Pardon the crude title, but there just isn’t any other way to say it. After watching last night’s premiere, it’s clear that “Justified” is poised to become the next great FX series.
One part “The Shield,” one part “Sons of Anarchy” and one part “True Blood,” “Justified” follows Raylen Givins (Timothy Olyphant) a somewhat disgraced (yet badass) Deputy Marshall who is assigned to Eastern Kentucky (and his hometown of Harlan) after losing his plum assignment in Miami over a shooting he deemed “justified.” The series is based on a short story by Elmore Leonard.
The antagonist — at least for the first episode — is Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins, who you’ll recognize from his role as Shane Vendrell on “The Shield”), an Aryan criminal with a propensity for blowing things up.
There’s also Raylen’s ex-girlfriend, Winona (Natalie Zea), and Ava (Joelle Carter), who would like to be his new squeeze.
The first episode was about bad blood between Raylen and Boyd, but it looks like each week, Raylen will be working on a different assignment, ranging from witness protection to prison transfer to hunting down criminals. Olyphant was terrific in the role of sheriff on “Deadwood,” so he’s not going to have any problem carrying this series — he already owns this part.
If you miss “The Shield” and like “Sons of Anarchy,” give “Justified” a shot. It’s well worth the time.