I love television. That is what inspired me to go get my M.F.A in Screenwriting four years ago. I was thinking the other day what is it about certain pilots that makes them so re-watchable for me. The answer is when I watch them I get a clear picture of the show they might blossom into. Such a clear picture that I feel inspired to try and write my own pilot. Let me back up a minute, for those of you that aren’t familiar with the jargon of television writing (good for you, you have a healthier life than I do) a pilot is the first episode of a TV show. A great pilot should set up the rules of the world, outline how the show is going to grow from this episode, and most importantly be entertaining. What follows is my attempt to explain why four of my favorite pilots are so great. I should say that I love these shows. I will do my best to avoid sliding into nonstop praise. I will be going into MAJOR SPOILERS. If you haven’t seen the pilots for YOUNG JUSTICE, FIREFLY, SWEET/VICIOUS, and THE WEST WING and don’t want any SPOILERS. Stop reading now.
1. Young Justice: Independence Day Part 1 and 2(2010)
Young Justice is an animated show. It follows Robin, Kid Flash (Wally West), Aqualad (Kaldurdur’ahm), Ms. Martian (M’gann M’orzz), and Superboy (Connor Kent) as they go on covert missions to thwart the villainous organization The Light. I like The Light as a villain name. If for no other reason than because at the end of this two part pilot the leader of the Light says, “Sooner or later everyone sees the light.” I think that’s a great bad guy line.
The show gets into the action immediately. Mr. Freeze is terrorizing a Fourth of July picnic. Robin is the first ‘sidekick’ we meet. This is smart because it gives casual fans a character that they know and can latch on to. He kicks Freeze right in the face, which is awesome. Mr. Freeze is not impressed that Robin is apparently flying solo on this mission. Robin is in a hurry he says, “I don’t have time for this.” Mr. Freeze thinks Robin is talking to him. Robin answers, “I’m not talking to you.” At which point, Batman appears and punches Freeze in the face. I like this little scene a lot for a few reasons. First, it introduces a mini hook to engage the audience and pull them through the next few scenes i.e. the question of what is Robin in such a hurry for. What is more important than fighting a super villain? Just a quick aside, from a screenwriting standpoint getting your audience to ask questions is always a good idea. It gets them at least curious to see what’s going to happen and that keeps them watching. Moving on.
The second reason I like this scene, it lets the audience know that Robin has been fighting crime for a while because this is routine for him. Third, the scene moves quickly. Fourth, I like the transition to the next scene from Batman knocking Mr. Freeze out. It’s a great button to the scene as my TV writing professor used to say.
The next introduction is Green Arrow and his sidekick Speedy. I hate Speedy’s costume. I know this is an animated show but he looks ridiculous. Speedy is also in a hurry and he says, “Today is the day.” This line will be repeated a couple more times in the next few scenes. The next character introduced is Kaldur and Aquaman. Finally, we meet Wally and The Flash. Every individual member of the Young Justice team is fighting a different ice villain. The show puts the date, time and place in the bottom of the screen ala “24”. It’s a little distracting but I like it because it reinforces the idea that Young Justice like “24” is about covert missions. Another brief aside, the line “today is the day” is an example of planting and payoff. Where an object, an action, or a piece of dialogue is introduced earlier in the story and comes back i.e. is payed off later in the story. That is, it takes on a different meaning from the one it had when it was introduced . This technique can also be deployed as a delayed punchline to a joke set up earlier in the story. This technique is most commonly associated with film. Minor spoiler for Blade Runner 2049 the wooden horse is a classic example of planting and payoff. It is one of the most powerful tools in a screenwriter’s arsenal. Here, the line will come back at the end of part two and symbolize a declaration of independence, ok back to the pilot.
We find out why “today is the day” in the next scene. Robin, Wally, Speedy, and Kaldur are with the rest of the Justice League at the Hall of Justice about to be inducted into the League proper. I love how the crowd gathered at the ceremony are totally unimpressed by the "sidekicks”. They are not here for them. I want to note that Robin has a catch phrase he uses which drives me crazy. He says whelmed a lot as in, “Everybody is either overwhelmed or underwhelmed nobody is ever just whelmed.” That’s because whelmed is not a word. Is it?
