Until this second segment of season three for ‘Saving Grace,’ I’ve been fairly devoted to this guardian angel/cop show starring Holly Hunter. Hunter is a fantastic actress and she turns what could be an utterly cheesy part (having a guardian angel) into a character that is raw and gritty and sexy and maddening and wonderful. Though lately, I’ve started to hate the show. The last few episodes were gag-worthy on the faith front. They’ve been so heavy-handed and in-your-face syrupy and weird that I am giving up.
Then along comes the new US Marshal, western-vibe series ‘Justified’ on FX. I started watching the show when it started a few weeks back for two simple reasons: I like police/law enforcement shows, and Timothy Olyphant who is the star. Not only is ‘Justified’ gripping, well-written, and with fabulous characters even beyond Raylan Givens (Olyphant), it’s got a wonderful faith-themed subplot emerging between Raylan, and his old friend from childhood-turned-criminal Boyd Crowder, who Raylan shoots and puts behind bars. During his recovery, Crowder becomes born again and thanks Raylan for the help on his path to God.
The interactions between Raylan and Boyd have been ongoing in each episode, with Boyd playing not only the new convert, but the eloquent, astute preacher man. It’s as if Boyd can see straight into Raylan’s soul–and thing is, you want him to. There is such chemistry between these two characters with this dance they’ve got going of Boyd pushing God and conversion–with wry humor, too–and Raylan resisting, that it’s riveting and anything but cheesy or heavy-handed. The writers of ‘Saving Grace’ should watch and take some notes. I certainly can’t stop watching. I can’t wait for the next episode tonight at 10pm.