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Our Picks For Best TV Writers Are...

12/31/2015 12:03pm EST
Best TV Writers of 2015: 'Suits,' 'The Player' And 'Justified'
We've reached that time of year: where we spend the last week of 2015 looking back on the best that TV has brought us. Over the next five days, I'll be bringing you profiles of some of the greatest performances and most impressive moments from the year on the small screen.

Today we move on to:

Best TV Writers of 2015: Suits, The Player and Justified

Firstly, I think we should admit that we don't give as much credit to the writers of TV shows as we should. For all the fantastic actors out there (and there are many), even the best actor can be brought down by a bad script. These three sho...

Dances With Films 2015 Profile – Valerie Brandy & 'Lola’s Last Letter'

6/24/2015 11:00am EDT
Lola Pics
With the Dances With Films Festival 2015 having been such a daunting film watching event for one movie geek, sadly some stellar work inevitably falls through the cracks. One such gem recently brought to our attention was an original and at times heartbreaking drama titled "Lola’s Last Letter." In the film a young twenty-two year old ex-con named Lola decides to create a video apology letter for a mysterious man named Henry as a penance of sorts for unknown events. The film is the brainchild of director/writer/producer/actress Valerie Brandy (who also served as editor - but refused to tak...

'Justified,' TV's Equivalent Of A Great American Novel

4/14/2015 12:05pm EDT
Saying Goodbye To 'Justified': Is This TV's Great American Novel
If you're a reader, you've probably heard the expression "Great American Novel." It refers to a fictional work that displays the culture of the United States at a specific time, and figuratively, is the term for the greatest American book ever written.

As the last episode of FX's Justified is on the horizon, it becomes apparent that the Timothy Olyphant led series could be TV's equivalent of the Great American Novel, both literally and figuratively.

One needs only to look to its ultimate source: Elmore Leonard, one of the great authors in American history. His writing could never be compa...

'Justified' Cast Talks Series Finale, How Will It End?

4/13/2015 12:05pm EDT
'Justified': The Cast Reflects Before The Series Finale
As FX's Justified wraps its six-season run of excellence this Tuesday, we had one more opportunity to ask its cast and producer how it's been so good. Starpulse joined series stars Timothy Olyphant, Joelle Carter, Erica Tazel and Jacob Pitts, as well as executive producer Graham Yost, at the Paley Center for Media last week to look back on the show and ponder the future.

"It's been amazing," reflected Joelle. "They say art is like life and I think it's so true. I think I have grown with Ava. I've grown in my own capacity as an actress to evolve and to trust myself more, and they've given m...

'Justified': The Penultimate Episode Rundown

4/8/2015 10:02am EDT
'Justified' Recap And Review: 'Collateral' - Just One Showdown L
After bodies started to hit the floor last week, everything continues spiraling out of control in this week's penultimate episode of Justified. One more recurring character buys the farm and another probably isn't far behind, while both Raylan and Boyd are invited to start questioning their motivations - but neither are interested in doing so. By the end of "Collateral," everyone's in trouble and you get the sense that this show is going to come down to who's the better survivor.

While Boyd gets a new ride at gunpoint, Tim and Art find Raylan's car and his badge, much to Art's massive anno...

'Justified': Ava Is 'Fugitive Number One'

4/1/2015 9:05am EDT
'Justified' Recap And Review: 'Fugitive Number One' - Killing Th
Last week on Justified, Ava Crowder had her Network moment and did a terrible thing. This week's episode is all about the fallout of that decision, namely how she's just become "Fugitive Number One." Complete with headshot on the corkboard in the Marshals Office. She's really gotten herself into it this time, and everyone else has gotten themselves into it because they failed to handle her.

What nobody knows is that this episode actually has very little to do with Ava at all. The best (or worst, depending on your perspective) is yet to come.

Art un-retires himself to deal with these lates...

