Entertaining Peery: A&E’s Longmire “Pilot”

June 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

A&E launched the new cop series Longmire last night. I have not read the novels the show is based upon, but I liked the first episode enough to watch next week.

Set in fly-over-country Wyoming, Walt Longmire is a cell-phone hating, county sheriff and recent widower. It is hinted at that he has been derelict in his duties since the death of his wife, holding on to her ashes in a tea box in the kitchen. He has three deputies: Branch Connally, played ably by Bailey Chase who I really liked on TNT’s Saving Grace cop show, “Vic” Moretti, played by Starbuck, erm, Katee Sackhoff and portly “The Ferg,” who probably took the deputy job after not getting accepted to the University of Wyoming.

Branch wants to be sheriff, as a election billboard states, causing Longmire to crash his police SUV after being unable to return his eyes to the road. That conflict promises an awkward work environment.

Vic is 6 months into the job after duty as a Philadelphia homicide detective. She doesn’t seem to like the environment, and after using a blow dryer to melt 100 yards of snow, there has to be a back story as to what would bring her to Wyoming.

Not on the force, but nicely played by Lou Diamond Philips is Henry the barkeep at the local watering hole and closest thing to a best friend and informant to Longmire. Also, an apt teacher of “OITs,” Old Indian Tricks. This character promises some neat “pop.”

The show subtly clues in the viewers with hints to fill in the back story of the characters. The characters seem to be the driving force behind the show’s plot rather than the crime (sub)plots. Frankly, crimes are depicted the same over every crime drama, and it’s the characters that need to be interesting to hold me as a viewer.   The Wyoming setting and its vast vistas deviod of other humans makes for a character unto itself and promises to be a friend AND foe. Despite being 2012, this is still an untamed frontier.

I will watch Longmire next week and if your TV viewing schedule has time, I recommend giving this show a shot.

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