Laurel Clayton

This week’s Justified more than makes up for this season’s lulls. The Marshals go to war with Theo Tonin’s envoys over Drew Thompson, letting loose a thrilling torrent of barbs, blood and badassery. Not being a fourteen-year-old boy, I use the term “badass” deliberately and carefully, just as Justified delivers it. It comes not from […]

  Laurel Clayton

It was a straightforward, long-awaited Justified this week. In an opening scene, Raylan spells out that to “hash something out” comes from the French for cut; like hatchet, or as Raylan puts it: to cut through the bullshit. And that seems to be the intention of this episode. First and foremost – and huge spoilers […]

  Laurel Clayton

People are dropping like flies along the way towards Drew Thompson. It’s a murder-heavy episode, but the most important one comes first: Arlo Givens, Harlan County’s Worst Father, dies of a fatal meeting between scissors and heart. Like his son after him, Arlo goes out with pizazz, on his own terms. He dies fighting, and […]

  Laurel Clayton

Perhaps combined last weeks over-bloated Justified and this weeks light episode could have made one interesting story. The Drew Thompson Mystery does not appear to be complicated enough to pad out an entire season, and so Raylan faces yet more easily dispatched obstacles. To make up for Raylan’s strange storyline, Boyd attends a high society […]

  Laurel Clayton

“Footchase” reveals a key problem in Justified’s new direction: without a central villain to organize around, the episode drags along, weighed down by a mess of plots and characters. The Drew Thompson Mystery is interesting in previous meticulously balanced episodes, which the sixth episode certainly was not. The show struggles to balance the nebulous mass […]

  Laurel Clayton

After spending the first four episodes apart, Justified’s hero and anti-hero finally meet again, brought together by familial ties to this season’s increasingly complex central mystery. Appropriately, the episode is titled “Kin,” and after last weeks lull, it’s a return to form. Justified’s is built on the premise (thematically; very literally) that eventually everyone must […]

  Laurel Clayton

This weeks Justified was an inevitable lull. The plot this time around wraps up the loose ends created by more than a few birds flying the coop. The episode has little to do with the overall season, and winds up seeming a bit out of place with some badly delivered dialogue and inevitable outcomes. We […]

  Laurel Clayton

The title, “Truth and Consequences,” of this weeks Justified is an apt summary of the episode. Truths are revealed; consequences are felt. First: Raylan learns the truth about Lindsey. Now that Winona has left Raylan for Kevin Bacon, and the writers are, mercifully, not trying to spice up Raylan’s life with any kind of inner-turmoil, […]

  Laurel Clayton

The final season of Fringe was not a misstep, but a plummet off a cliff of stale, forced ideas. I am being melodramatic in order to care, at all, about the meandering storylines and wasted potential of this season. I can pinpoint the precise moment when my apathy turned to rage: in the ninth episode, […]

  Laurel Clayton

Breaking from its normal structure, Justified’s second episode, “Where’s Waldo,” simply picks up where the previous one left off. The episode replaces Raylan’s usual one-off marshalling story with a continuation of the investigation of the Panamanian diplomat bag found Arlo Givens’ walls in the previous episode. Meanwhile, Boyd’s burgeoning criminal empire continues to face problems […]

  Laurel Clayton

Why aren’t more people watching Justified? The show, now returning for its fourth season, which basically revolves around the fact that Timothy Olyphant totally pulls off a cowboy hat. Olyphant stars as Raylan Givens, a cowboy hat-wearing US Marshall, who solves crimes and is better than every one. Always. More people should be watching Justified […]

  Laurel Clayton

Read Laurel’s take on the Series Finale HERE. I started catching up with the most recent, and final, season of Fringe with a friend who had never seen the show before. Before watching, I made the naïve mistake of explaining what the show was about. To put it mildly, the final season of Fringe is […]

  Laurel Clayton

The 2004 BBC comedy, Garth Merenghi’s Darkplace is weird. To back this statement up, I was taken to experimental theatre from the age of five onwards, so weird entertainment and I go way back; I know my weird. Garth Merenghi’s Darkplace is only six episodes of the sort of intense, over the top insanity for […]

  Laurel Clayton

There’s an easy way and a hard to explain Cloud Atlas. The easy way: it simultaneously tells six linked stories taking place over the span of five hundred years. Individually these stories are (generally) easy to understand, and, just as importantly, easy to follow, as they weave in and out of one another. However, to […]

  Laurel Clayton

ABC’s Nashville purports to be about an aging classic country star unhappily joining forces with a rising pop-country star. I put off watching the first episode because I kind of hate watching pilots whose only function is to set up whatever wacky situation on which the show rests. Luckily, I underestimated Nashville: four episodes in, […]