FX, Tuesdays, 10 p.m. ET/PT |
A rollicking blend of crime procedural and backwoods western, Justified leaves a viewer smiling in satisfaction-you may even want to put up your feet and push a wide-brimmed hat, real or imaginary, toward the back of your head. In season 4, U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) is calmly trying to untangle the latest passel of low-lying snakes that routinely trouble his corner of Kentucky, Harlan County. His papa (Raymond J. Barry), who's already in prison, is somehow linked to a decades-old cold case that turns on a dead man attached to a parachute. Meanwhile Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins), who prides himself on his tenure as the area's drug lord, is defending his turf against a surge of salvation stirred up by a shady young preacher (former Jurassic Park kid Joe Mazzello). What gives the show its kick is the gleefully childish lack of repentance shown by most of these rascals—countered by Olyphant's coolly amused control. He's the parent to the wildest family outside Hatfields & McCoys.
Do No Harm
NBC, Jan. 31, 10 p.m. ET/PT |
"Mr. Hyde" isn't a condition listed in the psychiatric diagnostic manual, but it's such an overdone story that maybe it should be. At the end of a hard day at the hospital, neurosurgeon Jason Cole unwillingly hands over his mind and body to an alternate identity, a depraved sociopath who calls himself Ian Price. The two selves are locked in a war for control, but Ian (being devious and all) has the edge at maneuvering. The show might work if Steven Pasquale (Rescue Me) had a script that allowed for bolder contrasts: At his worst, Ian looks fiercely displeased-it's the same expression most of us get when we can't download software.
COMMENTS? WRITE TO TOM: firstname.lastname@example.org
YOU'VE GOTTA SEE THIS...
Arrestingly original new drama, set near the end of the Cold War, about a married couple (Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys) who spy for Russia. FX, Jan. 30.
SNOOKI & JWOWW
To everything, turn, turn, turn, there is a Snooki, turn, turn, turn: It's time for the birth of her little son Lorenzo. MTV, Jan. 29.
SCREEN ACTORS GUILD AWARDS
Modern Family's Sofia Vergara, Anne Hathaway and Denzel Washington are among the A-listers vying for acting trophies. TNT, TBS, Jan. 27.
ANY WORRIES ABOUT PLAYING A SERIAL KILLER?
A lot of American actors-they probably went through a load before they got to me-don't like playing this kind of character. There's a risk you'll be disliked. I don't [care] whether you like me or not! We don't like Hannibal Lecter, but we do find him fascinating.
DO YOU HAVE PROBLEMS LETTING GO OF THE ROLE AFTER WORK?
I'm blessed with great drivers. You put your costume away, get in the car and then just talk s--- for the next 45 minutes. By the time I get home, I'm me again!
IS IT TOUGH FILMING AWAY FROM YOUR 3-MONTH-OLD DAUGHTER?
Tough, but a blessed sanctuary with a newborn at home. I love being with the baby, but, as any new father will tell you, all you want to do is get out of the house!
Tina Fey's 30 Rock, ending its seven-season NBC run Jan. 31, was as bright, light and taut as a miracle fiber. The jokes-smart, surreal jabs at culture and politics-never let up. A TV comedy about a TV comedy, it revealed Alec Baldwin's exquisite skill at unwrapping a punch line as if it were a small gift from Tiffany, and it was a launching pad for all things Fey. How do I feel about its passing? Blerg!
SARAH JESSICA JR.
YOU PLAY A YOUNG CARRIE BRADSHAW. HAVE YOU HEARD FROM SARAH JESSICA PARKER?
She sent me a letter giving me her blessing, which was thoughtful and lovely. Then I met her at Fashion Week. I envy her body. She actually has boobs! I have no boobs.
THE SHOW IS SET IN THE '80S, BEFORE YOU WERE EVEN BORN.
I've always been a fan. I was the weird kid who listened to the Bangles and Wham! And I love neon and big hair.
ARE YOU SIMILAR TO CARRIE?
I'm more relaxed, especially about boys. But I'm not a flirty person! Carrie has this great sex appeal, and I'm struggling to bring it because it doesn't come naturally.
DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE.
It's evolving. I'm getting influenced by Carrie and becoming more bold. Living in New York also changes what you wear: People really pay attention!
YOU GOT INTO STANFORD BEFORE LANDING THIS PART. STILL WANT TO GO TO COLLEGE?
I definitely do. I love school, and when I go, I want to enjoy it and not feel pulled. Right now I'm working all the time. I have no social life. I'm so exhausted, I can't even keep my eyes open!
It's touching to see Larry Hagman in his frail last days as Dallas patriarch J.R.-the actor, who died Nov. 23, had shot enough scenes to be a presence early in season 2 of TNT's reboot. That doesn't keep Dallas from being robust fun. Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) loses it when her gubernatorial bid goes off the rails, and everyone else screams about oil and love as J.R. smiles at the mess. This, to him, is hog heaven.