The drama Justified is currently airing on Tuesday nights at 10 PM ET on the FX network . I had the opportunity to join a conference call with Natalie Zea, who plays Winona Hawkins, the ex-wife of Timothy Olyphant‘s U.S. Deputy Marshall Raylan Givens. (I’ve noted when it was my own question.) Here’s what she had to say. Continue reading
Natalie Zea of Justified on FX interviewed about the show, Timothy Olyphant and her career (exclusive video)
Justified is the best new show on television. I’ve covered since it premiered and it’s clear that it’s having an impact, garnering tons of positive press and a loyal army of fans.
This is one of those cases where no-brainer typecasting was exactly the route to go. Timothy Olyphant played a mean sheriff on Deadwood so they got him to play a mean Marshall on Justified. And, why not? He’s great at it. Trust me, you don’t want to get into a smoldering stare contest with U.S. Deputy Marshall Raylan Givens, nor do you want to draw down on him. You especially don’t want to draw down on him. Either way, I tell ya what: you’re gonna lose sumthin’ awful.
But Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens is not your standard white hat (you gotta give it up: that hat is bad-ass). What sets the character, and Olyphant’s performance apart from other bad-ass law enforcers on television is his shame, regret and confusion that accompanies each of his kills. He gets that look before each showdown, where he has to stay hard and alert so the perp won’t win, but what he really wants is for that perp to put down their weapon so one more death won’t take one more chunk out of Raylan’s soul. But that rarely happens, so Raylan has to fire, and (thus far) there’s no quicker gun than him.
And for a second, as the smoke still rises from his pistol, Raylan looks like he’s going to be sick to his stomach. Because he just killed a man who didn’t need to die. And because he’s afraid he’s beginning to like it. He’s becoming the killer; the type he hunts as a U.S. Marshall. Is this who he truly is? Why is he like this? Can he alter this course? Has he been running from his true identity?
The pilot sets the tone, the theme and the central dramatic question of a series. The pilot for Justified opens with Raylan Givens giving a killer an ultimatum to surrender or die in exactly 60 seconds; just as the timer runs out, the con pulls a gun and Raylan shoots and kills him. Did Raylan provoke him? Was this the only way to bring the man to justice? Was this shooting justified? The episode ends with him telling his ex-wife that he never thought he was an angry man. She replies: “Raylan, you’re the angriest man I’ve ever known.” And this troubles him.
Like William Munny in Unforgiven, is he in fact the man that everyone says he is? A stone-cold killer?
The best way for a man who’s runnng from his past to confront his demons is to send him back to his home town. So that’s what the show’s creators have done; this forces Raylan to face his family, old friends and old enemies alike in his search for the true man that he is.
The writers also do a fantastic job at finding reasons for quick-draw matches pretty much every week. This comes as no surprise to fans of creator Graham Yost, an industry veteran screenwriter, producer and director, with such credits as Speed, Broken Arrow, Boomtown, Band of Brothers and The Pacific. Yost brings exactly the right balance of character and plot mechanics to the series, and he knows how to convincingly build to that inevitable, oh-so-satisfying six-shooter showdown.
And it all stems from the stories and characters of Elmore Leonard. So there’s a brutally cool creative team behind this show, and it’s paying off.
If you haven’t tuned in yet, do it now. Watch it. You’ve got precisely 1.5 seconds before I draw this firearm. And when I shoot, I aim to kill.
Did I forget to mention the sexy Southern Belles?
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MAD MEN NEWS: Season 4 begins July 25 and AMC denies the show will end after Season 6! Is this a HOAX?
IT IS COMING! For the fourth July in a row, the greatest television series on Earth returns to lay waste to our Sunday nights with its wit and brilliance and genius and style and darkness.
If you’re a fan, the anticipation is killing you. The questions abound.
What year will it be?
Will Don and Betty be divorced?
Will Betty still be with that Henry Poole dingus?
How will the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce agency be doing?
Will Pete have been made partner? Will his tennis shorts have lengthened?
Will Peggy have found a guy or embraced that dormant Greenwich Village lesbian that we all know lurks inside her? Speaking of…
Will Sal still be trolling for rough trade in the Lambda Lambda Lambda section of Central Park or be back home, settled snugly with his no-longer-clueless wife Kitty?
Will Guy the Brit wonder get his other foot chopped off by some sort of lawn maintenance machine?
But that’s not the only big Mad Men news to drop in the past 24 hours.
Or is it?
The story goes that Matt Weiner announced at the NAB convention that the show will end after its sixth season in 2012. But the only source for this story was the wordpress blog weeklyblend.com, and the article in question is riddled with typos and grammatical errors, thus leading one to wonder about its legitimacy.
