Now that Justified is over, you may have a Raylan Givens and Boyd Crowder sized hole in your heart. Unfortunately, nothing else on television before or since the show aired is really anything like it. Justified was very much its own thing, something that’s impossible to completely replace. However, the spirit, the themes, the cast, and the writers behind Justified do live on in other series, and while they won’t completely fill that void, they may be able to help you come down from the high without completing crashing.
Here are seven series you might like if you loved Justified.
1. The Shield — If you love any of the FX dramas — Justified or otherwise — you owe it to yourself to watch The Shield because the FX DNA basically evolved from this series, which did for basic cable what The Sopranos did for premium cable. It’s darker that Justified, but it deals with some of the same issues; that moral grey area, the line between the law and an outlaw. Plus, if you remove Six Feet Under from the equation, no one has done a series finale as well as The Shield. If you were hoping for something more brutal from the Justified finale, this should do the trick. Plus, it’ll definitely satiate your need for more Walton Goggins in your life. (Available on Hulu Plus)
2. Sons of Anarchy — Because Sons crapped out in its final season, Sons gets a softer recommendation, although the first two seasons are absolutely phenomenal (and Seasons 4 and 6 are great, as well). It’s more of a successor to The Shield, but you could still call it a distant cousin of Justified, if only because — at least in the beginning — it successfully merged violence and humor. Plus, again, Walton Goggins makes a few appearances late in the series. The two shows also share a lot of the same guest stars, as well as directors (Adam Arkin, in particular, directs and acts in both series). (Available on Netflix)
3. Deadwood — In casting Justified, Graham Yost (and Timothy Olyphant) pulled largely from the cast of Deadwood. There are at least 15 actors who have appeared in both shows, including Timothy Olyphant, Jim Beaver, Gerald McRaney, and Ray McKinnon (who also appears in Sons of Anarchy). If you love Westerns like Justified, there’s no reason you won’t love the best television Western of all-time. Olyphant spiritually plays the great, great, great, great grandfather of Raylan Givens in Deadwood, which also boasts some of the best writing and acting you’ll ever see on TV. (Available Amazon Prime and HBO GO)
4. Terriers — Another brilliant FX series, this one comes from Shawn Ryan — the guy behind The Shield — and Ted Griffin (screenwriter, Ocean’s Eleven). Terriers deals with private detectives, and while the substance of the two shows is not that similar, the tone and the sense of humor in both shows are very much spiritually alike. They’re languid, entertaining, clever, and smartly written series, and though it’s not directly based on the work of Elmore Leonard, it often feels like it. (Available on Netflix)
5. The Americans — There are very few similarities between The Americans and Justified in terms of content, tone, or sensibility. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find two shows less like each other. But Justified showrunner Graham Yost is a producer on The Americans, and it just happens to be one of the best shows on television, even if no one is watching it. Oh, and if you need your Mags Bennett fix, Margo Martindale is also on The Americans, playing a similarly ruthless character. (Available on Amazon Prime)
6. Peaky Blinders — In most ways, Peaky Blinders is more similar to Boardwalk Empire than Justified. In fact, it’s often described as the British Boardwalk Empire (they take place during the same era and deal with many of the same issues). But if Peaky is the British Boardwalk, the lead character — played by Cillian Murphy — is closer to the British Raylan Givens. He’s cool, and collected, and wry, and slick as hell. One wears a Stetson, and the other wears an Irish flat cap, but these two men are definitely cut from the same cloth. (Available on Netflix)
7. Karen Sisco — Before Justified, there was another great television series based on Elmore Leonard’s work. Karen Sisco only lasted 10 episodes before it was cancelled (and it may be difficult to track down), but Carla Gugino was very much the female Raylan Givens (Florida version). There’s no Boyd Crowder, and it was on network television (and therefore, more episodic in nature), but the spirit of Elmore Leonard very much lived in that short-lived series.