Friday, May 6, 2011

Two Atmospheric New DVD Series

We've got two wonderful new DVD series that combine thick atmosphere with colorful characters.

Justified, currently in its second season on FX, is best described as a contemporary Western despite the fact that one of the running jokes in the first season involves the fact that U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, our hero, is the only one wearing a cowboy hat and boots. The show is set in western Kentucky, where Marshal Givens is exiled after shooting a bad guy in Miami. Originally hailing from this area of the country, Givens encounters an ex-wife, an ex-girlfriend, an absent father and a variety of long-lost associates, a number of whom are involved in criminal endeavors (particularly meth dealing). Givens is cool in every tough situation and his old associate Boyd Crowder in particular is a fascinating supporting character. Despite moments of violence, the show remains funny and folksy. The character of Raylan Givens was originally created by Elmore Leonard and Justified retains Leonard's skill with dialogue (Leonard remains on as Executive Producer).

David Simon, the creator of The Wire, has returned to HBO with Treme, which celebrates post-Katrina New Orleans with an excellent ensemble cast. A waitress, a college professor, a lawyer, a Mardi Gras indian chief, musicians and more all try to reconstruct their lives after losing jobs, houses and loved ones in the hurricane. But forget about the plot - the story of Treme is of the music of New Orleans. Every episode of Treme features multiple musical performances and if there is ever a soundtrack that you will want to own, this is it. John Goodman, Melissa Leo and Steve Zahn are probably the biggest names in the skilled cast, though cameos from real-life New Orleans musicians and personalities abound. I visited New Orleans at the end of 2010 and Treme made me want to head right back.

Check our catalog for Justified or Treme

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