Ok, I Googled it whelmed is a word. It means to be submerged or engulfed. It does not mean someone who is calm or even keeled. Robin. Anyway…
Inside the Hall of Justice, the sidekicks realize that The League has no intention of promoting them to full time members. Speedy is furious and storms out. The League is alerted to a fire at Cadmus Labs. FYI guys when you hear the name Cadmus in DC properties your ears should perk up. Before the League can leave to handle the fire a bigger emergency pulls them away. Batman tells Robin, Wally, and Kaldur to stay behind and forbids them to go off on their own. This is a great troupe that writers use in kid’s shows. The adults underestimate the children and condescend to them and the kids prove them wrong and save the day. The script is smart enough to make that point clear but never make it feel overblown. Naturally, Robin and the others decide to disobey orders and go investigate the fire at Cadmus.
The team gets off to a rocky start as each member is more focused on their individual task and not functioning as a team. When they arrive Robin hacks into Cadmus’s systems to determine the source of the fire and the team discovers that Cadmus is way bigger than they initially thought. Also, Cadmus is working on a secret project called Kr. I think the mystery of project Kr is a bad mystery to use to motivate our heroes to explore, because it seems obvious to me what Kr stands for. I always wonder why none of the team who have met Superman can put together what Kr means. Never let your audience get ahead of your script guys. The questions your audience asks don’t have to be complicated. They just shouldn’t figure them out before your characters do. Case in point, the fact that Cadmus is much bigger than anticipated. That is a good mystery. I’d want to find out why if I were them.
Also, while Robin’s hacking software is cool. I like how user friendly the animators make it look. It does get a little too convenient that he is able to hack everything.
The team investigates further and finds a huge underground lab. The team also run into Genomorphs, an alien (?) race that can control minds, and Guardian, a hero, and Cadmus’s head of security. He’s basically there to show how powerful the Genomorphs’ mind control is. I think the show goes to the well one to many times to make this point. The mad scientist (and I do mean mad the guy is pretty pissed the whole episode) in charge of the operation is Dr. Desmond. He orders Guardian to capture the team to prevent them from alerting the Justice League. A pretty great chase ensues. Kaldur gets to show off his powers which are really cool. The team barricade themselves inside a room, and wouldn’t you know it. It’s the room holding project Kr.
Project Kr is Connor intended to be a clone of Superman. The team lets Connor out and he flies (okay he jumps) into a rage and kicks all their butts. The team is captured. Desmond asks his bosses what he should do with them. That’s awfully considerate for a bad guy. I feel like that’s how you know this is a kid’s show. The bad guy doesn’t kill the heroes right away. The Light orders Desmond to clone the "sidekicks" so that their clones can infiltrate the League, and then to “delete the originals”. The team are being held in a cloning chamber (?). They are trying to convince Connor to help them escape. This is my biggest problem with an otherwise well-structured pilot. Connor’s turn from a loyal clone serving Cadmus to part of the team is way too fast. His motivations are he wants to be a real boy. He wants to be like Superman. That kind of comes across in this episode but it could be much clearer. Connor and Wally are the least defined characters at this point of the main team. Kaldur and Robin don’t get a lot of depth but their types are clear. Connor is just really pissed off that’s his character trait. Anyway, he decides to help the team and they make a break for the surface level. It’s another solid action sequence. I like Connor’s disappointment and shock when he realizes he can’t fly it's a nice character moment for him.
This chase sequence has my favorite joke of the pilot when Desmond thinks he has them cornered because they forget to hack the motion sensors, but it turns out they didn’t. Watch the episode.
Desmond finally corners them. He drinks a science potion, as you do, called Blockbuster and becomes the monster Blockbuster. How do mad scientist always know that’s going to work? His skin ripping into pieces looks super painful. Anyway, they fight. Robin figures out how to beat Blockbuster. The "sidekicks" finally learn to work together as a unit. The Justice League arrives just in time to take Desmond to jail. Weren’t they worried about the kids beforehand? The first meeting between Superman and Connor is another good character moment. Connor is hurt and Superman is flustered. He tries to handle the situation with tact but he’s taken aback. The team announces their intention to stay together and go on missions. Batman begrudgingly agrees but the missions will be covert. The team moves into the Justice League’s old headquarters and meets Ms. Martian, and that’s it.
Final thoughts, this two part pilot really moves. It’s well-structured and the voice performances are all excellent.
2. Firefly: “Serenity” (2002)
Serenity is an exceptional pilot. The characters are distinct and I care about most of them by the end of the pilot. The dialogue crackles and the pilot has scope. It feels like an introduction to a bigger world. Everything that can be said about this pilot has been said. So, I will leave you will my favorite quote from the episode. “We did the impossible and that makes us mighty.”
