‘I still see suspicion in your eyes’: a guarded gaze from Deputy US Marshal Raylan Givens.

The Justified star is a very funny guy[1] although not everyone gets his humour, it has to be said.

In interviews he’d rather talk trash about his family or his pets than wax on about his latest TV show/film, which means every appearance is a blast as far as I’m concerned. Surely we’re all fed up with guests hell bent on relentlessly plugging their latest project and dodging all questions about absolutely everything else, including their personal lives?

The actor gets on swimmingly with talkshow hosts like Ellen DeGeneres[2] and Bonnie Hunt, who realise virtually no answer is going to be in deadly earnest and lead him on to subjects he can rap on to his heart’s content. Other interviewers take a while to catch on, taking him seriously for far too long before twigging that he’s being flippant. The added bonus of Tim’s approach is that viewers glean more of an insight into life chez Olyphant in general rather than just his views on his work.[3] Though naturally I’m sure he only reveals what he wants you to see.

So if you want to find out how ‘needy’ he finds his kids, if they think he’s cool or not, how he sneakily procured them a pet cat, or learn how his dogs threaten him when it comes to going for a walk, watch his interviews.

Bonnie admires Tim’s best-looking man head tilt, which he is somewhat charmingly able to reprise on cue, ever the consummate professional.

My problem with Justified is that I feel it’s gone downhill since the very first season. The characters then became so extreme that they ceased to be realistic. Surely not everyone in Kentucky is a trigger-happy drug dealer, whore, pimp, felon, crime overlord or cold-blooded killer? And is life really held that cheap there that folk shoot each other so casually on such a regular basis? [But who am I to judge when suddenly it’s everyone’s favourite show and a four-year-old in a town called Hopkinsville has just shot and killed his six-year-old sister?]

I confess that I’ve never been a particular fan of Elmore Leonard’s work ,[4] taking particular issue with his portrayal of women. The writers here seem to be falling into the same trap – their female characters are mostly smart-mouthed fast-talking untrustworthy propositions, with the exception of  Ellen May (Abby Miller). I’m all for a femme fatale but please let’s have some variety.  The men who aren’t homicidal maniacs are portrayed as simple dumb creatures bewildered by the actions and motives of a whole bunch of tricksy, foxy women.  Sometimes the male redneck roles verge on the retarded (these people must be hilarious because they’re so stupid) and frankly it’s getting old.


The frenemies briefly united in adversity.

I can appreciate that there can be black humour in every kind of situation but the scriptwriters are not locating it consistently. Sometimes you recognise a line that’s meant to raise a laugh but it just doesn’t work. It’s not funny enough and they’ve lost their way. The writing needs to be tighter and the lines need to be sharper.

I’m relieved that they don’t intend to turn Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins) into a cartoon baddie, as it looked for a while like it was headed that way. The obstacles on his quest to go straight and become respectable could prove dramatic dynamite. I approve of the introduction of Colt (Ron Eldard), a reasonably diverting individual, and can see the potential for all kinds of conflict there. But I still reckon Boyd’s ambiguous relationship with Raylan is one of the programme’s greatest hooks.[5]

Tim remembers when he had to stroke Walt Goggins in order to ensure his compliance in the first part of this chat about Season 4 of Justified.

Incidentally, cool dude Olyphant hasn’t bothered to enter anything on his Facebook page since changing his cover photo on 30 April (let me just check that was this year – oh yes, well that’s something at least), yet had still managed to rack up nearly 92,000 likes. Is less more in his case? Is he one of those people who never has to try too hard?[6]

Actually, I don’t think so. He could do with someone posting news and photos on his behalf. Otherwise he’s not really capitalising on any of those fans who’ve given him the FB thumbs up. He could be stimulating us with all his latest trailers, outtakes, fan art, archive pictures, whatever, to repay our interest.

Few celebrity Facebookers are as assiduous in updating their pages as Josh Henderson of Dallas fame. Josh can post a video of himself whining about how he spent one and a half hours trying to upload another video of himself making a sandwich. Yes, he makes a video of himself making a sandwich … then he makes a video about making the video about making the sandwich. You gotta love him. Perhaps he’s taken it to extremes, but he grants fans such great access that they experience a genuine connection and subsequently feel invested in his career and success. See previous blog on the multifarious benefits of ‘liking’ the new John Ross Ewing.

Here’s proof of Tim’s olyphantastic qualities as an entertainer as he tells his buddies about an encounter with Vince Vaughn at the Go premiere after party.

Check out the way he controls the conversation, makes sure to repeat himself if spoken over, puts a hand up to silence the others and let them know he’s still going. Nobody puts Timothy in a corner.

