Justified is a solid tv series that seamlessly combines elements of crime, drama, and western genres.
Developed by Graham Yost, the show is based on Elmore Leonard's short story Fire in the Hole and follows the life of Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens.
With its gripping seasonal plots, stellar performances, impressive cinematography, and overall impact, Justified proves to be a must-watch series for fans of intricate storytelling and compelling characters.
It ran for six seasons, finishing in 2015 but is having a resurgence in part due to its availability on Disney+ as well as it's 2023 spinoff Justified: City Primeval.
But what is the show all about, and is it worth watching?
What Is Justified About?
The plot of Justified revolves around Raylan Givens, played brilliantly by Timothy Olyphant. Givens, a skilled and charismatic lawman, is reassigned from Miami to his hometown of Harlan, Kentucky, due to a controversial shooting.
As he navigates the complex dynamics of his estranged family, old friendships, and dangerous criminal organisations, Givens becomes entangled in a web of corruption, deceit, and personal vendettas.
Season one consists of 13 episodes and sets the tone for the series as it establishes the central conflicts and introduces key characters.
One of the notable storylines involves Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins), who happens to be Raylan's childhood friend-turned-adversary. Boyd is a charismatic and enigmatic figure involved in various criminal activities, and his complex relationship with Raylan adds layers of tension and drama to the narrative.
The season also delves into the dynamics of the Givens family, particularly Raylan's relationship with his estranged father Arlo (Raymond J. Barry). and their troubled history.
As the season progresses, Raylan's investigations lead him to encounter an array of captivating supporting characters. These include Ava Crowder (Joelle Carter), Boyd's former sister-in-law who becomes involved with Raylan, and Chief Deputy Art Mullen (Nick Searcy), Raylan's superior, who often serves as a moral compass and source of guidance.
With his ex-wife back on the scene and drugs rampant in Harlan Country, can Raylan stop the family feuds that have been destroying the town for decades?
Justified Official Trailer
Is Justified Worth Watching?
One of the strengths of Justified lies in its well-crafted plot. Each episode presents self-contained stories while contributing to the larger narrative arc. The writing is sharp and filled with witty dialogue, showcasing the influence of Elmore Leonard's signature style.
The performances in Justified are exceptional, with Timothy Olyphant delivering a standout portrayal of Raylan Givens. Olyphant brings a perfect blend of charm, vulnerability, and toughness to the character, making him immensely likable and compelling.
Walton Goggins shines as Boyd Crowder, Givens' childhood friend-turned-arch-nemesis, providing a nuanced performance that perfectly captures the complexity of his morally ambiguous character. The chemistry between Olyphant and Goggins is electrifying and serves as the driving force behind the show's intense conflicts.
Beyond its individual elements, Justified has a profound impact as a whole. It transcends the boundaries of its genre and with its coolly violent drama, offers a rich and layered narrative that explores the complexities of human nature.
The series tackles themes of family, loyalty, and the grey areas of morality, presenting thought-provoking situations that challenge the viewers' perceptions.
Justified is a masterfully crafted TV series with intriguing storylines, exceptional acting, and profound themes that make it an unforgettable viewing experience.
Whether you are a fan of crime drama, westerns or simply appreciate quality storytelling, Justified is a must-watch series that will keep you engaged from start to finish.
In fact, it's so good that it was nominated for eight Primetime Emmy Awards, with two wins, for Margo Martindale's performance as Mags Bennett and Jeremy Davies' performance as Dickie Bennett.
Is Justified On Netflix?
In the US, Justified is available on Hulu. Outside of the US, all six seasons of the hit show are available on Disney+.
There are other options, notably on Amazon Prime, where the entire show is included with a Prime subscription.
So while it is on Disney+ and Amazon, it is NOT on Netflix!
Why Was The Show Cancelled?
Technically Justified was not cancelled. The series enjoyed a successful run on television, spanning six seasons from 2010 to 2015.
The decision to end the show after its sixth season was a creative choice made by the show's creators and the network.
The series concluded with a satisfying and well-received final season, allowing the storyline to come to a natural conclusion.
The showrunners and network executives felt that six seasons provided ample opportunity to explore the characters and storylines, and they chose to conclude the series in a manner that met their creative vision.
Is Justified Coming Back In 2023?
In March 2021, FX, along with Justified writers such as Graham Yost, embarked on the development of a new drama series based on the Elmore Leonard novel, City Primeval.
Excitingly, Timothy Olyphant was confirmed to reprise his role as the iconic Raylan Givens.
Many of the original writers and producers joined the project, with Dave Andron and Michael Dinner taking on the roles of showrunners for City Primeval.
City Primeval picks up fifteen years after the original Justified series and follows Givens, now residing in Florida and working as a marshal. However, his path leads him to Detroit as he becomes entangled with a dangerous sociopath named Clement Mansell.
Alongside Olyphant, the series features a talented cast including Aunjanue Ellis, Boyd Holbrook, Adelaide Clemens, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Marin Ireland, Norbert Leo Butz, Victor Williams, and even Vivian Olyphant, Timothy Olyphant's real-life daughter.
Fans can mark their calendars as City Primeval is set to premiere on July 18, 2023.
Justified TV Series Cast
Timothy Olyphant (Once Upon A Time in Hollywood) as Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens. Sent to Kentucky, he gets deeply involved in the criminal element of his hometown, where he doles out his own brand of justice.
Walton Goggins as Boyd Crowder, the son of one of Harlan's biggest career criminals. Known for robbing banks and blowing things up.
Nick Searcy as U.S. Marshal Art Mullen, Chief Deputy of the Marshals Service who knows Raylan from Glynco. He generally follows the law, but gives Raylan some leeway when he trusts his judgment.
Jacob Pitts as Deputy U.S. Marshal Tim Gutterson, a sardonic former Army Ranger sniper. Generally unimpressed by Raylan's antics.
Erica Tazel as Deputy U.S. Marshal Rachel Brooks, a straight-and-narrow marshal.
Joelle Carter as Ava Crowder, a woman from Harlan who grew up with Raylan and Boyd.
Natalie Zea (La Brea) as Winona Hawkins, Raylan's ex-wife who is married to Gary Hawkins, a real estate agent.
Jere Burns as Wynn Duffy, a shady Dixie Mafia businessman who travels around in a motor home and becomes involved in Harlan crime.
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