I will say this. I love the teaser for this episode. A teaser or cold open is usually the first two to three minutes of an episode and it plays before the opening title credits. A great teaser should give the audience a reason to watch the rest of the episode. In this case, there is a pretty thrilling war scene and Malcom Reynolds is both roguishly charming and a brave and capable leader. My favorite part though, is when Reynolds realizes that no help is coming. The devastation on his face tells the audience everything they need to know about Mal. He is a man desperately looking for something to believe in, for a cause to fight for, even if he feigns indifference. Also, seeing a super thin Mark Shepard pop up as Badger is an utter delight. Plus, Kaylee is the best. Ok now I’m done.
Sweet/Vicious:” The Blue Print” (2017)
Sweet/Vicious (stupid title) is one of the best shows that nobody watched. If it doesn’t get picked up again in the next few years it will join Firefly, Freaks and Geeks, and My So-Called Life” as one of the great one season wonders. Personally, I am still hoping for a second season. Then again, I’m still hoping for a second season of Firefly and we all know how well that’s going. This show is spectacular. In fact, stop reading now and go watch it. All caught up? Good.
Sweet/Vicious follows two girls at the fictional college of Darlington as they beat the piss out of boys on campus who raped girls and got away with it. The issue of rape culture on college campuses is a heavy one. I wouldn’t blame anyone who is worried that the show is going to be a chore or super preachy or exploitative. I can tell you it is none of those things, at least in my humble opinion. It tackles this subject with as much respect as it can. It is also really funny.
The job of a pilot is to set up the entire series. It must introduce the audience to the main story they will be following throughout the series. In Breaking Bad the pilot introduces Walter and the audience to the world of illegal drugs. That is the driving force of the series watching Walter go from Mr. Chips to Scarface. Most pilots also show us the event that causes the protagonist(s) to go down the series road. For Breaking Bad it’s Walt’s cancer diagnosis. In Young Justice, the team is sick of being belittled so they strike out on their own. Finally, most pilots have a main story that is driving that episode and will be wrapped up by the end of it. This is called the A story of the pilot. In Young Justice, the A story is the investigation in Cadmus and the resulting fall out. The A story for the series, the one that will be driving Young Justice forward, is the establishment of the team and their covert missions.
In Sweet/Vicious the A story for the series and the A story for the pilot are the same thing. Jules and Ophelia are going to take down accused rapists on their campus. Boys they know are guilty, because they do their research. I just wanted to point that out because if any of you are thinking of writing your own pilots you’ll need to know the terms. It’s called the A story because there are B, C, and even D stories. A B Story is a mini story that is resolved before the end of the episode or another story that we will follow throughout the series, but it is not the A Story. I will provide examples of a B Stories for the pilot of Sweet/Vicious and the series. C and D stories are mini stories that are wrapped up in the episode.
The acting is uniformly good in the pilot but Eliza Bennet, who plays Jules the protagonist, is the early stand out. She gets to show the most range. Jules is at times menacing, vulnerable, relatable, and funny. When the pilot opens, Jules is on her first mission. A boy named Will has gotten away with sexually assaulting a girl on campus. In an opening scene that would make Batman proud. Jules sneaks into his room and beats him up. The violence is quick, brutal, and realistic. It may be because I have seen this episode a lot, but I think Eliza Bennett does a great job of being intimidating as she gives a monologue that, again would make Batman proud. She leaves and we cut to one month later.
Where we meet Ophelia (trivia: Taylor Dearden who is perfectly cast as Ophelia is Bryan Cranston’s daughter) in her loft/apartment. Ophelia is a stoner/slacker who likes casual sex and sleeping until three in the afternoon. She is also a genius computer person. Every procedural crime show needs one and Ophelia is it for Sweet/Vicious. The scene also introduces Harris (Brandon Mychal Smith) Ophelia’s best friend, and Evan who we will meet later in the series. Harris and Ophelia have natural chemistry. I buy them as friends. The dialogue in this show is first rate. It sounds authentic to the way college kids actually talk. Also, Labong James is a great pun. The only important bit of plot in this scene is that Ophelia has a disciplinary meeting with the admin and her parents are super rich.
