The online journal of Vermont filmmaker, Bill Simmon.

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Clench redux

Posted on Apr 7, 2010 by billsimmon in TV | 0 Comments

My favorite new TV show is Justified on FX. It stars Tim Olyphant more or less reprising his Seth Bullock role from Deadwood, only this time ol’ Clench is a US marshal based in present-day Kentucky. The show is based on a short story by Elmore Leonard, who serves as the executive producer.  It’s full of Elmore Leonard awesomeness — particularly the way his smart, super-competent protagonists interact so politely and respectfully with their smart, super-competent antagonists. Olyphant oozes calm, collected competence, masking a deep anger. And while the repartee between Clench and his primary foes is polite and respectful, he does not suffer two-bit thugs lightly. The story telling is tight with lots of humor, but the show takes itself seriously. I haven’t been this impressed with a police show since The Wire, though it shares little in common with David Simon’s inner city cops and robbers masterpiece — it’s a lot closer in tone to the best Elmore Leonard film adaptations — Out of Sight and Jackie Brown.

So far the show has developed a pattern of introducing great bad guy characters and then killing them off before the episode is finished. The way I see it, if the show has this incredibly high level of throw-away characters, imagine what the characters that wind up sticking around will be like!

It looks like you can watch the first four episodes on iTunes. It’s worth it. It’s easily the best new show I’ve seen in years. Get caught up and then come and tell me how much you love it.


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