A Thing for Witty Gunslingers

I finished watching season 1 of Justified two days ago.  Once the credits for the finale rolled, I found myself wondering what else has Timothy Olyphant been in? and why does Raylan Givens, a man with a quick wit and an even quicker gun, giving me the school-girl-crush fuzzies.  Netflix sadly has season 1, none of the streaming sites I frequent has season 2, and FX Canada doesn’t show Justified since it has to finish its contracted run on Superchannel.  (One premium channel, HBO, I can do.  Two pushes my entertainment budget.)  I got that buzz one gets and want more of it.  In the meantime it’s a great excuse to finally watch Deadwood.

While my brain occupied itself with the everyday details of life, the other part of my brain wrestled with the warm fuzzies over the lawman.  The character’s whole being sounded…familiar.  It hit me one day during a scene as Raylan walked into Boyd Crowder’s camp.  He wore a long, black, coat against the Kentucky cold.

Then it hit me.

The last time a quick-witted character with a gun caught my attention, he walked the other side of the law. Heck, he walked in a totally different universe.  Ladies and gentleman, I believe Raylan Givens and Malcolm Reynolds are brothers from different ‘verses so to speak.  Raylan and Malcolm do not fully occupy their given roles.  Mal never felt comfortable as a crook while Raylan runs into trouble with his superiors as an US Marshal.  These two creations also spring from writers with similar sensibilities despite their dissimilar mediums . Elmore Leonard and Joss Whedon are both known for their sharp dialogue and giving their characters a distinctive look.  (Raylan with the hat while Malcolm has the coat.)  It helps to have handsome, yet talented, actors fully embody their roles to leave an imprint on an audience.

I know this is not Shakespeare, or foreign policy, but a fun comparison to mull over.  If you haven’t seen Justified and have Netflix, go have a look.  I think a re-watch of Firefly is in order.

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