Next, is the first scene we get of Jules in her alter ego. She is a sorority sister at Zeta House. Her sorority sisters aren’t really flushed out at all in this pilot. Mackenzie ‘Mac” is an anxious type A person. Fiona and Gaby are ditsy but sweet and Kennedy is Jules’s best friend. The scene is just there to show us Jules’s double life.
We catch up with Ophelia as she is leaving her admin hearing and she starts smoking a joint. Barton, the campus security guard, sees her and chases after her. She ducks down an alley to get away from him and comes face to face with Jules in her Ninja outfit beating the s*** out of another boy. Ophelia recognizes him and for a second we think she’s going to help him, but instead encourages Jules to continue her attack. According to Ophelia, “Tommy is a garbage person. He date raped a girl on my floor Freshman year.” She lets Jules escape, but naturally she wants to know who the Ninja is. Who wouldn’t want to figure that out?
There are a few scenes of Ophelia sleuthing trying to figure out who Jules is. Jules dropped her sorority necklace on the ground when she was fighting Tommy and Ophelia found it. She is trying to work out who the locket belongs to. The scenes exist to put obstacles in Ophelia’s path. She can’t find Jules too easily or when she does it won’t feel earned. Worse it could feel rushed and illogical. This is a good example of a B Story that is solved within the episode. Anyway, Ophelia finds out that Jules’s necklace belongs to the Zeta House when Gaby and Fiona stop at the record store where she works to buy weed for the party they are throwing at Zeta House. Fiona flirting with Harris and him not picking up her signals is pretty cute. Lindsey Chambers and Victoria Park (Fiona and Gaby respectively) are pretty cute in general.
There is another little scene where Jules and Kennedy are out for a walk and we meet Nate, Kennedy’s boyfriend. Eliza Bennett again does a great job of putting the audience inside Jules’s head. Jules is not happy that Nate is around and it isn’t third wheel anxiety.
Ophelia crashes the party at Zeta House. When Jules sees her she grabs Ophelia and pushes her down the cellar stairs. My favorite line from that exchange is when Ophelia takes a drink of something and says, “Oh, gross. Is that water?” The other important developments during the party are Jules bumps into Tyler. He’ll be important later. Jules threatens to hurt Ophelia if she interferes with her plan and Ophelia sneaks tracking software onto Jules’s phone.
Ophelia does some hacking and finds out who Jules’s next target is. She tails her to a mechanic’s garage. Jules has gone after her next target a guy named Carter. When Ophelia gets there Jules is about to die. Carter has overpowered her and is about to kill her. Ophelia hits him on the back of the head killing him instantly. This is the only serious misstep of the pilot. Killing this guy is a bridge too far and the series realizes that, because the writers spend the rest of the series trying to minimize that storyline. The fallout from killing Carter is an example of a season long B Story. I know that the writers were probably trying to show the consequences of taking violent action against somebody, but it’s the wrong note for this show. We grow to like Jules and Ophelia so much over this season and the murder is an albatross around their necks. Ophelia and Jules wipe the crime scene clean and put the body in Ophelia’s car. The next scene really has no purpose, but I love it. It’s a bonding moment between Jules and Ophelia. Ophelia puts on “Defying Gravity” and they both sing along. I love when characters that are not in a musical find an excuse to sing.
Ophelia stops at a bar to steady her nerves. In the best visual gag of the episode she hands Jules a t-shirt that reads “Spitters are Quitters”. Jules is covered in blood from her fight with Carter and needs to change. They go into the bar and commiserate, but really this scene exists to do two things. First, we are reintroduced to Tyler who, gasp, is Carter’s stepbrother. Second, when they go to leave the bar they discover Ophelia’s car has been towed. Dun. Dun. Dun!
I love this show so much. My only question that I never get answered is: Where did Jules learn to fight so well? Did her dad teach her? Her dad is a cop. Has she been training since she was little? The reason I love this pilot is because it is entertaining, the characters mostly feel real. Even the sorority sisters are recognizable types, and characters do things for understandable reasons. The humor and the plot of the episode flow from understandable if not completely logical occurrences. There are a few coincidences like Ophelia running into Jules in the middle of one of her take downs, but it is television so I’ll roll with it. The show calls the missions Jules and Ophelia go on take downs.
That’s Sweet/Vicious guys. I hope I have piqued your interest.
4.The West Wing (1999)
The West Wing is Aaron Sorkin’s masterpiece. The pilot is mentioned on several lists of the greatest pilots ever made. The rumor is that this show was initially supposed to focus entirely on the staff of the White House and the president would be a guest star. That all changed when Martin Sheen was cast to play POTUS, because of course it did. Anyway, let me jump right into this thing.
