A recent widower, Longmire is also the latest in a long line of slightly damaged fictional detectives, a man who’ll drive five hours to deliver bad news in person, only to find himself tearing up like a rookie when the moment arrives. Old-fashioned enough to eschew cellphones, he doesn’t have much use for ballistics testing, either. Naturally, he’s constantly showing up his newest deputy, Victoria "Vic" Moretti ("Battlestar Galactica’s" Katee Sackhoff), who’s quick to remind him that she was "working homicide in Philadelphia for five years" before she joined his department.
Pilots are tough things, and although most of the other characters in "Longmire" are a bit too eager to introduce themselves and everyone else — we know that Henry Standing Bear (Lou Diamond Phillips) is Walt’s best friend because he says he is, and that Walt’s daughter Cady ("Smallville’s" Cassidy Freeman) is, well, his daughter because someone reminds him — I’m willing to cut it a little slack for now.
Taylor, an Australian actor who looks and sounds as if he stepped out of an old Western, makes an appealing sheriff, and the area in northern New Mexico that’s doubling for Wyoming is every bit as scenic. "Longmire," which is premiering after the Season 3 opener of another accessible cop series, "The Glades," is an entirely respectable alternative for anyone who’d rather not spend Monday morning rehashing the latest outrage on "Mad Men."
Contact Ellen Gray at 215-854-5950 or firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on Twitter @elgray. Read her blog at EllenGray.tv.