Jan 7, 2019

TVGuide: The Best Show I Watched in 2018 Went Off the Air Three Years Ago

Jan 7, 2019

TVGuide: The Best Show I Watched in 2018 Went Off the Air Three Years Ago

TVGuide.com — The end of the calendar year is a time for lists. In the world of TV criticism, it’s a time for lists that purport to rattle off the 10 best shows (or more!) of the year. As I tried desperately to remember 10 shows I watched this year that I would classify as being deserving of such accolades, I realized two things. First, I realized that the best show I watched in 2018 was actually Justified, which went off the air three years ago. And second, the first was true because 2018 was the year I finally gave up trying to stay current on the glut of new programming every network and streaming service was trying to shove into my eyeballs and just watched whatever the hell I wanted. So yeah, I rewatched Justified.

Let me tell you: It was liberating to return to the crime-ridden hills and hollers of Harlan, Kentucky, and spend time with U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) and outlaw Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins) instead of worrying about whether or not I was caught up on the newest TV show. It’s exhausting trying to consume everything on TV so you can stay relevant at parties or whatever. So while all my coworkers were obsessing over the emotional stories of The Haunting of Hill House, I was happily reliving the glory of the Bennetts and Drew Thompson. While they were talking about Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, I was thinking about this photo of Timothy Olyphant leaning in a doorway …

While they were all about [insert some other new show here], I was dreaming of buying cross-stitched pillows featuring some of Justified’s best asshole-related quotes, like the most iconic one below:

There’s not a living room in the country that wouldn’t be improved with those words stitched across the couch pillows, and you know I’m right.

But Justified was all too frequently overlooked when it was on. Developed for TV by Graham Yost from a short story by Elmore Leonard, the series aired on FX from 2010 until 2015, which means it unfortunately sometimes got lost among the Breaking Bads and the Mad Mens of the supposed Golden Age of TV. In fact, it only made a fruitful showing at the Emmys when Breaking Bad wasn’t eligible. And although Olyphant and Goggins were both nominated for their excellent work that year, it was just supporting actress Margo Martindale who walked away with a shiny statuette for her work in the show’s perfect second season. And yes, Martindale more than deserved that Emmy, but Justified as a whole deserved far more recognition than it actually received. This is why I sometimes shout “Justified was robbed!” into the void completely unprompted. This was a damn good TV show, and one that is far better than some of the shows airing now.

However, what I learned during my most recent rewatch (obviously this was not the first time I’ve rewatched Justified since it ended) is not just that Season 3 was Peak Raylan Sexiness or that there’s real, honest comfort in revisiting shows, but that the series and its story are universal. The obstacles the characters are all trying to overcome are familiar; even if you didn’t grow up in a small, corrupt town like Harlan, you can understand the overwhelming feeling of being trapped by your hometown and never leaving it alive. Even if you don’t support Boyd’s lawless actions, you can appreciate his clever mind and understand his drive. (Though I will probably never forgive him for what he did to Dewey Crowe.) Every character was drawn with such depth (the Crowes of Season 5 excluded) that you were empathetic toward them even if they were also technically a villain.

But what made Justified so successful was obviously the complex relationship between Raylan and Boyd, two men who not only dug coal together, but were also two sides of the same coin. Raylan could have easily ended up an outlaw instead of a lawman, and although it’s something he isn’t likely to forget, knowing this always made his scenes with Boyd, full of banter though they were, feel loaded and that much more electrifying. The series’ sense of humor was also one of the sharpest I’ve seen anywhere, which is notable mostly because Justified is ostensibly a drama series. But the show was littered with instantly iconic moments and quips and memorable back-and-forths that went down like the smoothest Kentucky bourbon. It is also responsible for what might be the single most badass line in TV history:

Near the end of the show’s final season, Raylan told Boyd, “I gotta admit, there’s a small part of me that’s gonna miss this when it’s over.” He said this after revealing that he was coming for Boyd and the two men exchanged some of their trademark banter. But in 2018, there’s no reason any of this has to be over. Even if there are great new TV shows debuting year after year — and there absolutely are — there are still plenty of old ones that are just as good, if not better. And there’s absolutely no shame in embracing those shows and the comfort they provide simply because there’s something bright, shiny and new out there. That’s why I will probably continue to rewatch Justified every year and fall in love with it over and over and over again.

Sep 18, 2017

Walton Goggins Pushes Back At Critics & Talks Season 2 Of ‘Vice Principals’

Sep 18, 2017

Walton Goggins Pushes Back At Critics & Talks Season 2 Of ‘Vice Principals’

Is there any chance of a Justified reboot or return? I don’t know if there are any reboots in production, but…we’ve talked about [continuing], and what that would be like. We’ve had conversations. But, it was such a fulfilling end to that journey, I think it would have to be real special for our showrunner, Graham Yost, to want to do that.