'Justified' Recap: Trust

3/25/2015 10:37am EDT
'Justified' Recap And Review: 'Trust' - As In, You Shouldn't Tru
We're now into the final four episodes of Justified, and so naturally it's time for some bullets and betrayals. This week's installment, "Trust," is all about people who should not have trusted other people, and paying the price for that faith. You certainly didn't expect everyone to stay on the same sides forever, did you?

Katherine is ranting to Duffy about last time's explosion, although she still doesn't think that highly of him. He reminds her that they're still on the same side, except for that they're not, and tells her to find out if Markham is going to move his money out of the va...

'Justified' Turns Up The Heat This Week

3/18/2015 10:02am EDT
After doing a little more character introspection last week, Justified turns up the heat, literally. "Burned" takes a look at one character who is, one who might be, and one who nearly gets blown up. There's also a dead snake, the improper use of a tanning bed, and one big answer to a repeatedly asked question. It's a busy week in Harlan.

Naturally, there is a US Marshal team meeting between to discuss the fact that Ava is now burned as a CI. When AUSA Vasquez walks into the meeting and gets the news, he's unsurprised and questions Raylan's tactics.(Who on this show has not questioned Rayl...

'Justified' Gets Back On Track

3/11/2015 10:02am EDT
'Justified' Recap And Review: 'Dark As A Dungeon' - Of Deaths An
After stumbling for the first time last week, Justified gets back on track with "Dark As A Dungeon," which wraps up the loose end that is Ty Walker while also continuing along its subtle track of making parallels all the way back to season one.

Raylan is doing some housecleaning over at his father's place, because one should properly store one's shotgun and flush any pills before selling said house, when he finds his dad's footlocker full of various keepsakes. Raylan being Raylan, he takes it out into the front yard and lights it on fire. The only thing spared is a key that he elects to ho...

'Justified' Recap And Review: 'The Hunt' - One Marshal And A Baby

3/4/2015 10:06am EST
Remember when Raylan Givens became a father? The baby Givens has been understandably overlooked for most of the final season of Justified, but Willa is front and center in "The Hunt," along with her mother Winona (a returning Natalie Zea) and oh yeah, all those bad guys we're still trying to find.

Picking up where last week's episode left off, Raylan, Rachel, Tim and associates are still looking for the wounded Ty Walker (Garret Dillahunt), who isn't going to get any help from Markham or surviving henchman Seabass (Scott Grimes), whom Markham bribes to abandon his former CO.

But Raylan ba...

'Justified' Recap And Review: 'Alive Day' - In Which People End Up Dead

2/25/2015 9:03am EST
'Justified' Recap And Review: 'Alive Day' - In Which People End
For an episode called "Alive Day," this week's Justified deals an awful lot with death. As in, several people meet theirs by the time the credits roll. This is how it always starts on this show: first the small fish start to be bumped off, then the next thing you know we're climbing the food chain until there's a whole collection of bodies. But who's really deserving of their demise?

Naturally, this episode picks up near where last week left off, because that ending was too intriguing not to do something with. Boyd is understandably suspicious to find Raylan's car out in front of Ava's hou...

'Justified' Recap: 'Sounding' - Ava's Gone Missing?!

2/18/2015 7:15am EST
'Justified' Recap And Review: 'Sounding' - Ava's Gone Missing?!
The last time we saw Ava Crowder, she was in a panic, so it's no surprise that this week's episode of Justified starts with her and is heavily about our favorite former criminal. In "Sounding," Ava's still convinced that Katherine Hale knows she's a mole, and so makes a drastic choice to protect herself. One that Raylan, who has probably never had a moment of panic in his life, does not like.

Ava is biting her nails while Boyd goes on again about their potential future; she expresses her skepticism about his plans. As they roll through a state police checkpoint, the troopers notice that sh...

