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ADDENDUM; I just upgraded my rating from a 9 to a 10 as I finished season 1. This show is a jewel. No wasted dialogue, no wasted camera angles, no wasted cuts. Easily one of the leanest productions in recent memory, and possibly should come with a warning that it is addictive. Sackoff's voice contains so many tones and nuances that I Google'd her, turns out she is not only a superb actress but a tier-1 animation voice too. Wow.
It's a good procedural and plenty of dramatic elements. I'm never bored and it's quite different from previous attempts at Western cop dramas. I'm glad it's not another fish out of water story like Coogan's Bluff or McCloud. Robert Taylor's screen presence is the glue that holds it all together.
After watching the first episode, you can immediately tell the producers and writers are keen on character development. With the only about half the episode devoted to the first case itself, you'll learn a lot about Sheriff Longmire quickly. That's not to say you won't enjoy it though. This show is VERY watchable. I actually went back and watched it again the next day. A&E hasn't produced a lot of shows I've enjoyed but I'm looking forward to the episode.
Set in Wyoming, viewers can expect to see beautiful scenery and the pilot certainly did not disappoint in that sense. Native Americans play a major roll in this show and it seems the hostilities will progress throughout the season. The show focuses on old school methods of law enforcement rather than the recent trend of C.S.I. semen under the fridge kinds that have been dominating in recent years.
Give this the show a chance.
I think the sheriff may be the Australian actor Robert Taylor - with a terrific American accent. I've seen him in Ballykissangel on PBS and in a couple of UK mystery series but didn't realise he was the same person until I read his credits.
As to the portrayal of Native Americans, I have been privileged to have had a few American Indians as good friends over the past decades. As stated by a previous poster, we all come in all types and varieties. I found the depictions to be realistic.
I loved his Character, a strong, silent, funny-in-a-wry-deadpan-kind-of-way, all around good man.
Then I found out that there where books, and my heart sank. No way was I not going to read them, but I was afraid that the book Walt Longmire would be different from the show Walt Longmire, who I really liked.
I stand by the view that the book is always better that the movie or TV show, because let's face it, things suffer when you transfer to the screen, usually the characters. That is why when a character is done well, the success is all the sweeter.
You can sacrifice a lot, in the form of story line, if the characters are acted and written well. (Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings, or Colin Firths Mr.Darcy in Pride and Prejudice)
I read the books and found that I had nothing to be afraid of! If at all possible I got more excited about the show because I read the TV Walt in the pages of the book, and the book gave me more depth and back story to this man's character that I now saw played out in the show. That's how good a job Robert Taylor does.
Read the books! Watch the show! And enjoy them both for that are just extensions of each other!
And that is why I am a fan!
Like most detective shows, 'Longmire' is a 'crime-of-the-week' - 'who-done-it', but unlike a lot of those types of shows, the acting is first class and so too is the writing. It isn't written to appeal to the lowest common denominator.
It is not full of gun fights and car chases. It does not try to be sexy or glossy. This is not CSI Montana - it is something a bit new and a bit different, and it is very refreshing. Give it a go.
This is one of the best TV series out there ! It is well written, well acted and deserves to be continued for another season. The cast fits and works well together, it and the main characters should win Emmy's. The storyline, scenery, cast all make it an excellent show. The mix of the Native Americans and lives of the main characters is also very well done and adds to the show. There are many good shows with mysteries, NCIS, Criminal Minds, Law & Order SVU but it is refreshing to have a series with a western theme as well as the investigations by Sheriff Longmire and staff. We have watched the seasons in order and the continuity that is kept makes you anticipating the next episode. I was delighted when Netflix picked up the show and am anxiously waiting for the next episode.
That said, I must confess some of the characterizations are breaking my heart, almost to the point where I have to consider the TV series as a completely separate creature from the novels or it would make me crazy.
