“Justified” kicks ass

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.

  

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Please, won’t you lend a television critic a hand?

The Television Critics Association has officially begun the gearing-up process for its 25th annual awards, which will honor the finest work of the 2008-09 season as selected by the association’s 200-plus member critics and journalists. One of those members is yours truly, and I figured I’d see what the readers of Premium Hollywood had to say about the nominations and who they’d like to see win the various categories. I’ll have to submit my votes by June 10th, but since the winners won’t be announced until August 1st (the ceremony takes place at The Langham Huntington Hotel and Spa in Pasadena, CA, with Chelsea Handler opening the ceremony), so speak up quickly. There are a couple of things I’m on the fence about, and I’d be interested to hear your thoughts before I make my final selections.

PROGRAM OF THE YEAR

* “Battlestar Galactica” (SciFi Channel)
* “Lost” (ABC)
* “Mad Men” (AMC)
* “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
* “The Shield” (FX)

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY

* “30 Rock” (NBC)
* “The Big Bang Theory” (CBS)
* “The Daily Show” (Comedy Central)
* “How I Met Your Mother” (CBS)
* “The Office” (NBC)

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMA

* “Breaking Bad” (AMC)
* “Friday Night Lights” (NBC/DirecTV)
* “Lost” (ABC)
* “Mad Men” (AMC)
* “The Shield” (FX)

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT MOVIES, MINI-SERIES AND SPECIALS

* Summer Olympic Coverage (NBC)
* “24: Redemption” (Fox)
* “Generation Kill” (HBO)
* “Grey Gardens” (HBO)
* “Taking Chance” (HBO)

OUTSTANDING NEW PROGRAM OF THE YEAR

“Fringe” (Fox)
“The Mentalist” (CBS)
“No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” (HBO)
“True Blood” (HBO)
“United States of Tara” (Showtime)

INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY

* Alec Baldwin (“30 Rock”)
* Steve Carell (“The Office”)
* Tina Fey (“30 Rock”)
* Neil Patrick Harris (“How I Met Your Mother”)
* Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory”)

INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMA

* Glenn Close (“Damages”)
* Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”)
* Walton Goggins (“The Shield”)
* Jon Hamm (“Mad Men”)
* Hugh Laurie (“House”)

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN CHILDREN’S PROGRAMMING

* “Camp Rock” (The Disney Channel)
* “The Electric Company” (PBS)
* “Nick News” (Nickelodeon)
* “Sid the Science Kid” (PBS)
* “Yo Gabba Gabba” (Nickelodeon)

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN NEWS & INFORMATION

* “60 Minutes” (CBS)
* “The Alzheimer’s Project” (HBO)
* “Frontline” (PBS)
* “The Rachel Maddow Show” (MSNBC)
* “We Shall Remain” (PBS)

HERITAGE AWARD

* “ER” (NBC)
* “M*A*S*H” (CBS)
* “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
* “The Shield” (FX)
* “Star Trek” (NBC)

  

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The Shield 7.10 – Party Line

The last thing Shawn Ryan needed to do was to give his wife (Cathy Cahlin Ryan) a bigger part to play in the final stretch of his grand opus known as “The Shield.” Of course, I should have known that if anyone was going to bring down Vic Mackey it would be Corrine, and, well, that only makes her character that much more annoying. Is Vic Mackey a good guy? Not really, but the reason he went crooked in the first place was so that he could give his family a better life. Now, Corrine is punishing him for doing exactly that by turning to Dutch and Claudette for protection.

Protection? Has it really come down to that, even though Vic has stated time and again that he would never lay a finger on the mother of his children? And while we’re at it, would you like some cheese with that whine? Fer chrissakes, can someone just kill this woman already? She’s done nothing but cause trouble for Vic throughout the course of these last seven years, and he’s done nothing but protect her from the consequences. If anyone needs protecting, it’s Vic. Unfortunately, that’s not how the cards have fallen, and after being guaranteed immunity by Dutch and Claudette (even though the Assistant Chief would rather just arrest her instead), she spills the beans on everything she knows.

The Shield 7.10

Of course, Vic isn’t aware of his ex-wife selling him out, because if he were, he might’ve gone on the run with Ronnie as soon as the idea was brought up. Instead, he convinces his last loyal friend to stick by his side, hoping that if everything goes as planned, he can land both him and Ronnie a gig with the feds. That isn’t going to be possible with Aceveda stealing all his thunder, though. Just when Vic tries to prove his worth to Pezeula and “the cause” in front of his new cartel friend, Lupe Griego, Aceveda hijacks the meeting and beats the shit out of Pezuela as a way of saying, “Who’s dick is in who’s ass now?” It was a rare shining moment for Aceveda, but at what cost? Vic is quick to jump at the chance to talk directly to Griego, and his first order of business as a member of Team Drug Cartel is to assassinate Pezuela. Instead, Vic fakes his death and brings him to the feds so that he can testify against Griego, and in doing so makes himself look all the more important to the case.


Read the rest after the jump...

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