RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:
Over on the cable channel FX, the drama "Justified" begins its second season this week. It's about a U.S. Marshall based in Kentucky.
FX: smart and emotionally complex working-class heroes.
ERIC DEGGANS: Givens is a modern-day U.S. marshal with the soul of a sheriff from the Old West; as streetwise and smart as you might imagine.
(SOUNDBITE OF TV SERIES, "JUSTIFIED")
TIMOTHY OLYPHANT: (as Raylan Givens) Whoa-okay, I'm just going to ask you one question. Do you know how a firearm works?
DEGGANS: Here, he's just doused an angry sex offender with gasoline, trying to convince him to put down his gun.
OLYPHANT: (as Raylan Givens) The key word in firearm is fire. When the pin hits the cap, it makes the charge explode - meaning there's a spark - which should be of some concern to a man soaked in gasoline. Can't we just try to end this without you trying to turn yourself into the human torch?
DEGGANS: Played by actor Timothy Olyphant, Raylan Givens is the opposite of the stereotypes we're often fed about working-class men on television. In Givens' world, catching the bad guys and winning shootouts is the easy part. Mastering his life and the unpredictable moves of those he loves most, that's what keeps him up at night. And he's not alone.
FX: Unidentified Man #2: Margin of error.
(SOUNDBITE OF A TV SERIES)
DEGGANS: Unidentified Man #1: What about the bingo money?
IRS: Unidentified Man #1: What?
DEGGANS: FX seems to be slyly re-writing the rules for white, working-class characters right before our eyes. And in exchange, we get some of the best, most exciting, unorthodox figures on series television. A pretty good bargain, if you ask me.
MONTAGNE: And this is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, Host:
And I'm Steve Inskeep.
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