Written by TV

Justified

This is a late heads up to look out for Justified on Five USA. Sorry – we’re three episodes in – but you can still start watching!
The next showing of episode 3 is on Saturday at 9pm on Five USA, and you really should be watching. The good news is that you can still catch up with the first couple of episodes on Demand Five. Episodes are also available to buy on iTunes.
If you’re like me, then you might remember Maximum Bob. It was set in Florida and starred Beau Bridges as a “strange” judge. It got cancelled after 7 episodes back in 1998. It hasn’t been released on DVD.
Then there was Karen Sisco. This was a spin-off, of sorts, of the fine feature film Out of Sight, which is still probably the best thing that Jennifer Lopez has ever done. In the TV series, the wonderful Carla Gugino played Karen Sisco, a US Marshall in Florida. The series was cancelled after 10 episodes in 2004. It hasn’t been released on DVD.
And now we have Justified starring Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens, a US Marshall who’s been moved from Florida to his home state of Kentucky. He’s not happy about this. But he dresses a bit like a cowboy, and has a mean shot.
The good news is that Justified has not been cancelled – indeed FX in the US has just renewed the series for a second season! (At some point, somebody can explain to me why the UK FX channel keeps missing out on the great shows commissioned by its US parent company. I know it’s really the production companies’ distributors who get to flog the show, but still…).
What do Maximum Bob and Karen Sisco share with Justified?
Elmore Leonard.
At 84, he’s still going strong and still writing books as he has done since the fifties.
And just like those cancelled series before, Justified has the same tone of voice as Elmore Leonard’s books. The recent third episode, Fixer – which can easily be watched as a standalone episode – has precisely those values. The two bad guys are brilliantly funny. If you liked Jackie Brown or Get Shorty, then you’ll recognise it.
I must admit that I’ve been slow getting onto Leonard. To make amends, I went to Waterstones last night and picked up Pronto. This is the first of two novels and a short story that the Raylan Givens character appears in. Although according to a piece written a couple of months ago around the launch of Justified on FX, Leonard is considering another story.
In the meantime, in the UK we’ve got another 10 episodes of Justified to look forward to.
Thanks to my friend Chloe for pointing me in Justified’s direction!