14.8 C
Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Why Actors Seem to Love Justified

If you remember 90’s television, you remember Touched By An Angel. It felt like actors would go on that show in a half-assed attempt to make up for getting on an embarrassing tabloid cover. Well, FX’s Justified feels similar, in that it feels as if actors go on there to make up for being in something shitty. I can science, so I have evidence to back this up.

If you’ve read my initial Boba Fett speculation piece, you know that I love this show (like, weird man-crush on Timothy Olyphant love), in spite of the fact that I’ve only seen the latest season of it. Here I will present four actors who were vital to this season, and why I think they came on the show to make up for crappy projects.

Exhibit A
Exhibit A

Raylan’s kind of a main character (there’s a lot of them, but he’s the big one), and I think this comparison is the best example I could use.

While Timothy Olyphant’s filmography looks like the sidewalk (occasional goodies, but mostly shit), Hitman was a bigger disappointment than Live Free or Die Hard. Hitman was a movie we all wanted to be good, and tried to be good, but it still sucked. It was fun, but it shows why some video games work as video games. However, Justified allows you to feel good about him being on your TV screen.

In “Justified”, he plays Raylan Givens. I wanna say he wears a white hat because he’s the good guy (he is a Deputy US Marshall, after all), but the fact is that he’s too much of a dick to be a good guy. He’s an Appalachian Cowboy, and he knows it. He has no problem blasting criminals left and right, he’s one of the funniest characters on the show, and we love the fact that he’s an ass.

Exhibit B
Exhibit B

I’ll be honest- I’ve never seen Eurotrip. Tim Gutterson, however, is the newest reason I now want to. All I really know about it is that it’s exactly what it sounds like, Kumar said it sucked, Dawn from Buffy’s in it, and this.


Yes, that was Matt Damon, and yes, the man flying in at the end is Jacob Pitts.

Jacob hasn’t been in much, but I love his character on “Justified”. Deputy Marshall Tim Gutterson is a retired sniper in the US Army Rangers with PTSD, and he’s more or less the Tonto to Raylan’s Lone Ranger. Pretty much the same problems as Raylan, but to a lesser extent.

Exhibit C
Exhibit C

I’m probably gonna piss some people off with this one, but I don’t really care. I actually debated whether or not I should, as a fanboy.

Jim Beaver’s known for many things, most notably his fan-favorite character Bobby Singer (named after director Robert Singer) on the long running CW series “Supernatural”. I put it in here because, as much as I love it, the last couple of seasons have been one long disappointment. You can blame Eric Kripke for leaving, you can blame McG for not helping the writers, you can blame the fangirls for keeping it going when it should have died with Season 5, it really doesn’t matter. I started watching for the “Monster of the Week” factor, not the emo crap that’s engulfed the show or the NON FUCKING STOP angels and demons bullshit. More importantly, have you seen Season 8?! THERE’S HARDLY ANY STORY ARC. It’s running on pure fumes, has been for a while.

*exhale* Now that you know how I feel about my beloved Supernatural, let’s move onto Sheriff Shelby Parlow. When we first meet him, he’s in the pocket of drug kingpin Boyd Crowder (as well as his cousin Johnny and other cousin/girlfriend Eva.- remember, this is Kentucky) As the season develops, we get to know him more and just how complicated he is. Besides, look at him!

Just to prove a point.
Just to prove a point.

If you don’t recognize the picture on the left, consider yourself lucky. That, right there, is the character of Burt Hummel from “Glee”. He mostly exists for us to get a look at the parents of gay teens in America, as his son Kurt’s kind of a main character.

Mike O’Malley was also a protagonist on the sitcom “Yes, Dear”, but let’s talk about why “Glee” gets way more attention than it ever deserved. The idea is to do an entire show around a small town’s musical theatre club, with every fucking episode turning into one mini-musical, and all the teeniebopper garbage that comes with it. For one, the assumption that small town schools even HAVE a musical theatre club, let alone enough funding to do the elaborate shows that cap every episode (which never have any attendants) is simply insulting.  As a former high school drama nerd, I can tell you right now that any representation of an ACTUAL small town high school shouldn’t have any funding at all, let alone enough to fund the art department for fuck all. Personally, I can’t help but feel betrayed when the writers ignore the fact that across America, arts departments are vanishing due to major budget cuts, but that’s a topic for another day. Secondly, the fact that the athletic department head has a rivalry with the musical club head is hysterical, as it implies that a successful athletic head has the humility to pay attention to anyone in the arts section. Thirdly, they try to set it in a small town, but the amenities that this school has simply don’t exist in any small town high school I’ve ever heard of. Urban schools, definitely, but not a small town school. That’s not even touching the controversy surrounding their covers that engulf the comments on half of the YouTube videos they steal from.

To play devil’s advocate, they try to act as a medium for social commentary (as a good TV show should), using high school as an allegory for America at large. Unfortunately, they do this while mixing in half-decent song and dance numbers while giving minimal credit to the artist in question. The covers themselves aren’t bad, as I actually enjoyed the disabled kid’s acoustic cover of Billy Idol’s “Dancing With Myself” (in spite of the fact that it rips off Nouvelle Vague) and the gay couple’s a cappella cover of Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream”. Sadly, the randomly bursting into song and dance removes any seriousness that could’ve been given to the show. Then again, just look at the comments on any YouTube video for Jonathan Coultan’s cover of “Baby Got Back” or Nouvelle Vague’s cover of “Dancing With Myself” and enjoy, or simply watch the Rocky Horror episode (in which Dr. Frank N. Furter is not a fit caucasian male, but an obese black woman, substituting the speedo for a miniskirt. I like the message, but was it necessary to do that to the beloved Frank?)

In general, I can hardly tolerate the show. I much prefer the asshole he plays on “Justified”. Yes, the show has more assholes than a swinger’s club, but this is the only villain on the list. Nicky Augustine is a mob boss out of Detroit, running the Dixie Mafia on the hunt for a fugitive that’s been eluding both criminals and police alike for more than 30 years by convincing everyone that he died shortly after robbing the National Bank of Panama.

I apologize for the ranting about the projects the individuals were on beforehand, and I’m sorry if it felt like I was advertising the show itself, but the fact is that it feels as if they come on the show in an attempt to make up for the crappy projects they were in beforehand. I hope you enjoyed, stay classy.

An aspiring filmmaker coming from a military family, my solitary life allowed me to gain an intimate knowledge of geekdom. I specialize on horror and military, but I am also knowledgeable on science fiction, fantasy, comic books and classic cartoons.

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