Fortunately, the depiction of Walt is the most on target of any of the characters, but so much is still lacking after having seen all ten episodes. I know TV can't satisfactorily afford the viewer Walt's mind's eye perspective, but without that inner dialog his stoicism comes off so one dimensional it hurts. How to convey his lingering trauma as a Viet-Nam vet? What about his spiritual experiences that make him a wonder amongst the Indians? And why are all his relationships being cast as so confrontational? In the pilot he practically accuses Henry of running a brothel, whereas in the books the trust between them is beyond implicit, beyond brotherhood. Why does his daughter, Cady, seem to question his professionalism? Why must he have an adversarial relationship with the Indians on the Res, whereas in the books he enjoys a status of respect and deep significance? Why is his relationship with Lucian, his predecessor as Sheriff, mentor, and continuing friend and confidant in the books, depicted as him enduring the meddling of a cantankerous and resentful retiree? The writers seem to be going out of their way to create plot tensions at the expense of sacrificing relationship intricacies that make Walt's world so endearing in the books.
Lou Diamond Phillips, cast as Henry Standing Bear, will disappoint me as long as he continues slipping contractions into his lines, and as long as he keeps grinning and chatting like some glib casino host. Henry is supposed to be stoic, stone-faced even, and Lou isn't making me a believer... yet.
Regarding Victoria, I understand the network lacks the balls to allow her the same sort of foul language as in the books, but did they have to dial back her brazenness to the point where she comes off more like a sorority girl with a 'tude instead of a gritty, veteran Philly homicide detective? Not all the lines that give The Terror her perverse charm in the books require expletives. So far I get no sense of the edginess that makes the character so daunting and compelling in the novels.
The gripes I have with some of the other characters, like Omar and The Ferg, are trivial in comparison, so I'll spare everyone. All gripes aside, I will be a faithful viewer. I won't be able to stop myself because I love Walt Longmire's world so much.
After the end of season 3 I was so thrilled and couldn't wait for season 4 to be released. But then it was canceled and I almost died of a heart attack. But then Netflix picked it up - luckily! With this there is a change in the pacing of this series which parallels the story. While the Casino is finally built and opens and therefore brings a lot of people to the former quiet rural area, it brings the present to this little town where everything used to be a little bit slower and living in the past (in the best possible way). The same thing happens to the pacing: It often gets faster, looks more modern. Now, I don't mean to say, that I didn't like the "old" Longmire, but the "new" achieves what rarely can be achieved. It is the same series with all the charm it had but is brought up to "modernity" at the right places - simply put, I like it a lot! I think the new characters are a very good addition to the cast, although I didn't enjoy the "casting show" of the new deputy very much. The "old" characters and their relations are evolving in a good way, not too foreseeable but nothing too fancy - just the right balance. As for the story: it is simply great. It's isn't the good old "one episode, one case" format but rather a series of more or less related crimes - also new but really enjoyable. The ending: Absolutely perfect. the whole last episode is a piece of art! It just brings everything so perfectly together - no old loose ends, nothing too kitschy or fancy, just the right amount of satisfaction. Plus, while there are three major cliffhangers (one concerning Henry, two concerning Walt), it feels much more satisfying than the finale of season three. Although I cannot wait for season 5, I don't feel like they cheated me into wanting to watch the next season.
Overall, marvelous job, special thanks go out to Netflix for saving this gem! Worth a watch!
I really have to give it to the creators of this show. You really outdid yourselves with genre that was dead some time ago. If anybody liked Tom Seleck in "Jesse Stone" you will like this exponentially more. Mr. Taylor (Longmire) really was casted well for this show and he has done a masterful job! His daughter also gives a great performance and expect to see more of her everywhere!
My mom complained about Lou Diamond Phillips's acting (being stiff, unbelievable) but I didn't mind it. Robert Taylor in my opinion is excellent.
I did notice a few slip ups. Like when the show says a couple has been married 11 years but their biological son looks 15. I also am a pretty good predictor of the plots of shows. . but with this show I don't mind saying that I wasn't right all the time. It is like Law and Order but with Western Style and funnier/interesting characters.
I am looking forward to watching more shows and see the character development, which takes it time.