Justified City Primeval Review 2023 Tv Show
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Justified: City Primeval Review 2023 Tv Show Series Season Cast Crew Online

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Justified: City Primeval Review 2023 Tv Show Series Season Cast Crew Online

This summer, the man with the hat is finally back. No, I’m not talking about Indiana Jones here. Real ones know the season’s most exciting revival is happening over on FX, where, eight years after Justified wrapped up its sixth and final season, Timothy Olyphant is once again putting on Raylan Givens’ iconic Stetson to star in a brand-new limited series – Justified: City Primeval. For fans, the mere fact that Justified is returning in any form is enough to celebrate, although before we can get into the superlatives – and don’t worry, there will be superlatives – folks should know that City Primeval isn’t exactly a direct continuation of the original show. Nope, instead of dropping Olyphant’s dogged U.S. Marshal right back into Harlan County, Kentucky, the new series moves him to Detroit, where Raylan gets embroiled in an entirely new case starring a wholly new cast of characters.

Like Justified‘s original run, City Primeval is based on the writings of famed crime novelist Elmore Leonard, though the book it’s specifically adapted from doesn’t feature Raylan as a character. Instead, the show’s creative forces, showrunners Michael Dinner and Dave Andron (both of whom worked on the original series), have taken an unrelated Leonard novel and jammed Raylan into it, attempting to mimic the original Justified in spirit without necessarily picking back up with any of the individual stories that were being told there. Considering there was so much more to love about Justified other than just Olyphant’s unflappable presence, it’s fair to ask if such an endeavor could work.

Well, I’m happy to report the answer to that question is an emphatic yes. And while you may occasionally find yourself wistful for Harlan during City Primeval, the new show offers up a batch of new cops and crooks that are compelling and colorful enough to carry on the Justified name. And, of course, there’s Olyphant at the center, not missing a beat as he slides back into the role as smoothly as Raylan draws his pistol from his holster. It’s clear some years have gone by since the original show ended, and not just thanks to Raylan’s now graying hair and salt-and-pepper goatee. Yellowstone, today’s most popular TV neo-Western, gets name-dropped in the first episode, and there are a lot more F-bombs sprinkled into the dialogue than what FX would allow back in the day. Yet watching Raylan back on the job feels like reuniting with an old friend. Once he’s staring down some criminals, with a glint in his eye and hands on his hips as if wryly amused by the whole ordeal, it can feel like no time has passed at all.

City Primeval starts where the original series ended, with Raylan still working as a U.S. Marshal in Florida where he’s also co-parenting his now 15-year-old daughter, Willa (played by Olyphant’s real-life daughter, Vivian Olyphant). A chance highway encounter with a fugitive from Detroit sends him and Willa both north, where Raylan expects to quickly testify during a court hearing and then return home. But after there’s an attempt on the life of a big-time judge, the Detroit Marshal’s office decides to keep Raylan around to help the local police investigate the case. He’s assured there’s already a solid lead and that he’ll be back home in 24 hours, but, as is usually the case in the world of Justified, things get complicated in a hurry.

Here, the biggest complication comes in the form of Clement Mansell, a.k.a. “The Oklahoma Wildman,” a grifter and killer who treats Detroit as his personal playground to let his psychotic tendencies run amok. Mansell is played by Boyd Holbrook and is the latest in a long line of Justified villains who have outsized personalities and enjoy running their mouths at least as much as they do causing mayhem. Holbrook has done a lot of good work lately (including playing a more fantastical villain in Netflix’s The Sandman), but his turn as Mansell might be career-defining. He’s a full-on maniac in this – singing his heart out to rock songs he blasts from the radios of cars he steals, prancing around his girlfriend’s apartment in his tighty-whities, scratching his balls with a pistol, and enforcing his will on every mark or two-bit criminal that comes within his orbit. (“What am I doing?” he asks rhetorically at one point. “Whatever I want.”) Of course, no one is going to completely match up with Walton Goggins‘ Boyd Crowder, Raylan’s regular arch-nemesis from the original series, but Holbrook, who coincidentally also faces off against Indiana Jones this summer, comes closer to matching Goggins’ energy than you might expect. He’s riveting in every scene in which he appears, and City Primeval‘s biggest strength is the combustible dynamic between Mansell and Raylan.

The rest of the new cast holds their own as well. Standouts include Vondie Curtis-Hall (Marvel’s Daredevil) as an aging bar owner and one-time criminal who used to roll with Mansell’s previous crew and Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor (King Richard) as an ambitious Detroit attorney who gets involved with Raylan both professionally and personally. City Primeval also features a fun cast of revolving guest stars – folks like Keith DavidPaul Calderón, and David Cross – who feel right at home in the Justified universe. The plot takes the sort of wild twists and turns viewers of the original show grew accustomed to. Though the new series’ story starts off simple enough, it eventually expands into a sprawling crime saga that involves everything from a stolen painting to a gang of revenge-minded Albanian mobsters to a notebook full of bribes and payoffs that is basically a “key to the city” for whomever possesses it. At its core, Justified is a “cop show,” and City Primeval does include a few small nods to evolving feelings on policing in America. (“Everybody doesn’t get to be angry the way you do!” a lawyer barks at Raylan early in the show’s run.) But while the show might paint its Detroit characters in slightly more shades of gray than the cops and crooks of Harlan were, there’s never any doubt that Raylan is the hero fans of the genre still deserve. Or, as an ex-cop who Raylan visits at one point tells him, “Look at you, still giving a fuck.”

Any criticisms I would lob at City Primeval wouldn’t rise to a level above being a nitpick. For the first few episodes, you may find yourself wondering if including Raylan’s daughter was necessary at all, especially since the writers broke continuity to age Willa up and cast Olyphant’s daughter in the show. Both the character and the performance end up feeling a bit muted. (It might not be fair to compare, but let’s not forget that Kaitlyn Dever gave one of the best kid performances ever during Season 2 of the show’s original run.) It ends up not much mattering, though, as Willa ultimately doesn’t play as big a part as those early episodes might have you believe. Also, while the new cast is incredibly strong, it proves impossible for them to measure up to Harlan County’s regular crew in just eight episodes. Or, to say it another way, you’re still missed, Wynn Duffy!

The show ultimately arrives at an extremely satisfying finale that serves as both a fitting endpoint for a stand-alone miniseries and a tantalizing tease for adventures that could still lie ahead. Who knows how long we’ll have to wait before Olyphant considers donning the white cowboy hat once more, but, by the time City Primeval ends, I did find myself thinking about something Raylan tells his daughter in its first episode. “There’s no such thing as on time,” he says. “You’re either early or you’re late.” In most regards, that may be true. But in the case of this show, Raylan Givens, perhaps the 21st century’s coolest TV hero, came back to us at exactly the perfect time. I’d like to think that will continue to hold true moving forward.

Justified: City Primeval Review 2023 Tv Show Series Season Cast Crew Online