July 27, 2023

CABLE | Timothy Olyphant Shoots 'Justified: City Primeval' on FX

"Look at the marshal doing cop work."
Timothy Olyphant Vivian Olyphant Dave Andron Michael Dinner | Justified: City Primeval FX
Sony Pictures Television Studios / FX Productions
Timothy Olyphant's seminal cowboy lawman, Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, created by famed American pulp novelist Elmore Leonard, is finally back. Continuing where the six-season neo-western Justified series (adapted from the short story "Fire in the Hole") left off on FX, this sequel miniseries continuation wisely takes the novel City Primeval: High Noon in Detroit, another Leonard crime saga that notably does not feature Givens character in it, as its source material.

Adapted by veteran Justified writer/producer Dave Andron and original series director Michael Dinner, the eight-part series places Raylan as a fish out of water in Detroit as opposed to the conceit of him going home to rural Eastern Kentucky, where everyone knew his notorious family ties. How the showrunners effortlessly graft City Primeval's literary storyline onto Olyphant's iconic role as Marshal Givens makes for a thoroughly engrossing piece of episodic entertainment.

A zany Boyd Holbrook takes over where Justified's long line of southern big baddies left off as the cold-blooded killer known as the "Oklahoman Wildman" in a character seemingly designed for his usual villainous persona as a charismatic badass with no remorse. In another bit of inspired creative casting, Olyphant's actual daughter (Vivian Olyphant) also plays his on-screen kin in a naturalistic performance as a delinquent teen along for the ride.

What's most refreshing about Justified: City Primeval is how it both easily stands alone but is still a familiar extension of Justified's serialized storytelling that's also properly aged since it went off the air. Raylan has clearly lived a whole life since last we saw him ride off into the Kentucky sunset for the shores of Miami. It's both original and familiar in its adaptation of previously published and seen material into its own new thing for audiences.

Justified: City Primeval airs weekly on FX. It's available to stream on FX Now (and on Hulu in the U.S.) and will be on Disney+ Star in Canada starting August 30th.


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