Why you should be watching... Justified 2 months ago

Why you should be watching... Justified

Razor-sharp dialogue, memorable villains and the coolest cowboy on TV...

Considering we’re all spending a lot of time indoors these days, the JOE team has picked out viewing recommendations for TV series, old and new, to get stuck into to keep boredom at bay. 

Title: Justified

Starring: Timothy Olyphant, Walton Goggins, Nick Searcy, Jacob Pitts, Erica Tazel, Joelle Carter, Jere Burns, Natalie Zea

Where can you watch it? Sky Store / Amazon Prime Video

Number of seasons/episodes: Six seasons, 78 episodes

IMDB rating: 8.6 / 10

Why you should watch it: Okay, Raylan Givens isn't officially a cowboy.

He's a deputy US Marshal. Still, he's imbued with a cowboy swagger, spirit and toughness that makes him one of the coolest characters on TV, one who you root for from the very beginning.

Justified, which ran for six seasons between 2010 and 2015, is a true diamond in the rough. It was never the most-watched show and it barely won any awards but critics and fans agree that it's one of the best written programmes of the last decade.

Givens sprung from the pen of the late Elmore Leonard, so there was a standard to uphold from day one. The premise is simple; Raylan is reassigned to his hometown of Lexington, Kentucky following the "justified" shooting of a gangster in Miami. Once home, trouble finds him regularly.

So far, so clichéd. The magic of Justified, though, is the people in front of the camera and the often desperate individuals they portray. Step forward Walton Goggins, in particular, so good in The Shield and arguably even better here as Raylan's former friend turned deadliest foe, Boyd Crowder.

Justified takes a little while to get going - season one mostly feels like a 'villain of the week' situation as the writing team find their feet - but once it does, it's highly addictive, wildly funny, oddly heartwarming and populated by an endless rogue's gallery that would make Batman jealous.