But with him or with Tim [Olyphant], I would be there, in a moment’s notice. It’s really hard to lay Boyd Crowder down and it’s hard to lay down the relationship that I had with Tim’s character, Raylan Givens. You know, I even miss saying the name…”Hello, Raylan.”

The way you just rolled it off your tongue… such relish, such fire. It meant a lot of different things at different times. It’s like, how many meanings does Sam Jackson have for “motherfucker?” It’s the same thing for “Raylan Givens.”

It would be really hard to improve on the final line, “we dug coal together.” Which was such a perfect, poetic end for a show that never tried to be fancy with its storytelling, but got to the heart of this very unique relationship. Absolutely. It wasn’t a world that was supposed to be fancy. Raylan doesn’t talk very much. He’s taciturn by nature, whereas Boyd Crowder is an eloquent, poetic killer. And a charmer.

Speaking of men who aren’t that fancy, we start the second and final season of Vice Principals with Lee having finally ascended to the throne at the school. The king! The king of all kings! [laughs] The biggest office in the building.

And he’s also remade the school in his image, which is really something. Yes, like America, know what I’m saying? [laughs] I’m joking. Yes, he has remade the school in his image, because you know, he’s a narcissist. I’m surprised he didn’t put up more mirrors.

I really like the painting [an over-the-top one of Lee that I won’t spoil here] that he has in the office. That’s one of my favorite production touches. [laughs] Me too man! When they wrote that, I just had no idea what they would really look like, and then they showed them to me for the first time, and I just could not stop laughing. But they only showed me one at a time, because in the story something happens, and there’s a new painting installed in the principal’s office. And it’s even funnier and more perfect than the first one.

How would you describe Lee’s sense of style in general? Whimsical. One of a celebration, just a rainbow of joy and happiness. Sarah Trost was our wardrobe designer, and I think it’s the first time she ever worked with Danny. And I’ll never forget the first day that I met her, and the conversation that ensued, and what she pulled out of her case. As wardrobe designers do, she fundamentally dialed into what Lee was going to be for me. I think Danny would say the same thing about her.

You know, we know a lot of people in the South—both Danny and I, and Jody and David for that matter [Editor’s Note: Jody Hill is co-creator, director and executive producer of the show, and David Gordon Green is a director and executive producer on the show; both are frequent collaborators with McBride]—that you don’t know whether they’re gay or they’re straight. You know, they’re these effeminate kind of guys in the South that are so lovely, they’re so wonderful, and this was kind of an amalgamation of a few of those people that I knew. Continue Reading →

Apr 16, 2015

Justified: 6×13 ‘Promise’ Series Finale Captures

Apr 16, 2015

Justified: 6×13 ‘Promise’ Series Finale Captures

I’ve added HD captures from the series finale of Justified into the gallery.

I have to admit it’s very bittersweet to close the chapter on this story, but what a beautiful way to end the series.

Apr 14, 2015

Esquire: Walton Goggins on the End of Justified, Boyd, and Working with Tarantino

Apr 14, 2015

Esquire: Walton Goggins on the End of Justified, Boyd, and Working with Tarantino

ESQUIRE: In the penultimate episode, Shea Whigham plays an almost prophetic character that takes Boyd to task a bit. Before Boyd shoots him, he defiantly insists he knows who he is and doesn’t care about his legend. Is that true?

WALTON GOGGINS: I can’t believe that this is what you’re starting with, and I’m so grateful you are. Shea Whigham, first and foremost, I am such an admirer of his creative constitution. He is such a gifted actor, and we were so incredibly lucky to have him be, as you put it, a prophetic figure for Boyd’s future. But it also represents where he’s come to in his psyche. I think it’s the psychological Rubicon that Boyd crosses that he cannot come back from. It’s indicative of the mental state he’s in. That storyline was debated for a long time. They had me killing the very guy who represented all the things Boyd has seen and celebrated bout himself. He sees himself as a defender of the disenfranchised. Even though he sold them drugs, even though he made money on the backs of the poor, in his own perverted moral code [he] feels himself to be a defender of those rights. If you look back at every public forum Boyd has spoken in front of, he is in some ways talking about that. And when they asked me to kill this person, I had a very difficult time with it. I felt it was unnecessary. I didn’t think we had come to that place. I thought this was an action he’d never be forgiven for, that it is a bridge too far for who he is as a person. And when they said this is something we really wanna do, I acquiesced and saw the way I can do it and still be true to this person. And that is, let’s explore philosophically where Boyd is coming from in that moment, understanding that Boyd is doing something that disgusts him and he is disgusted not only with his action. He is disgusted with himself, he is disgusted with the life he’s been leading, and then he goes into his speech. When he says, “You think you’re better than me? Look at you. You’re disenfranchised and don’t even know it. Me, I’m my own man.” He’s saying, “I had freedom,” when in essence, it’s just an opaque defense for what he’s about to do. And when he raises that gun and says, “I’m an outlaw,” it’s with disgust, but that’s how low Boyd has dropped in the pursuit of that which he ultimately needs, and the extent he’s willing to go in order to get that.

