But that doesn't mean the show is lost, yet. I won't go too much into Treme right now, as I'm planning a joint post with new contributor Robert Downey hopefully by tomorrow, but I think there are some interesting initial overlaps to ponder.
Justified, despite the terrible—terrible—name and the none-too-subtle recasting of Deadwood's Timothy Olyphant as a—wait for it—unorthodox sheriff with a silent, gruff streak, is actually pretty damn well made. The pilot episode, arguably the best of the three total episodes (available on Hulu for your work-defying pleasure), takes its subject, American Nazis, and paints them with a David Simon Brush. That is, the plot blends seemlessly with all the grit and uneveness of SS tatoos and ramshackle churches turned into Neo-Nazi Confederate clubhouses. It all kind of begs for descriptors with captial letter: the Other; Exotic; the Voyeur; et al. But it kind of works. It's not exploitative (though who's gonna go to the mat for exploited Nazis), it's sort of political when it needs to be, and above all it's patient with its imagery and pacing.
Granted, I don't see a lot of legs in Justified since Olyphant's character is woefully underwritten. But as we saw in The Wire, sometimes great things take time to develop.
Now, about that there Treme ...