Aaron Sorkin is the master of writing compelling opening scenes. He does it with The Social Network, The Newsroom, and Moneyball. The opening scene of The West Wing is no exception. We meet Sam (Rob Lowe) and he is talking to Billy a journalist. They are in a swanky bar and Billy is trying to get Sam to tell him whether someone named Josh Lyman is going to be fired. I like this scene because it sets up a very clear A story for the episode: Will Josh get fired? It’s a good entry point into this world because everyone in the audience can relate to the anxiety of being fired. I’m not going to call out specific lines of dialogue because its Aaron Sorkin all of them are amazing.
An attractive woman smiles at Sam and the scene ends. In rapid succession, we meet Leo (John Spencer), CJ (Allison Janney), Josh (Bradley Whitford), and Toby (Richard Schiff). We don’t learn much about them. The most important thing that happens is that their beepers go off. If you can get past how dated the pager is. It is a solid screenwriting tactic because it gets the audience to wonder why are their pagers all going off? This series of introductions also reinforces the idea that this show is going to move quickly, in about two minutes of TV we’ve met five people in five different locations.
Anyway, we get our answer why everyone’s beepers are going off in the next scene. Sam went home with the attractive woman. Whose name is Laurie (Lisa Edelstein). She is smoking pot because, this is an Aaron Sorkin project. Somebody is going to be smoking pot. Laurie is baked. She is comparing her pager to Sam’s. They are identical. The identical pagers are an example of planting and payoff, because it’s a plot point that will come back i.e. be paid off later in the episode. Sam is getting ready and Laurie tells him that his pager went off. She relays the message, “POTUS in bicycle accident.” When he hears the message, Sam rushes out the door.
Before he goes Laurie says, “Tell your friend POTUS he has a silly name.” Sam turns to the camera and says, “It’s not his name. It’s his title President of the United States.” That’s the end of the cold open. A quick reminder a teaser or cold opening is a two to five-minute scene(s) that introduces the main characters and gives the audience a hook to lead them into the show proper. The teaser is the bit before the opening credits.
Anyway, The West Wing is famous for introducing the Walk and Talk and we see it on full display in the next couple of scenes as Leo arrives at The White House. The set the production team uses for The White House is really cool. You really get the sense that this is a huge building where people work and not a set. Leo is briefed on a developing crisis with some Cuban immigrants who are trying to reach the US. Then he scolds Josh for angering a powerful conservative personality, named Mary Marsh, think Anne Colter.
Josh, Leo, CJ, Toby, and Sam discuss how to help the embattled Cubans and what to do about Josh. I always wondered if Aaron Sorkin had a bunch of former White House staffers on set, or hired good researchers, or just knew a lot about politics, probably all three, because whenever the characters discuss politics it sounds authentic. This show is about the West Wing, but Scandal is ostensibly about politics too. Yet when they talk about politics it sounds like someone skimmed a New York Time’s article while writing the umpteenth Olivia and Fitz sex scene. I despise Scandal. The characters on The West Wing sound like they work in politics.
After the scene discussing the Cuban crisis we find Josh in his office re-watching the incident that could cost him his job. He said, “Lady, the God you believe in is too busy being indicted for tax fraud.” It’s a great line. Toby comes in and tries to talk Josh into meeting with Mary and some of her colleagues. Josh doesn’t want to do it. He doesn’t regret what he says because he feels she is a stupid and belligerent person. He’s right but he reluctantly agrees to the meeting. The other important thing that happens in this scene is we are about to meet Mandy.
Moira Kelly who plays Mandy only lasted one season. I’m not surprised. She doesn’t get off to a great start in the pilot. Her character is Spunky Career Gal. So, I will admit that Moira doesn’t get anything to work with. Still, I don’t think Moira Kelly is right for this part. I don’t know why but she just feels wrong. Aaron Sorkin should absolutely give her, and all his female characters, more to do, but she’s really annoying in the pilot. In the next scene, Josh tells Leo that Mandy is planning to run against them. Leo is not happy.
Josh meets Mandy to try and get her to back down. This is the stupidest scene in the pilot. First, I don’t buy that anyone would ask for Josh’s autograph let alone two college girls. Bradley Whitford is a forty-year-old man. Stop trying to make Bradley Whitford sexy. He is a lot of things but sexy isn’t one of them. Second, the scene is meant to underline the fact that Josh and Mandy used to date. I don’t care about Mandy. I don’t care about her love life.
