10 July 2013 | A_Different_Drummer
More proof TV is now better than the movies.. (UPDATED!!!)
We're not in Kansas anymore both literally and figuratively. Literally Longmire takes place in Wyoming. Figuratively it represents yet another persuasive piece of evidence for the view that higher quality product is coming out of TV than the studios these days. Whoda thunk it? Following JUSTIFIED and HATFIELDS/MCCOYS, we have this new entry and it is prime Grade A Entertainment. Arguably a little less showy than JUSTIFIED, it serves up each week a visceral portrait of an old-time lawman in the modern world -- Taylor is brilliant -- along with some intellectual thrills as well. In the first episode, Longmire justifies (pardon the pun) the fact that he was seen "reading on the job" by revealing the book he was reading -- and it's Sherlock Holmes. Recommended to keep your skills sharp, he explains. Also a nice blending of testosterone and estrogen, with Katee Sackhoff and Cassaday Freeman there to remind viewers that the Wild West was not merely a bunch of cranky old guys so macho they could jog home from their own vasectomies. Lou Diamond Phillips, a bit older now, is excellent in a supporting role. If all TV was this good, Hollywood would be out of a job..
ADDENDUM; I just upgraded my rating from a 9 to a 10 as I finished season 1. This show is a jewel. No wasted dialogue, no wasted camera angles, no wasted cuts. Easily one of the leanest productions in recent memory, and possibly should come with a warning that it is addictive. Sackoff's voice contains so many tones and nuances that I Google'd her, turns out she is not only a superb actress but a tier-1 animation voice too. Wow.
FINAL ADDENDUM 2018 -- Goodbye Team Longmire you will be missed -- this show had a "near death experience" with its original network and was "rescued" by Netflix. (Netflix in 2018 is growing so fast it needs a constant supply of product -- a topic well beyond the scope of this review). This is the point where i would like to tell you that, during the "Netlix" episodes, the quality was unchanged -- but I cannot say that because the quality fell significantly as did, I am sure, the budgets available under the new production deal. What used to be a legitimate "mystery" show with astonishingly strong background characters morphed into a character show with an actual mystery popping up only occasionally. Which meant that the Netflix episodes were really for diehard fans only. If you are newbie to the series, you cannot go wrong with the first few seasons. They are brilliant. If you are a fan, the last season and the big FINALE are a bit maudlin, but still comfortable. Will miss this show. A lot.