Friday, March 12, 2010

New TV series, JUSTIFIED. Check it out!

A couple of months ago, I saw a promo on TV for a new series that immediately made me sit up and take notice. It was a quick 30-second commercial, but instantly, I turned to my wife Mary and said, “That looks like an Elmore Leonard story.” I couldn’t remember the name of the show at the time but began watching for it to appear again. When it did, I saw this time that, indeed, it was a show based on an Elmore Leonard character. I’d grasped that immediately in the first frames of the promo. It just “looked” like a Leonard story and character.

I became genuinely excited. I’m a huge Elmore Leonard fan and had sworn off ever going to see any more of his work in a movie after what they did to his work in “Get Shorty.” I should have realized how bad they were going to mess that up when I saw John Travolta was going to star in it. Travolta should never even get near the set on a Leonard movie. Leonard has never written a character Travolta should play. Present-day Hollywood doesn’t “get” Leonard. He writes dark, dark, dark comedy, bordering on noir. My guess was that the Harvard MBAs in charge of “Get Shorty” didn’t grasp Leonard’s unique stories as his intelligence was above their paygrade. I thought perhaps it was just me and was gratified to read an interview with him about a year ago when he said pretty much the same thing and vowed never to let Hollywood ruin one of his novels ever again.

Then, they announced they were making a movie based on my favorite of Leonard’s books, Killshot, and I groaned. This book is a work of genius and they’ll probably get Travolta or Danny DeVito to screw it up…

And then… I saw this promo! Instantly, I knew this was a Leonard character. Just the “look” of the characters, the “action” of the brief scene, told me instantly this was something only Leonard could write. And it was. I knew it from the “feel” of the first frame of the promo. Now, I just hope it delivers. I have a feeling it will.

The series is called “Justified” and begins on FX at 10:00 pm EST on March 16, 2010. It’s based on one of his best characters, U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens.

The only thing that makes me wary is that I’ve since learned that most of the series is shot in California. One of the settings that’s crucial to the atmosphere of Raylan’s story is the state of Kentucky. I’m not sure how they can create that in La-La Land or how they’re going to make it look like Kentucky, but I’ll try to suspend my disbelief in that.

I can’t wait!

(For a great article on the show and a video of Elmore giving an interview, go to:

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