On Fox News’ The Five on Friday, talk turned to a survey about what defines being cool. If you’re really cool, you know it can’t be defined, but people will do surveys on anything these days.
Anyway, Dana Perino said she’s been watching Justified, the FX series with Timothy Olyphant. She deemed him "cool." You could tell Perino is hooked on the series. She’s not alone.
Olyphant plays Raylan Givens, the pivotal character who is an eccentric U.S. marshal with a deadly aim and an all too human frailty. Olyphant also starred in the outstanding series Deadwood; he has a long list of credits.
Olyphant isn’t a Southerner by birth, but he is one of the few actors who can pull off an authentic Southern accent.
The series is written by Elmore Leonard.
I wrote a June, 2010 column about Justified:
This series has it all—clashes between fathers and sons, wives and husbands, lawmen and bad men. One minute you feel like you’re wandering around in a Greek tragedy, and another minute you feel like you’re watching a modern day adaptation of Shakespearean dimensions.
One overriding theme is the bold division between good and evil—big evil. But there are lesser evils, even in characters we admire, that murk around and complicate the plot.
Margo Martindale won an Emmy for her portrayal of mountain matriarch Mags Bennett in season 2, and that’s one Emmy well earned. Martindale created a character who continued to send chills down your spine long after ‘The End’ rolled around.
In one episode, she watched a man die as though he were a dog about to be put down. Mags had murdered him, yet she comforted him tenderly as he took his last breath. Just an astounding moment for TV. Mags then gained custody of the man’s daughter.
This is a series right up there with Hell on Wheels (AMC), The Killing (AMC) and Magic City on Starz.
We rarely watch regular network channels—the real gems are on the other channels.
Justified has tackled issues like local political crime, pill mills, pot grows and Southern culture. The show has run for three seasons. You can visit the Justified website to learn more, but it’s not updated very frequently during the off-season.
Also take a look at Leonard’s website—the film Jackie Brown, based on his work, remains one of my all time favorites.
Perino's right. Olyphant is cool. Yes ma'am, he is.
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/July 7, 2012)