I watched the premier episode of the new FX series Justified last week. Let me save you about 42 minutes.
It is difficult to summon the words required to describe how utterly without redeeming feature this series is. It isn’t just that the series recycles every modern cliché and caricature of southerners and southern lawmen in existence: racist rednecks running around blowing up churches and robbing banks, tough-guy marshal with a lightning draw trying to stop them. It’s that these clichés are poorly written and weakly acted. This is especially true of the lead, Timothy Olyphant, who unconvincingly plays Deputy U. S. Marshal Raylan Givens, but it doesn’t end there; the acting is flat right down the line. The “action” scenes lack spark, the dialog lacks wit, the confrontations lack edge. There isn’t even any attempt at irony or self-awareness. The episode was so bad, in fact, that even the appearance of the excellent Walton Goggins as the Bad Guy couldn’t save it.
Of particular interest to the readers of this blog will be the Ava Crowder character, who, we quickly learn, has just murdered her husband with a .30-‘06 while he was eating dinner, a crime for which she is quickly offered a manslaughter plea involving no jail time. But he deserved it, the writers hasten to assure us, as Ava tells tales of abuse at his hands. Conveniently, none of that abuse mars the features of the lovely Joelle Carter, who promptly throws herself into the arms of our chivalrous deputy marshal. The misandrist plotpoint has all the marks of Lifetime Original Movie, without the poignancy.