'Justified' Recap And Review: 'The Trash And The Snake' - Many Unhappy Returns

2/11/2015 9:04am EST
'Justified' Recap And Review: 'The Trash And The Snake' - Many U
In the fourth installment of its last season, Justified drops some massive hints about what's to come in its massive criminal slugfest, then treats us to the returns of two former characters and one person who literally explodes. We're not kidding. This is a big episode, as if you expected anything less.

The morning after last week's episode, Boyd and Ava appear to have kissed and made up, but as soon as he leaves their hotel room she's on her phone and then out the door to meet with Raylan. He reminds her that he's not asking her to sleep with Boyd, which she uses to take a dig at him abo...

Erica Tazel And Jacob Pitts Talk Saying Goodbye To 'Justified'

2/10/2015 12:08pm EST
Erica Tazel And Jacob Pitts Talk Saying Goodbye To 'Justified'
On Justified, Raylan Givens is deservedly front and center. But Raylan's world would be nowhere near as entertaining without the presence of his fellow US Marshals, newly anointed Chief Deputy Rachel Brooks and the constantly deadpan Tim Gutterson. They've been two bright spots on the show for its entire run, and we always welcome seeing more of them.

We sat down with Erica Tazel and Jacob Pitts, who bring Rachel and Tim so perfectly to life, at FX's recent Television Critics Association to get their thoughts on wrapping up their characters now that Justified is in the midst of its swan so...

'Justified' Recap: 'Noblesse Oblige' - A Kidnapping And A Fatherhood Lesson

2/4/2015 8:47am EST
'Justified' Recap And Review: 'Noblesse Oblige' - A Kidnapping A
So now that we know the major players in the final season of Justified, and they know who they all are, just what the heck are they all going to do? That's the general thrust of "Noblesse Oblige," in which everyone pokes at everyone, someone winds up in a barn, and Raylan does damage to somebody else's reproductive ability.

Where does one start? Well, first things first, it's been six hours since last week's episode and Boyd and Ava are now drunk on the bar. Literally on the bar. But Boyd's attempt at getting some action is derailed by Ava getting a text message - she tells him she's got t...

Garret Dillahunt Talks 'Justified' Role: 'He's Not Afraid Of Anybody'

2/3/2015 12:01pm EST
Garret Dillahunt Talks 'Justified' Role: 'He's Not Afraid Of Any
Garret Dillahunt is That Guy. When he turns up in a project, you sit up and take notice, because you know that it's going to get even better. Such is the case with FX's Justified, which recruited Garret to play incoming antagonist Ty Walker, raising the tension and adding even more talent in its sixth and last season.

After our chat about his award-nominated comedy work on FOX's Raising Hope, we couldn't help but ask him about returning to the proverbial dark side. Here's what Garret had to tell us Friday about finally joining Justified, and what else this game-raising actor has been up to...

'Justified' Recap And Review: 'Cash Game' - The Bad Get Worse

1/28/2015 9:05am EST
'Justified' Recap And Review: 'Cash Game' - The Bad Get Worse
After we returned to Kentucky with a bang last week, Justified keeps the tension up with "Cash Game," the second episode of its final season. It gives important information to both the characters and the audience, as plots and people's identities start to come into focus, including some more fantastic guest stars plus another scene-stealin performance from Jacob Pitts that's the cherry on top.

Ava's having another inebriated morning, interrupted only by the realization that there is someone in her backyard barn. She grabs her revolver and heads that way; not pleased to find Boyd there, she...

'Justified' Premiere Recap And Review: 'Fate's Right Hand' - In With A Bang

1/21/2015 9:11am EST
'Justified' Premiere Recap And Review: 'Fate's Right Hand' - In
So, here we are: the beginning of the end of Justified. There's sadness that comes with that, obviously, given that this has been one of television's consistently excellent shows from the day it went on the air a little less than five years ago. But there's also a sense of excitement, because "Fate's Right Hand" proves that this show is not screwing around, and is going to finish things off as strong as it's ever been.

