"I've been accused of being a lot of things... inarticulate ain't one of them." -- Boyd Crowder
Elmore Leonard's books are basically written television shows. Meaning they fly by on the backs of tight dialogue and just enough narrative to push you along to more tight dialogue. He was once asked what his secret was for writing such readable books. "I just skip the boring parts," he said, because he is a legend.
Anyway, Justified was based on a book of short stories Elmore Leonard wrote, and -- when it first came out -- a traditional, basic law-and-crime show. Each episode had a small "whodunnit" element to be solved, but the backbone of the season focused on Boyd Crowder, aka one of the five best characters ever on television, and his family. But once the show cleared its throat of that first basic season, the criminal world in and around Harlan, Kentucky, opened up, and the show morphed into something special with an uncanny chemistry between Boyd and Raylan Givens, the protagonist. I don’t want to compare it to Deadwood just because Timothy Olyphant was also in that, but it does feature a quiet lawman and an exquisitely articulate bad guy, plus a cast of side characters who are willing to scheme, cheat, and kill in creative and damaging ways. If you can only watch one season, skip right to season two to behold Margo Martindale's character, Mags Bennett. And beware if she offers you a drink.