With some TV shows, the appeal is obvious.
What keeps us coming back each episode is our favorite actors, a gripping drama, romance, mystery, or maybe the way it makes us laugh every time we watch.
“Longmire,” based on the “Walt Longmire Mysteries” by Craig Johnson, at first seems to provide none of these obvious reasons to keep watching.
Centered on Absaroka County, Wyoming Sheriff Walt Longmire (Robert Taylor), the show is a modern serial crime drama dressed up like a Western.
There are predictable elements of both. Sheriff Longmire is the honest cop in a corrupt world, and the stoic cowboy with a tragic past. He has a Native American best friend, and contends with a young deputy with ambitions to replace him. Just like you would expect, in each episode Walt Longmire solves the crime and nabs the killer.
What makes the show worth watching despite its predictability is the slow build-up of a longer narrative.
We are told at the beginning that Longmire’s wife died of cancer about a year before. Eventually we discover she was actually murdered, a fact which Longmire hides from everyone, even his daughter.
Longmire’s reasons for the deception provide narrative tension that holds the show together through some otherwise boring episodes.
The show picks up as we learn about the pasts of other characters, but not everyone will have the patience to keep watching long enough to see the show pay-off.
The series is available on Netflix and at the A&E website. To learn more, visit www.aetv.com/longmire.
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