Wednesday, September 09, 2020

Binge Recommendation: Longmire

Not everyone likes westerns. I do.

Not everyone likes cop shows. I don't like all cop shows (I especially hate the "reality TV" crap that paints cops shaking down crack smokers, hookers, etc., like heroes), but I do like a well-written, well-acted mystery or procedural.

Not everyone wants to wait until a series is over before watching it. That's my usual modus operandi. Unless something really grabs me at the right time, I'm not going to watch a season at a time (the recent release custom with streaming media), let alone hang on week to week for individual new episodes (network/cable style). I try to avoid noticing spoilers and watch a show from beginning to end at my own chosen pace.

Longmire is a westerm (rural Wyoming) cop (sheriff) show, and it wrapped up nearly three years ago.

It's good.

There's a mild suspension of disbelief problem: Absaroka County must enjoy an insanely high homicide rate to provide fodder for each episodic mystery. Based on geographical references in the show, I'm guessing it's loosely based on either Park County (population 28,000) or Sheridan County (population 29,000), but like clockwork, one or more bodies turn up every episode, and the episodes don't seem to be separated by long periods of time.

But other than that, each episodic mystery (and there's a long story arc with some mystery to it as well) does its job. There are real questions as to whodunit and why, reasonable plot twists to carry things along, moral ambiguities to tease the philosophical palate, etc.

Among the cast, I'm particularly fond of Katee Sackhoff (you may remember her from the Battlestar Galactica reboot) and Lou Diamond Phillips. Minor pet peeve: Phillips's character, a Cheyenne bar owner and the sheriff's long-time close friend, doesn't use contractions in his speech; the obvious assumption is that that's supposed to make him sound "more Indian").

Anyway, recommended if it sounds like your kind of thing.

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