In the US: Sundays, 10/9c, A&E
After Saving Hope, here’s another show that doesn’t quite merit a full review. Longmire appears to take a page out of AMC’s book – as well as Craig Johnson’s series of mystery novels – by being a slow-moving character piece about a widowed sheriff out in Wyoming – the eponymous Longmire (the Australian actor Robert Taylor, best known as one of the agents from The Matrix).
Longmire doesn’t really have a lot to do, at first, beyond dealing with an uppity but friendly new female deputy from out Phili way (Katee Sackhoff from Battlestar Galactica), a male deputy who wants his job, his lawyer daughter (Cassidy Freeman from Smallville) and a bunch of native Americans who don’t like him and are either off running mobile brothels or being corrupt reservation cops – all apart from that nice Lou Diamond Phillips, of course. Then the unthinkable happens – there’s an actual crime and Longmire has to investigate it, doing as little talking as possible.
It’s beautifully shot on location in, surprisingly, New Mexico. It has an impeccable cast, has some real attention to detail and manages to offer a relatively fresh view on crime stories, although it’s not a million miles away from Justified‘s ‘modern western’. It’s also touching as well, with Longmire’s love of his deceased wife shining through.
But it reads like a last hurrah for conservatism and patriarchy, with the old, white straight guy being smarter and more honourable than everyone else, particularly city folks, women and those pesky Indians who aren’t to be trusted. And despite a few action scenes, it’s not the most exciting of shows either.
Still not bad so far, although since the trailer for the next episode has Sackhoff stripping by a pole in a club, I might be switching off in protest. Not that I count towards ratings, of course. Oh well.