|Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens|
Anyway, I just completed Season 4. I was hesitant to keep watching after Season 3, in which a couple of nefarious characters went too far for even my semi-detachment. I won't go into details, but if I were to watch this show again, I would skip Season 3. But Season 4 did not disappoint. It didn't tread into the cesspit that Season 3 dabbled in, and it managed to be compelling and heart-poundingly good. Raylan has some excellent moments this year with his dad, his ex-wife, and especially with Boyd Crowder, who remains my favorite character.
Season 4 did feel more bloody, though it may just be that I don't recall from last year. This was an extremely gory season, with blood splattering on walls and windows and lots of shooting, and a pretty high body count by the end. However, I thought season 4 was a huge improvement on season 3-- in terms of story and character development. It was such fun to be drawn into the show again, to see Raylan at his butt-kicking best, and to see Boyd and Ava's relationship and personal issues explored.
I could discuss the subject of violence and how shows like Justified don't realistically portray the long-term ramifications of so much death and destruction on both the people involved and the community at large, not to mention the pain and slow return-to-reality of the families of victims, but the show isn't about that. That's not the point. And the truth is, Justified actually does touch on these things-- it is a very layered show-- there is violence, but there is also honesty and integrity and grief and sadness and pain and regret and punishment. And through it all, through the gore and the guns and the wickedness and the crime, there is love.
I find myself surprised by how much I like this show. And that my favorite character is one bad dude...
|Walton Goggins as Boyd Crowder from IMDB|
Told you. I'm an enigma.
If you can stomach the subject matter, this really is a very high quality TV show. For more information, here is a decent content overview of Season 1 at Common Sense Media. Though I would have rated the violence higher, and for the record, my 16 and now 18-year old sons do not watch this show. I think it ought to be reserved for adult audiences only...