Longmire: A modern take on cowboy dramas


Matt Mitchell, Staff Writer

Hello readers, and welcome to NetFix, a monthly PC Bluestocking article dedicated to highlighting some of Netflix’s hidden treasures in the hope that you may get to spend more time this weekend watching rather than trying to find something to watch. Today, to ring in this new series, I’ll be talking about a new personal favorite show that Netflix recently saved from cancellation, Longmire.

The show focuses on the titular character Walt Longmire (played by Robert Taylor), the sheriff of Absaroka County, Wyoming, and his three deputies as they dispense justice in a town that seems plucked straight from the Old West. The show picks up barely a year after the tragic death of Walt’s wife, and the early episodes are dedicated to Walt’s struggle to readjust himself to the world without her. Unfortunately the world has other plans, as murders, house fires, thefts, drug dealers, and a resentful Native American Reserve make life more than a little complicated for our protagonists. Walt hides his internal pains and struggles behind a dry wit and stoic face as he diligently solves problem after problem with his Sherlock-esq powers of deduction.

His three deputies, Victoria Moretti (Katee Sackhoff), Branch Connally (Bailey Chase), and “The Ferg” Ferguson (Adam Bartley), all represent widely different walks of life, and their interactions and banter make the show lively and immensely enjoyable. In the interest of avoiding spoilers, I will simply say that everyone in the Absaroka Sheriff’s Department has secrets to hide, and discovering every character’s back story is an absolute treat, even if the episodes often cut off right when you need to know more.

The show’s pacing ranges anywhere from a leisurely stroll to near-heart-attack-inducing, and has a habit of springing sudden twists and turns on viewers that will leave you gasping and involuntarily hitting that “play next episode” button. The varied cast of characters and their fantastic interactions breaks up the action and suspense with a bit more humor than most crime dramas nowadays want to allow. This is one of Longmire’s strongest draws, as the intensity could quickly become exhausting.

The setting is another key draw for the show. Breaking with the classic New York homicide crime drama cliché, Longmire sets us in small town in Wyoming in which a small sheriff’s department has to handle all kinds of crimes, not just murder cases. This helps keep all of the episodes unique, while at the same time preventing the monotony that some other crime dramas face.

The shining star of this series though is Walt. One of the last real cowboys left, Walt’s struggles and stoic approach to life are heart-wrenching at times, and his flashes of dry humor and uncompromising intelligence give us glimpses of the man he was before his wife’s death. All-in-all, Longmire is one of the best crime dramas I’ve ever seen, and I highly recommend giving it a look.

Don’t forget to check back in soon for the next installment of NetFix!