He’s fantastic [Vince Vaughn]. So here’s what he said. He said something nice to me. We were introduced because of Doug Liman, because he was there. And he said something nice to me. And I tried to repay the compliment. And sincerely by the way …

He said, ‘No, no.’ He interrupted me, he wouldn’t let me repay the compliment.

He said, ‘No, no, this is your night. This is your night. And you know why? Because, because, because [Tim has to repeat himself to make sure the others shut up and listen] you were a little bit of the sexy guy and then you were a little bit of the menacing guy. And you didn’t push, and you didn’t push. And you trusted yourself, and you trusted yourself.’ And he says, and he said, ‘And you did that, you trusted yourself. This is your night. What are you drinking?’

And I said, like, ‘Johnnie Walker Black on the Rocks.’

And he said, ‘Johnnie Walker Black on the Rocks.’ And he walked away.

And I’ve never seen Vince Vaughn again.

[1] Even if he does say so himself, as he does (jokingly) in the above chat with Walton Goggins, assessing his contribution as ‘hilarious’.

[2] But, OMG, what do they give the women in the Ellen DeGeneres Show audience beforehand? Please tell me they are pumped up on some pharmaceutical cocktail or jeroboams of high sugar content soda. I can’t watch it any more because their way-overexcited, juvenile screaming, shouting, jumping up and down and hugging each other drives me absolutely crazy. It’s not charming, it’s not funny. Frankly, it’s pathetic. And it seems that, the more frantic and high-pitched they are, the more likely they are to be pulled on stage to win prizes. And the stupider they are, the more likely they are to win more prizes. A recent episode featured a woman who didn’t know which country Paris was in. I’ve been at TV show recordings and I know that the host will try to work the spectators up into a frenzy of enthusiasm but this is too ridiculous and over the top. It’s not worthy of the Ellen I used to love. And why aren’t there any men in the audience?

[3] Although he does exclaim after one brief synopsis [‘My character’s has been sleeping with someone I shouldn’t have, he’s shot a few people and he’s about to get in trouble for it’] when asked to set up a clip from a Justified episode, ‘I mean, that’s a good show, right? … When’s that on?’ in the Bonnie Hunt interview above.

[4] But actually I did love the films of Jackie Brown and 3:10 to Yuma.

[5] See previous blog on the conflict between these kinds of frenemies at https://bashfulbadgersblog.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/southfork-revisited-a-look-at-the-new-dallas/.

[6] Now he’s past 93,000 Facebook likes without posting anything new. There’s no holding this guy back.

Boyd and Raylan photo from istudiogossip.blogspot.com.


5 responses »

  1. Roy J says:

    Justified isn’t supposed to be realistic. If you were expecting realism, honestly, the disappointment you feel is your fault. Especially considering Season 1 is the least realistic of the bunch. With how many people Raylan shot compared to seasons 2, 3, and 4, he should have been kicked out of the Marshal’s service about halfway through season 1. Marshals don’t get away with shooting everyone like he did.

    “their female characters are mostly smart-mouthed fast-talking untrustworthy propositions”

    And most of the male characters aren’t? Aside from the Marshal’s office, every single character, male or female, might as well fall under that description. That’s what makes the show one of the best on television. The dialogue is second to none.

    • Thanks for the feedback. All views appreciated. I did just start reading some Elmore Leonard while waiting for pain at the dentist and it actually is really good. So perhaps I did him a disservice in assuming it wouldn’t be my cup of tea.

      But I still like the first season best though I think the current one may be a return to form. In the second and third what was unexpected in the first just became predictable.

      Still believe the male characters show more variety than the females. Even though that variety may just extend to a few of them being dumbasses.

  2. […] If he hadn’t gotten into showbiz, Henderson might have played baseball or gone into modelling, one of those annoyingly beautiful and ripplingly athletic people with several strings to their bow. It’s like they got dealt a way better hand than the rest of us. I mean, how is it fair that Timothy Olyphant should also be a world-class swimmer? [And for more on Olyphant see https://bashfulbadgersblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/04/let-timothy-olyphant-entertain-you/.%5D […]

  3. monicayoung says:

    FX’s crime drama justified season 4 dvd box set
    comes back to the small screen on Jan. 8 , and the network has issued a new promo, “Raise the Stakes,” to prepare fans for the return of Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens.

  4. […] (nudging 173,000) have now outstripped those of Timothy Olyphant, who he’d been lagging behind in my last comparison, and is someone who rarely updates his FB status.[3] And by a pretty impressive margin, it has to […]

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