Following this story, AMC quickly issued a denial…
A spokeswoman for AMC assures that no end date has been set for the show and issued this statement on behalf of the network: “No one wants to see Don Draper wearing a leisure suit. We trust Matthew’s vision and that he knows where to take the show. But with that said, M*A*S*H figured how to stretch the Korean War for more than a decade, so stay tuned! “
But even that statement sounds like a fake! Stay tuned, because methinks there may be more to this story.
Related story: Christina Hendricks’ Letter to Men in Esquire (photos).
So we should order scotch, say the word “panties” a lot and always smell good and we’ll snag a woman like Christina Hendricks, got it, guys?
But we should ALSO not use Facebook and not wear tank tops? Obviously, she hasn’t seen the majestic beauty of my Farmville property nor the gun show I’ve got attached to my shoulders.
Here’s her complete missive…
From the premiere of the FX drama series “Justified,” created by Graham Yost based on stories by Elmore Leonard, starring Timothy Olyphant, Walton Goggins, Joelle Carter and Natalie Zea.
video: Dan Calvisi
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Another solid episode of The Office. Lots of good things happening here, with some terrific lines.
Functionally, it got rid of Pam’s mom as Michael’s girlfriend (good thing), it maintained Pam’s crazy spats and Jim’s fear of said crazy spats (good thing, although I hope the spats don’t disappear once she delivers the baby), and it featured another of Dwight’s schemes to dethrone Jim (always a good thing).
And the episode had a schoolyard fight. Well, it didn’t quite deliver on the fight, although the writers wisely knew that if there’s a fist on the mantle in act one it’s gotta punch in act three, but it had all the requisite drama with an amusing buildup in which the office mates were forced to choose sides and pretty much everyone rooted for Pam to knock out Michael. Toby even went so far as to teach Pam how to throw a punch.
Jenna Fischer was particularly strong in this episode, so I gotta give her props. And it’s great to see that she took time out of her grueling schedule of promoting her airbrushed magazine covers.
But before we get to the physical violence, the lunch date scene was a classic uncomfortable Michael Scott moment in which he makes the right decision (break up with her) for the wrong reasons (she reminds him of his unfulfilled life and imminent death) at the absolute worst time (on her birthday in front of Jim and Pam).
Michael: “I am not robbing the cradle. If anything, I’m robbing the grave.”
The dumping of Pam’s mom was uncomfortable, but not quite cringe-worthy for me as I don’t have anything invested in her character and don’t want a love interest for Michael other than Holly, even though Holly has the problem of not bringing any conflict. They’re TOO well suited for each other, but unlike Pam and Jim, they are a very entertaining team to watch. So, writers, I ask you to please bring back Amy Ryan, even if only for a couple episodes, so that we may get more inspired bits like…”Slumdunder Mifflinaire!”
With the brutal breakup, we are reminded that Michael can be a really shallow jerk (reminiscent of an older episode where he went on a blind date and told the woman about Jan and her breast implants) but I don’t believe he’s malicious; it comes from a place of complete ignorance of himself and social norms; that he could go that long without knowing the age of the woman he’s sleeping with, and then once he finds out decide to immediately dump her, is not an act of malice, but an act of cluelessness. And that’s why we love him.
But the Oldenburgs weren’t the only couple bucking horns. One of my favorite moments was Jim busting Pam on her fake emergency:
Lots of little moments struck gold:
- Kelly complimenting Pam’s mom on her necklace and then shaking her head “no” to the camera.
- Ryan’s photography project of office nudes, with Kelly as the first model.
- Creed being relieved that the emergency paper shipment was not real, because it was never supposed to get there.
- Jim can’t call off the fight because Pam “looks crazy” but he can work on a solution if Michael can give him a week, maybe two.
- Andy is unable to let a favor go unreturned, leading to a war of pleasantries between him and Dwight.
It all leads to high noon at closing time.
Michael: “Am I scared of getting hit in the face? No. Every day, dominatrixes get paid by weirdos for just that privilege. I’m scared I’m gonna love it.”
Out in the parking lot (which is apparently far enough so as to be off company grounds?), the gang waits in eager anticipation of the big hit. Kelly’s even enjoying a pre-game snack…
Michael: “Are you eating popcorn?”
Kelly: “It has almost no calories.”
Michael apologizes to Pam and she stands down, until he mentions that her mom was the one that came on to him first. So it’s open season…
Phyllis: “Holy crap.”
Pam: “You okay?”
Pam: “Yer okay.”
Jim: “Feel better?”
Pam: “No. You were right.”
We end on Michael’s interview in which he describes how Pam’s slap gave him an instant vision of his future life, which includes four kids, a hover car, a hover house, wealth, happiness and eternal life.
“It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s enough for me.”
Dan’s Scriptomatic Cinematic Telematic 3D!
also published on joeonthetube.com
Related: See Mindy Kaling’s webisode music video “Male Primadonna” here.