"Longmire" Review: It's Like "Justified," For People Who Think "Justified" is Too Dense
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"Longmire" Review: It's Like "Justified," For People Who Think "Justified" is Too Dense

By Dustin Rowles | TV Reviews | June 12, 2012 | Comments ()


A low-rent "Justified" is not exactly a bad thing during the summer, but that's about what A&E's new series, "Longmire," amounts to.

Based on a series of mystery novels written by Craig Johnson, "Longmire" stars Robert Taylor (Agent Jones in The Matrix) as Walt Longmire, a grizzled sheriff of a small Wyoming town. Longmire, who has a remarkable resemblance to a Lee Majors' character, is an old school sheriff; he doesn't carry a cell phone, doesn't bother with computers, and hands out Hound of the Baskervilles as training material.

When the series opens, Walt is struggling to get back on his feet after the death of his wife under undisclosed circumstances (clearly, the circumstances surrounding the death of his wife will act as a series' long arc). Once he crawls out of bed and gets back to work, he's faced with the prospect of running a re-election campaign against his deputy, a sort of know-it-all cowboy type (Bailey Chase, Graham Miller in "Buffy"). His other, more loyal deputy is played by Katee Sackhoff in button-down collared shirts, an out-of-town transplant not yet comfortable with the ways of Wyoming. The county that Longmire is Sheriff of also abuts an Native American Reservation, and Walt's old friend Henry Standing Bear, played by Lou Diamond Phillips, serves as a liaison to the Native Americans when he's not tending bar.

"Longmire" -- which debuted last week with A&E's highest ratings ever for an original program -- is a slow-moving, formulaic procedural bookened by an ongoing storyline, but it has the comfortable worn-in feel of a USA Network show set in the dusty plains of Wyoming. The murder investigations are seedy (so far, one dead prostitute, one dead stripper) and unfold predictably, Walt is gruff but likable, and while the storytelling is meandering, it's written well enough to keep your attention.

It's easy watching, but what it is missing -- like most procedurals of this nature -- is a compelling villain, a Big Bad to keep you coming back. As it is, "Longmire" is a decent enough show to fill the time, but not exactly a show worth seeking out.

"True Blood" -- "Turn! Turn! Turn!": A Time To Kill, A Time To Heal | "Mad Men" -- "The Phantom": Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Bri guy

    I saw the first episode and thought it started out well, and then fell apart so badly, that I haven't watched another one. When you start talking to the characters to tell them not to do something...because you can see it a mile away..and then it happens..it's time to find something else to watch. I suppose I should watch another episode to give it a fair chance.

  • sailboat

    cancel this shit, have her play a modern-day Starbuck in Justified as a new marshall and watch brains explode

  • maliu

    Katee Sackhoff is amazing & it was because of her that I wanted to see this show. I only wish Hollywood felt the same way because they keep putting her in crappy roles, she deserves more Starbuck.

  • ksand

    If you've read any of the books, you will be disappointed at the changes they've made to put it on TV (Walt is too young, Henry is too small, Ferg is an idiot, ethnic tension between white cops and indian cops, many more problems). Especially since the author, Craig Johnson, was supposed to be intimately involved with the production of the show. I'll keep watching to see if it gets any better, but the first episode doesn't bode well. Maybe I'll check out Justified.

  • Salieri2

    There is no downside to checking out Justified. Go! Run!!

  • Bert_McGurt

    I caught the first episode, and it was...middling. Not terrible, but not awesome either. But it'll do well because some people just love westerns. I'm sure my dad is all over this show.

  • dizzylucy

    Someone just recommended this show to me, knowing how Justified obsessed I am. Didn't know Katee Sackhoff was in it. I'll have to give it a try, but go in knowing that without Timothy, Walton, and the rest of the awesome Justified cast, it won't compare.

  • Siege Johnson

    Maybe the deputy will become the big bad? I already dislike him, but probably because he shot Penelope Garcia that time. Agreed though that it needs something else to up the stakes a bit. Unfortunately, not every show can have Walt Goggins.

  • TherecanbeonlyoneAdmin

    Exactly what I thought it would be. There. At least it's not reality TV.

  • chanohack

    I was just wondering last night what Katee Sackhoff is up to.

  • Pookie

    Wyoming doesn’t strike me as a place of runaway crime or much of anything else, maybe the dead prostitute and stripper died of both boredom and hunger.

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