About 20 minutes into the first episode of Justified, a neo-Nazi walks uninvited into a Kentucky house. He is met by Timothy Olyphant as Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, who gives the wiry man with Heil Hitler tattooed around his neck a hard stare.
Who are you? asks the punk, to Raylan in his suit and tie. The undertaker?
I might be undertakin' a situation right here, says Raylan softly. Pretty soon, someone has blood on his face, and it's not Raylan.
Two things about this exchange. One: It comes straight from the 2001 Elmore Leonard novella, Fire in the Hole, on which this series is based. Two: I knew from this moment on that I'd kinda fallen in love with a new TV show.
Putting on his post-Deadwood cowboy hat, Olyphant is now a contemporary lawman - the original title for this series was Lawman, and maybe the FX network was afraid its core audience of Shield- and Sons of Anarchy-loving viewers might be put off by, y'know, something that sounds like a Western. But if you like those shows, you'll like Justified.
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