With nearly 20 years of watching Law & Order, I could be accurately described as a procedural crime show fan. On the other hand, I’m not that fond of westerns, aside from Unforgiven and the recent Hell or High Water. Recently encouraged to give Longmire a try, I figured it would be a mix of both genres.

Having binged the first season in less than a week, I have to say both my wife and I are enjoying it. While each episode has a specific arc, so far with the titular Walt Longmire catching the crook each time, the show seems more about the individual characters than the crimes they solve; much more The Wire than Law & Order in that regard.

The performances are all fantastic and I want to really note the two stars of the show:

Katee Sakhoff as Victoria “Vic” Moretti
Having mostly seen Sakhoff in the (fantastic) Battlestar Galactica reboot, I was very interested to see how she did in a modern-era show, and I certainly was not left wanting. Kara “Starbuck” Thrace was a complex character but one with relatively straightforward motivations and backstory. Vic is certainly not that, and it has been genuinely enjoyable seeing how Sakhoff makes this character come alive.
Robert Taylor as Walter Longmire
Not having seen much of this Australian actor before this show, I am impressed with the subtlety and nuance with which he handles the role. Sheriff Longmire is a conflicted, sometimes troubled, man, one driven by a very old-West, “man’s man,” frontier attitude toward life. His interactions with others, and how he handles his own past, is a big draw for me, particularly with lingering, “quiet” shots that highlight what an actor can do when not reciting lines.

With a somewhat jerky start, the show has nevertheless carried itself well through the first season, largely on the strength of its characters rather than the particular cases. The setting of a fictional Wyoming county is novel, and while some character introductions or particular idiosyncrasies are a stretch for the imagination, all in all the show is enjoyable and is something the wife and I look forward to watching together.

Watch If: you like Westerns, crime dramas, or interpersonal conflict

Do not Watch If: you want non-stop action or episodic plots that aren’t wrapped up neatly by the end of each episode