Winona is still raising Raylan's daughter Willa, and wondering why he's not there considering that he was supposed to be headed their way. But the reason why is obvious: it'...

'Justified' Season 6: What Does Jere Burns Say About Wynn Duffy's Longevity?

1/20/2015 12:04pm EST
'Justified' Season 6: Jere Burns Talks Wynn Duffy's Longevity
Wynn Duffy keeps finding a way to not die. The charismatic lieutenant of the Dixie Mafia has been working his criminal ways for the entirety of Justified's tenure, whether it's on his own or by allying himself with the person most likely to keep him alive.

And that's actually a very good thing, because Duffy is played by the charming and talented TV veteran Jere Burns. Because he's such a joy to watch, you almost don't mind that Duffy never quite seems to get what he deserves.

We sat down with Jere on Sunday at FX's Television Critics Association presentation to discuss Duffy's surprising...

'Justified's' Cathy Baron On Season 5 And Dares For Charity

6/1/2014 4:01pm EDT
Cathy Baron
On Justified, Cathy Baron is playing a woman of ill repute. Yet off-screen, she's tirelessly working on behalf of a number of good causes. Last year, Cathy partnered with LifeKraze to promote healthy eating, and now she's on Darelicious raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She rejoined BFTV to talk about her latest venture - which involves a gangster rap video (?!) - and her return to Justified this past season.

Darelicious is a different kind of fundraising platform; instead of offering rewards for contributions, those raising money are, as the title suggests, dared to do ...

'Justified' Recap: 'Restitution'

4/9/2014 9:08am EDT
'Justified' Recap: 'Restitution'
It's that time again: the time in which Justified wraps up another violent, complex and witty season. This time around, it's tempered slightly by the knowledge that next season will be the show's last, and some of the pieces for the ultimate end are already in play. With that in the back of our minds, let's say goodbye to Season 5 and look forward to what this tells us about Season 6.

Daryl Crowe is already mouthing off within the first thirty seconds (and unwisely getting into a staredown with Tim Gutterson; we would not want to cross Jacob Pitts). No one at the Marshals Office is amused ...

Graham Yost On 'Justified's' Season (And Series!) Ending

4/8/2014 2:08pm EDT
Graham Yost On 'Justified's' Season (And Series!) Ending
Graham Yost is one of our favorite showrunners of all time, because he's a genius and because he's always willing to explain said genius. Previously, Graham let us pick his brain about The Americans, which he executive produces. But we know him best as the showrunner of Justified, which ends its penultimate season tonight. Here's what Graham had to say about the conclusion of Season 5, the end of the entire series next spring, and the one show on broadcast television that he loves (hint: so do we!)

"You’ll see a big shift in the finale," he said of tonight's episode. "You’ll see what happe...

'Justified' Recap: 'Starvation'

4/2/2014 8:26am EDT
'Justified' Recap: 'Starvation'
Justified is quickly coming to an end; there's one more episode left in Season 5 after tonight, and then just one more season for one of the best TV series in recent memory. Knowing that, and with what happened last week still on our minds, we're looking for the saga of the Florida Crowes to wrap up in a big way starting now. And we are not disappointed by this next-to-last episode.

Wynn Duffy is telling his colleagues that both Picker and Boyd are dead, but we know this is a lie, and the drug cartel guy he's trying to convince doesn't believe it either. Duffy is willing to say anything to...

'Justified' Recap: 'The Toll'

3/26/2014 8:25am EDT
'Justified' Recap: 'The Toll'
There are only two episodes of Justified's fifth season left after tonight, so it's no surprise that things have been getting real for awhile now. The death of a Crowe last week is just the beginning of the usual mayhem that leads up to a Justified season finale. Part two is - after foreshadowing it with several episodes of his being limited to ominous cameo appearances - putting Art Mullen in the line of fire.

