I love cowboys. Always have, always will. I grew up on cowboy fiction and it makes me very picky about what I deem readable and watchable. Never got into Deadwood, and therefore approached Justified with some trepidation.

Honestly, it took to the finale of season one (which they really nailed) for me to develop an appreciation of the world and the characters. A man’s story set in backwoods Kentucky is kinda out of my normal entertainment fodder – even if he wears a bad-ass stetson.

Come season 2, the female characters began to acquire some greater depth with particularly riveting performances from Margo Martindale as Mags Bennett and Kaitlyn Dever as Loretta McCready.

Interestingly though, the relationship between Ralan and Boyd, lawman and criminal, is more tender, complicated and interesting than any of the male-female relationships in the show and both Timothy Olyphant and Walton Goggins are quite brilliant in their roles.

I’ve grown to love the portrayal of the changing rules between the kin of Harlan and their enemies. What do you do for family? When do you kill for them? When do you die for them? When do you give them up for a better deal? I’m guessing the Elmore Leonard’s novels (which the series is based on) are what bring that depth of social commenary to play. I’m certainly tempted to buy the books.

Really looking forward to season 3 and more of Ralan’s laconic, smart dialogue – probably some of the finest dialogue on recent TV. Ralan’s fraught relationship with his father Arlo is also a running story line which thoroughly explores how loyalty can still exist when love has long gone.

All in all … thumbs up Justified, just please keep working on your female characters. Neither Ava nor Winona get a chance to be much other than the companion.

I remember when I was working in a country public library a few years ago, a young man came in and told me how one particular Bryce Courtenay book had changed his life. He was so emphatic and passionate that the memory stuck with me over the years. I had no doubt that his life really had been altered.

Fast forward to now. I’ve just finished watching the three series of Saving Grace starring Holly Hunter, and I think I’ve just had a glimpse into how that young man felt. I don’t know that SG has changed me forever but it has certainly had a profound affect – so much so that I’m struggling to watch other shows at the moment because they seem so insipid in comparison.

Something about the whole dialogue on “faith” and the wild, untamed nature of of Grace’s character pierced right through me. I think I’m still processing  exactly what that means. I’ll get back to you on it.

In the mean time, here is the trailer that’ goes with Everlast’s beautiful theme song.

Awards

davitt-award  aurealis-award   logo-curtin-university

Peacemaker - Aurealis Award
Best Science Fiction Novel 2014

Curtin University Distinguished Alumni Award 2014

Transformation Space - Aurealis Award
 Best Science Fiction Novel 2010

Sharp Shooter - Davitt Award
Best Crime Novel 2009 (Sisters in Crime Australia) 

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