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Longmire: Contemporary Western Rides High
May 29, 2012  | By Eric Gould  | 5 comments
 

Sheriff Walt Longmire is a widower grieving the loss of his wife. His house is full of empty beer cans, and his grown daughter has lost patience with him — a year after his wife's death he won't scatter the ashes, and doesn't seem able to move on.

Longmire's got a young, impatient deputy working under him who thinks Longmire's job ought to be his. But Longmire's still the best detective in fictional Absaroka County, Wyoming, with the sharpened instincts that come with being a veteran lawman.

And then there are the boots — lots of shots of the boots. A visual metaphor of Longmire's determination to walk through the pain.

A&E's Longmire — the new series based on Craig Johnson's novels about a cowboy sheriff — premieres Sunday, June 3 at 10 p.m. ET. This western feels new. It's modern, with six-shooters and cell phones. And it's interesting to see western landscapes and lifestyles as they are today, and not in historical recreation.

The highlight of the series, though, is its star, Robert Taylor (The Matrix), an Australian actor who hasn't a trace of his native accent, and inhabits the hangdog Longmire character so thoroughly he singlehandedly carries the show. With his weathered features and inner storm, he's that interesting to watch.

And that's a good thing because the premiere episode, a mystery that starts with a dead stranger shot through the chest and found lying face down in the snow, is perhaps standard fare. And it's unraveled by some steady, standard detective work. But that's maybe a plus these days, since it's without the outlandish lab and technology antics we've become accustomed to on procedural shows like CSI. Longmire doesn't need fancy forensics — he knows that a rifle's been fired recently by the smell of the barrel.

As straightforward as the story is, the Longmire character is equally tangible in his dry wit, his earnestness and his demons. He's a plain-spoken, straight-talking, grizzled veteran riding the Wyoming highways and doing his job. Part of the long story arc is Longmire's struggle to keep his job. He's got a wet-behind-the-ears deputy, Branch Connolly (Bailey Chase) who thinks Longmire is washed up and is running against him in the next election.

There's also a strong supporting cast with Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica) as Deputy Vic Moretti, a city emigre new to the wild west and loyal to Sheriff Longmire, and Lou Diamond Phillips (Numb3rs) as Longmire's longtime friend and owner of the local bar, "The Red Pony."

The deep, lonesome thorn here is Longmire's struggle while saddled by the past that still burns fresh in him, unresolved. It's well-written all over Taylor's face — and is something all of us can probably relate to.

When the widow of the victim in the pilot asks Longmire, "Does it ever stop hurting?", he says quietly, "Not really. I guess the only way it could ever stop hurting is that if maybe we could forget about them. That's the thing. I don't want to forget anything."


 
 
 
 
 
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5 Comments
 
 
TJ
Longmire is now on Netflix!!!!
I was wondering what kind of boots Vic wears as well.
Jan 25, 2016   |  Reply
 
rachael
they look like some sort of square toe harness boots
Feb 8, 2016
 
 
 
j kelley
Unfortunately, this wonderful show was cancelled after 3 seasons. And it was still as wonderful as the first episode. A&E is no longer on my watch list. I have nothing to do with them after this. My hopes are that another network picks up Longmire and that A&E hits the low road to bankruptcy.
Oct 30, 2014   |  Reply
 
EG
jk - There is news that "Longmire" is being shopped to another cable channel and also, the reasoning here is that A&E is getting out of the original drama game, not replacing the shows they've cancelled ("The Glades", as well). That leaves only "Bates Motel" in that category. You're not alone – there have been long, loud protests upon "Longmire's" demise, which had a very likeable cast of characters lead by Australian actor Robert Taylor.
Oct 30, 2014
 
 
 
Billy the kid
The show is great and I was wondering if anyone know what kind of boots Walt wears during the show ?! Thanks
Aug 14, 2012   |  Reply
 
stu
Me too
Aug 5, 2014
 
 
 
Bryan Simpson
I'm looking forward to seeing this. So this was A&E and affiliate The History Chanel's plan: Play white trash "reality" shows(American Pickers, Storage Wars, Ice Road Truckers, something else you thought only the Onion could make up) pay the boobs in them peanuts and save the profits for quality like Longmire and The Hatfields and McCoys. It could be interesting to see if this was their intention.
Jun 5, 2012   |  Reply
 
Rachael
@BillytheKid, I'm pretty sure Walt wears "ariat men's roper boots". I was curious myself so I paid more attention to the scenes that zoomed in on his boots.
Jul 6, 2016
 
 
 
Rinnie
I watched Longmire last night. Being from Wyoming myself, I was sceptical going into it...but ended up enjoying the show, the pacing, the characters a lot. It was fun to hear towns I know well (like Wheatland)- referenced throughout the show - making Longmire feel authentic. The shots of the town worked well - I grew up in a town where you could look down the main street and see all the way to the end of the town. The only criticism I have is that Longmire - living in a country cabin outside of town - should own a dog or two. Growing up on a ranch in Wyoming, I don't know of any family living out in the country who didn't own dogs.
Jun 5, 2012   |  Reply
 
 
 
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