Tonight was the series premiere of Justified, a new crime drama on the FX Network. Expectations were high due to the network's past success and its star, Deadwood's Timothy Olyphant. Unfortunately, it was kind of disappointing.
The show opens with US Marshall Raylen Givins (Olyphant) waltzing into a swanky Miami Beach hotel and having a short conversation with a criminal type (the bad guy from The Mask!) who he soon shoots point blank in the chest when he pulls a gun. His brash actions, while justified (GET IT?!?), get him transferred back to his home state of Kentucky. You'd assume that Kentucky would be sleepy and boring, but you'd be wrong! There are criminals there. Nazi criminals, with rocket launchers and enough assault rifles to make the Taliban blush, and they rob banks and are seriously angry at the government. Shots are fired, hot women are introduced, and we're taken along for the ride.
The premise of the show isn't bad, except that it plays on all the wrong points. At times, Olyphant's character is like an Appalachian version of Horatio Caine from CSI Miami that's swapped the sunglasses for a Stetson. Couple that with some of the worst dialogue ever (Cop to bad guy: "Reckon yer' can pump a load in before I put a hole in ya?") and sop the remaining time with every southern stereotype in the book, and you've got yourself the general plot of Justified.
But while the pilot may not have been the best, I'm not one to write a show off too early. Deadwood fans will enjoy a certain level of Olyphant's Seth Bullock intensity, and his nemesis (played by the fantastic William Ragsdale) and he seem to have laid the groundwork for a decent hero/villain chemistry. If they can tone down the the ridiculous dialogue and keep the suspense up, the show could work.
But seriously... "I saw Peter Tosh once?" Wow.