Longmire: The Complete First Season (DVD)
Robert Taylor stars as charismatic, dedicated and unflappable Wyoming sheriff Walt Longmire in this contemporary crime thriller based on the best-selling mystery novels. Widowed only a year, Longmire is a man in psychic repair that buries his pain behind a brave face and dry wit. Struggling since his wifeâ€™s death and at the urging of his daughter (Cassidy Freeman), Longmire knows that the time has come to turn his life around. With the help of a female deputy new to the department (Katee Sackhoff), he becomes reinvigorated about his job. When an ambitious, young deputy (Bailey Chase) decides to run against him for sheriff, Longmire feels betrayed but remains steadfast in his dedication to the community. Longmire often turns to close friend and confidant Henry Standing Bear (Lou Diamond Phillips) for support as he sets out to rebuild both his personal and professional life, one step at a time.
has a few things going for it even before you slip the discs into the player: good source material (Craig Johnson's popular Walt Longmire Mystery
series), a beautiful setting (the wide-open spaces of the American West), and a genre that's inherently pretty cool (the cowboy detective). These 10 first-season episodes (on two discs, along with a couple of bonus features) live up to expectations. Australian actor Robert Taylor is convincing as the title character, the sheriff of Wyoming's Absaroka County and the archetypal strong, silent type. Recently widowed and still in pain, he's left his wife's voice on the answering machine and her ashes in a wooden tea box; exactly what happened to her, and how Walt plans to tell their daughter (Cassidy Freeman), a local attorney, looms over the series until the final episode. But while he's a tough guy (real men don't have cell phones, at least in this world), Walt also abides by a strong moral code--he'll drive five hours to personally tell a woman that her husband has been killed, and will doggedly track down a killer whose victim was a loathsome low-life whom everybody else is glad to see dead. He has some help from his deputies, including "Vic" Moretti (Katee Sackhoff), a recent arrival from Philadelphia, and Branch Connally (Bailey Chase), a brash dude who's got his eye on the sheriff's gig, as well as Henry Standing Bear (the veteran Lou Diamond Phillips), a bar owner who runs interference between the cops and the Native Americans on the local reservation. But in the end, it's the meticulous, observant Walt who solves the case; think of him as Sherlock Holmes, with a spiritual side. The murders themselves include child abduction, prostitution rings, drug running, and such--nothing especially original, with the exception of a luckless fellow whose tormentors tie him up, cover him with flank steak, and sic a wild bear on him (the results are, well, grisly). Longmire
, which features music by the likes of Steve Earle, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Papa Roach, and the Foo Fighters, deserves a look. --Sam Graham