But by that point, we’ve already seen Boyd kill Carl and doggedly pursue Ava with dubious intentions. Does all this expose Boyd as having always been ultimately dishonest with himself about himself?

I do, yeah. He is beginning to be honest about who he is as a person and his inability to escape who he is as a person. And it runs contrary to his actions for the last three years, which has been a desperate need to get out of the water and breathe air and real freedom, which is a life without crime, to move past his violent heritage and the role that he is supposed to play in perpetuating his own family legacy. If you look at everything he’s done violently, it has been to escape his lot in life. And how he’s cutting off the head of the thing he most loves in the world besides Ava. And why does he do that? I feel that if you really look at the course of this show and who Boyd is, the people he’s killed have always been according to his moral code. He’s a person that you know where you stand. I tell you up front: If you cross me, I’m gonna to kill you. This is where you fit in my life. He has done that with everyone, and Boyd’s only killed five, six people in the five years of this show, and yet he has this reputation. But I think the audience understands where they stand with Boyd, and [Whigham’s character] is a person who did nothing to him. But Boyd has, through his obsession with Raylan Givens, lost all sense of normalcy. He’s never had equilibrium, and now he’s more out of balance and more frenetic than he’s ever been. He’s not dictating his actions. His actions are dictating him.

Would you say Raylan and Boyd are mutually, singularly obsessed with each other?

That’s it. It’s that endless, overpowering obsession that each man has with the other that will lead to their ultimate downfall. It is that ego, that, “I am better than him, and I am going to beat Raylan Givens.” And it is Raylan Givens saying, “I am going to get Boyd Crowder. If I lose my job, if I lose my family, if I lose my reputation, if I lose my relationship with my daughter, then that’s the price that has to be paid.” And those are two people that have lost all sense of reason. They’re unreasonable people, and Boyd points it out [in “Collateral”]. Boyd says to Raylan, “Why you wanna get me so bad? There’s a lot of bad guys out there. Why me.” And he’s just articulating Raylan’s obsession. And in the same breath, Boyd’s just as obsessed with beating Raylan.

It might be easier if they stopped being coy and stubborn and sat down for a therapy session.

[Laughs] It’s true. Here’s the irony in their dynamic: It is Boyd’s obsession with Raylan Givens that will ultimately lead to his end. It is Raylan’s obsession with Boyd Crowder that will ultimately lead to his end. The thing neither one of them realizes is if either one of them got what they truly wanted, they would have a life without meaning. Hopefully, what they both will learn is you’ve been looking for reason in the wrong drawer. The reason for living is not because this other person exists for you to rub up against, it’s because the world is beautiful. And that is a rock-bottom place that a person needs to reach in order to come to that conclusion. And I can say, without getting in trouble, that that is a place both of them will come to.

Apr 9, 2015

Justified: 6×12 ‘Collateral’ Captures

Apr 9, 2015

Justified: 6×12 ‘Collateral’ Captures

I’ve added HD captures from the newest episode of Justified into the gallery.

Apr 9, 2015

Justified: 6×13 ‘Promise’ Episodic Still

Apr 9, 2015

Justified: 6×13 ‘Promise’ Episodic Still

Check out this still of Walton from the series finale of Justified into the gallery.

Apr 2, 2015

Justified: 6×11 ‘Fugitive Number One’ Captures

Apr 2, 2015

Justified: 6×11 ‘Fugitive Number One’ Captures

I’ve added HD captures from the newest episode of Justified into the gallery.

Mar 30, 2015

Justified: 6×10 ‘Trust’ Captures

Mar 30, 2015

Justified: 6×10 ‘Trust’ Captures

I’ve added HD captures from the newest episode of Justified into the gallery.

Mar 20, 2015

Justified: 6×10 ‘Trust’ Episodic Stills

Mar 20, 2015

Justified: 6×10 ‘Trust’ Episodic Stills

I’ve added 3 high quality stills from Tuesday’s all-new episode of Justified.

Mar 20, 2015

Justified: 6×09 ‘Burned’ Captures

Mar 20, 2015

Justified: 6×09 ‘Burned’ Captures

I’ve added HD captures from the newest episode of Justified into the gallery.