Guest Author - Vance R. Rowe
Justified was an American television crime drama set in Lexington, Kentucky and the eastern Appalachians, more specifically Harlan County. The television series was based on a novella called Fire in the Hole by Elmore Leonard. The television show was centered around a deputy US marshal named Raylan Givens, played by Timothy Olyphant. Olyphant’s resume also included playing Seth Bullock in the short lived HBO series called Deadwood.
Raylan Givens was a quick draw deputy marshal who resembled a 19th century lawman even to the point in the opening episode when he was a deputy marshal in Miami Florida and had given a crime boss named Tommy Bucks twenty-four hours to get out of Miami. Bucks didn’t listen and Givens confronted Bucks while he was eating lunch and counted the remainder of the time to get out. With one second left, Tommy Bucks drew on the marshal but Givens was quicker and he shot Bucks dead. It was no secret to anyone that he had given Bucks the twenty-four hour time limit to get out of town and his superiors sent Raylan to Lexington, Kentucky to work with the marshals service there in order to “protect” him from fallout for killing the crime boss. Of course, Givens looked at it as a punishment as he returned to Kentucky when he thought he had escaped it forever.
Raylan Givens was born and raised in Harlan, Kentucky and is where he spent much of his time as a marshal trying to arrest a childhood friend turned criminal in Boyd Crowder. Crowder was played by Walton Goggins and did a wonderful job. Boyd even tried to play it straight as a tent preacher who had come to know Jesus while lying in a hospital bed after being shot by Givens. One thing had led to another and Boyd Crowder turned to a life of crime again but had always managed to avoid doing serious prison time, much to Raylan Givens’ chagrin.
Justified was a highly acclaimed series that lasted six seasons on the FX television network. It began in 2010 and ended in 2015. Raylan Givens was a no-nonsense deputy marshal that was not afraid to shoot people if it was called for and he gave his superior Art Mullins many sleepless nights. Raylan Givens was definitely this generation’s “Dirty Harry”.
Justified was nominated for eight Prime Time Emmy Awards and won 3. The show also won a Peabody Award, and numerous other awards. I have recently binge watched this show on the internet and is my second time watching the series. The series is presently available on DVD and on Amazon Prime Video. This was one of my all time favorite television shows and if you enjoy gritty police dramas, this series is a must for your home collection.