Having murdered Judith in the prison chapel, Ava is cleaning up in the nearest bathroom when Penny (Danielle Panabaker) appears, and the two try to act like nothing is wrong. It's o...

'Justified' Recap: 'Weight'

3/19/2014 8:57am EDT
'Justified' Recap: 'Weight'
Justified started out as more of a family drama than a law enforcement one, and that continues in Season 5 and especially in "Weight," which continues to tell the story of the Florida Crowes as their family continues their tailspin.

While Dewey Crowe seems awfully sane for a guy who hit a DEA agent last week, his family members are making up the crazy, as they're dealing with plenty of problems - including Dewey on the run, Kendal being missing (again) and Raylan investigating the accident that put Agent Miller in the hospital.

Meanwhile, Boyd once again thinks he's one step from freeing ...

'Justified' Recap: 'Wrong Roads'

3/12/2014 9:10am EDT
'Justified' Recap: 'Wrong Roads'
What happens when Raylan Givens goes on vacation? A lot more than ever would happen on any of our vacations. But that's to be expected, because nobody wants to watch an hour of Justified that involves Raylan taking his daughter to Disney World or looking for a parking space at the mall.

But before we get to that, we're still dealing with the misfit brigade, who've at least managed to find their way into the United States, so they've accomplished something since we saw them last. They're still trying to move product back into the country, while Boyd and Daryl are drinking in the back office...

'Justified' Recap: 'Whistle Past The Graveyard'

3/5/2014 8:58am EST
'Justified' Recap: 'Whistle Past The Graveyard'
Can you believe we're in the home stretch of Season 5 of Justified? Neither can we, but this is indeed the eighth of thirteen episodes in the penultimate season. Maybe it's also a placeholder for the final four, too, because it's lacking something outside of a strong performance by Alicia Witt.

After a whole bunch of people got shot up last week, Boyd and the Crowes are not popular with their international business partners; they get to live, but the partnership is on very unsteady ground. Our ragtag band of criminals finds themselves having to get dead bodies back across the border, along...

'Justified' Recap: 'Raw Deal'

2/26/2014 9:51am EST
'Justified' Recap: 'Raw Deal'
After its Olympic hiatus, Justified is back, and it was definitely worth waiting two weeks for. While the show continues to find ways to push Alison into the plot, everyone else has plenty to deal with, whether it's Raylan being taunted by an unlikely foe or Boyd and Johnny finally having it out with each other.

Daryl and Danny Crowe are arming up for their new "business trip," which is going to send them, Dewey (Damon Herriman) and Boyd to Mexico in search of Johnny (David Meunier). Meanwhile, Ava is still sporting several reminders of being jumped in the prison yard, and Penny (Danielle ...

'Justified' Recap: 'Kill The Messenger'

2/12/2014 8:25am EST
'Justified' Recap: 'Kill The Messenger'
How do you follow up a pivotal episode of Justified? Break some stuff, kidnap some guys, and make Raylan Givens angry. This is basically everything that any sane person should never do, which means damned if it isn't fun to watch.

Art's already kind of drunk when Raylan finds him, which isn't a good sign. A worse sign is Art punching Raylan, which seems to indicate that Art has put all the pieces regarding Nicky Augustine's death together. The look on Raylan's face as Art leaves him there says all we need to know. And that's our entire teaser. One scene with one word of dialogue in it. How...

Justified: Best And Worst Moments Of 'Shot All To Hell'

2/5/2014 1:46pm EST
Well, this episode certainly was all over the place, wasn’t it? It’s pretty par for the course for season 5. Every episode so far seems to overdose on storylines, without sticking around to the really compelling scenes for very long. Here are the best and worst moments from “Shot All to Hell.”

Best: The Old Boyd is Back

For the first few episodes this season, Boyd spent most of his time meandering through plotlines. He had a mission to get Ava out of prison, but it lead him on many different paths, including dealing with Detroit bad guys, Mara the Russian bride, and Mooney the corrupt cop...