There's really no reason why I should like Justified on FX. I'm not familiar with the source material (an Elmore Leonard character, have never read anything by him), I know nothing about and haven't really had any interest in Kentucky or the US Marshals Service, and well, this is definitely a "manly" show, with lots of guns and fights and criminals. But yet I found myself watching episode after episode and honestly, it's pretty fantastic.
A big part of it is Timothy Olyphant as the main character, Raylan Givens. He's definitely a big snub from the Emmy nominations. There aren't too many shows out there that demand a single actor to pretty much carry the entire show, but this is one of them. The supporting cast is great but I think they'd probably be better described as recurring. Generally Raylan's off on his own, which actually is completely fitting with his character.
Let's back up. First of all, the US Marshals Service, for those of you who don't know exactly what they are (I didn't), is a federal law enforcement agency responsible for such things as apprehending fugitives, transporting prisoners, and protecting court officials and witnesses. At the beginning of the series, Raylan Givens is a Deputy US Marshal working out of Miami. In a meeting with a fugitive, Raylan draws first and shoots and kills the man point blank in a move that he called "justified" (hence the name of the series). This lands him in hot water and gets him involuntarily transferred back to his home state of Kentucky.
There, he immediately gets himself into some trouble involving some people from his past, including a childhood friend turned white supremacist/terrorist turned bible thumping preacher, Boyd Crowder, played by the terrific Walton Goggins (which reminds me that someday I should really watch The Shield, another "manly" show). From there the show kind of goes back and forth between continuing that storyline and with more standalone type episodes.
So Raylan is definitely a unique guy. He's kind of the embodiment of "speak softly and carry a big stick." He's got the polite Southern manners but doesn't hesitate to administer justice however he sees fit. And he wears a cowboy hat and boots. Now Timothy Olyphant is definitely a good-looking guy to start with, but when he puts on that hat? I don't know what it is, I've never had a thing for men in cowboy hats, but Raylan Givens is HOT.
Unfortunately this is kind of a late review...the season finished up back in June but I'm still catching up, and not all the episodes are not available online. But it has been renewed for a second season so I definitely encourage everyone to put this on their list of shows to check out!