When a beloved show is cancelled, often struggle to fill the void, sometimes for better, but more often, for worse. Here we decide whether what we're given now truly makes up for what we had then.
Justified (FX) as methadone for Deadwood (HBO)
WHY METHADONE: I was late to Deadwood—I binge-watched it on HBO Go not long before Justified premiered—so I saw a direct connection between the two, with Deadwood coming off as Justified's rough draft. Basically, if you thought Deadwood's real center was Timothy Olyphant's righteous sheriff and not Ian MacShane's greasy, foulmouthed mayor/pimp and hoped the show would get a little more focused and less up itself, then you have found your answer. Justified reunites you with Olyphant's character, except this go round he's smarter, less olde tyme-y, and not just less torn about his role as a Johnny Law, but soaking in it every chance he gets. Where he once dealt with shady local businessmen (if pimping is a business) and the Pinkertons, he now goes up against unbelievably shady local businessmen (lest we forget, frenemy Boyd Crowder's in the pimping game), the Dixie mafia, "the hill people," you name it. The only thing missing is the filth and the work "fuck."
WORTHY TREATMENT?: You should love Justified if you loved Deadwood, but admittedly, I'm such a huge Justified fan I think it should be loved by anyone with a pulse. Olyphant's so good at playing US Marshal Raylan Givens that the fun he as with the role is infectious; between his take on the character and the overall quality of the writing, the show completely avoids the trap most righteous lawman / outlaw shows fall into of taking themselves way too seriously (hello, Sons of Anarchy). Justified is almost fantasy-like in how deftly it has created the universe of Harlan County, with a unique set of rules, feuds, and characters, like a hillbilly Game of Thrones. It's as much of a western as Deadwood was, just with fewer horses and mustaches.
APPROVED AS METHADONE (and excellent television in general)