Is Raylan Givens Justified?: The Ethics of [Fictional] Harlan County

U.S. Deputy Marshal Raylan Givens does his job by a simple rule: shoot if it’s justified. Complete with his trademark stetson hat, the hero of FX’s crackerjack drama Justified is in every sense a modern day cowboy; a man who seemingly fears nothing and never winces when it comes to pull the trigger. It’s not so much that Raylan likes killing and shooting others, but rather he simply has no qualms with it. He loves his job and will do about anything to uphold the law, though not always through the traditional marshal methods. It’s because of this almost trigger happy attitude that Raylan is transferred from Miami back to his home state of Kentucky where he’s forced to encounter the various family members and hillbilly criminals he tried to get away from years ago. Upon returning home Raylan learns first hand that each character that makes up the colorful world of Harlan County, Kentucky seems to have their own moral code and ethic system that means to justify their actions.

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Louie Louie: Comedian, Showrunner, And All-Around Auteur

This piece is less of a review or critic; it’s more of a brief look into what I love about Louie and what Louis C.K. has done with the role of a showrunner.  In the spirit of the show I didn’t preplan extensively what I was going to write and instead just put down whatever came into my head.

I love Louie for reasons I dislike many sitcoms.  It has no standard structure, no clear rules within the show’s universe, and an inconstant cast (many of which are reasons why Glee is such a mess).  And yet it uses all this qualities, which would normally be considered flaws and turns them into great assets.  With each episode of Louie you never know what you’re going to get.  One episode is almost entirely a flashback, another is a few laughs somber drama, and others can be just purely funny.  Community may play around with structure and the conventions of a sitcom, but Louie challenges the notion of what it means to be called a half hour comedy.  Sometimes a plot covers a whole episode, others may take up only a third, and then the episode plays out as a series of short films.

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