and a very moving outcome.

The scripts sparkle, a fine cast doing them full justice. Highlights? There are many. Ep.9 - Raylan acts as minder to a randy judge; Ep.12 - in a nailbiting siege he tries to calm an unstable young soldier unable to face return to Afghanistan. As for the climax! Prepare for an unlikely alliance and unbearable tension as an already great season bows out on a high.

13 episodes. Interesting bonuses. (Be advised one on the first disc contains a major spoiler about that final episode.)

Although the body count is high, "Justified" will not be most remembered for its violence. Here is a treat - quirky and stylish, its characters full blooded, and throughout so much that is likeable.

Thank you, fellow reviewers - this is yet another gem I would have missed but for you.
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on 23 August 2010
Justified is a gem of a show. The characters are well written and develop well; even over the course of one season with one the best supporting actor roles ever (Walton Goggins).
The show takes place at the home town of our main character ( a US marshall) after he has been moved back in the fallout of a internal affairs investigation about a shooting, hence the shows name.
The world is believable but slightly unrealistic (think of 'No Country for old men') that gives the makers a little space to create a more rich and interesting place with ex-wife's, ex-girlfriends, local crime family and a scammer of a dad (the brilliant Raymond J. Barry). All well acted without exception.
The story is gritty, funny, sad, desperate, intelligent and violent with a few twists and loyalty shifts thrown in for good measure. Our Marshall has a dark side and this helps him get into trouble with the local boys network and dispatches his justice in a Spaghetti Western style.

Check out [...]
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on 11 March 2013
By which I mean I would add Justified to the list of 101 TV Series to See Before you Die. It really is that good. It is characterised by particularly strong and consistent writing and the acting of Olyphant in the lead role.

However, and it is a big however, the series is not dependent just on Olyphant. For some reason Justified seems to have collected a very strong cast of supporting actors including Walton Goggins and Margo Martindate. In fact there are times when it is difficult to say who is best in most scenes and Goggins steals almost every scene he appears in.

The overarching storyline which carries on into Series 2 and 3 is Shakespearean is concept. It can only be a sheer accident that it turned out to be so good with no weak characters. I really cannot recommend the series too highly.
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Timothy Olyphant is the charismatic Raylan Givens, a U.S. Marshal with a penchant for shooting bad guys.
With a fast gun, no fear, and a quick wit he deals with the "Dixie" mafia in Kentucky and habitual criminal Boyd Crowder, played by the superb Walton Goggins.
Nick Searcy plays Art Mullins his exasperated boss who has to clean up after Raylan while wearing a world weary look.
The show has themes and story lines which run through the whole series as well as individual plots.
It is brilliantly written and based on a character and books by Elmore Leonard.
Justified gets progressively better as the series develops, and in my opinion seasons 3 and 4 are the best.
This show is right up there with the very best, although be advised it is quite violent.
Magnificent entertainment.
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on 11 May 2012
Justified is an enjoyable show, Timothy Olyphant (Deadwood) plays Deputy Marshall Raylan Givens, He wears a Stetson, and is a real marks men with a gun.

For me the runaway performance of this series is that of Walton Goggins (The Shield) he plays Boyd Crowder. A real redneck Neo Nazi, the character is so hate-able that by the end of the season you kinda like him.

Much of the season is based around these two characters, there are some really heart wrenching scenes, but equally some very funny ones too, it is violent,I doubt this will go down in history as one of the best shows ever but really it is a real redneck affair and I loved it!
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on 23 June 2015
I am in two minds about Justified. I really like the male characters but the females are not as well written. The ex-wife and on-off-on again girlfriend are just tedious. Ava is very annoying, she could have been amusing and tough but she is just silly and vapid. Winona , is very similar. They have been written as though they are there just to prove Raylan is straight and attractive to women.

Oh for Katee Sachoff! She could have made something out of Ava's character but as it is the show is interrupted for some silly love interest.

I have not given up though, there is enough to make me buy season 2 but whether i will continue after that remains to be seen.
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