This article is getting long so I’m going to skip some scenes. Leo meets with Al Caldwell, the leader of the religious group that Josh insulted, to get him to intercede on Josh’s behalf. Al doesn’t go for it. We learn in this scene that the president is a deeply religious man. It was pointed out in a review I read of this pilot that making the president a deeply religious man was a stroke of genius. I agree. Adam Chitwood over at Collider.com notes that making the president a deeply religious man is an olive branch to more conservative audience members. Who might feel like the show goes out of its way to attack conservative politicians and push a liberal agenda, but the president’s faith gives those viewers something to relate to. As we will learn over the series it also brings dimensions to President Bartlett (Martin Sheen).
In the next scene, Sam is paged by an escort service and he realizes he’s switched pagers with Laurie. That’s the payoff to the earlier plant. Laurie is an escort. He goes to give her back her pager and they have a very awkward scene. I don’t like Sam and Laurie’s relationship. It brings out the worst in Sam. In the next episode, Laurie is with a client and Sam barges in and costs her the date. Then he follows her outside and refuses to listen when she tells him to stay out of her business, that’s harassment. Laurie should have maced Sam in the face and walked away. What Laurie does with her time is none of his business. Especially when she specifically told him to leave her alone. I like Sam. Rob Lowe is terrific at making him a decent well-meaning guy. His harassment though well intentioned is still harassment. I just don’t like seeing Sam as a creep. Anyway, I wanted to bring that up since I won’t get to touch on it in this pilot.
We’re in the home stretch. Earlier in the episode Sam was roped into giving a tour of the White House to Leo’s daughter’s fourth grade class. Sam doesn’t know anything about the White House. The resulting scene where he meets the class goes predictably awry. I like that when the teacher, Mallory O’Brien, confronts him about it Sam readily admits that he doesn’t know anything about the White House. Their confrontation builds to a funny, but forced, line where Sam admits to this total stranger that he accidentally slept with a prostitute. It turns out that Mallory is Leo’s daughter. Surprise! I get the joke but it’s such a stupid thing to say. Sam is the Deputy Director of Communications for the White House. How does he know Mallory won’t sell the information that he slept with a prostitute to CNN? It’s a stupid mistake that I don’t think Sam or anyone in his position would make. The whole thing rings false.
Finally, we get to the big sit down with Josh, Toby, CJ, Mary Marsh, Al Caldwell, and John Vandyke. Mary is a real piece of work. The actress does a great job of making us loath her. She is condescending, racist, and opportunistic. Mary makes some offensive remark about Toby and Josh being Jewish and that leads into an argument about what the First Commandment is. That’s when we meet President Josiah Bartlet. It is one of the greatest introductions Aaron Sorkin has ever written. “I am the Lord thy God. Thou shalt worship no other Gods before me." This is a really cool line and a strong character entrance. The lesson I take away from that line is: Always give your main characters’ memorable entrances. Unlike, in the Newsroom when Jeff Daniels gives that big speech. This moment doesn’t feel forced. After that great opening line, President Bartlet gets one of his best monologues in the entire series. He is furious that a Christian fundamentalist group called the Lambs of God sent his granddaughter a Raggedy Anne Doll with a knife through its throat. After she shared her views on a woman’s right to choose. It’s clear that President Bartlet loves his family deeply and is not a man to be trifled with. He kicks Mary and her friends out. In the last scene of the episode he warns Sam, Josh, Toby, CJ, and Leo that the “breaks over” and they need to start bringing their A games. He decides not to fire Josh.
That’s it. We’re done.
Honorable Mention: Justified “Fire in the Hole” (210)
I couldn’t find the Justified pilot. Here is what I remember from it. The opening standoff is fantastic. Seriously, just watch the first five minutes of the episode they are great. Ava (Joelle Carter) gets a terrific introduction. Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins) is one the greatest TV villains in the last decade. The level of specificity in the writing is so good even the guest stars get distinct and memorable personalities. The dialogue on this show sounded like nothing else on TV. Justified was one of the most out and out entertaining shows on the air. Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) was one of the coolest heroes we’ve had in a while.
Seriously, now I’m done. Thank you for reading my article. I hope some of it was interesting. If you’d like to learn more about how to structure a TV episode you can click on the link below. If you have just one more minute jump in the comment section and let me know what you though.