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21 Justified Facts for the Final Season

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For five seasons, Timothy Olyphant has redefined the 21st-century lawman as cool-as-can-be U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens on the FX series Justified. Tonight, the show—based on a short story by the late, great Elmore Leonard, who also served as an executive producer—will begin its sixth and final season. If the previous five seasons are any indication, it’s fair to assume that there will be a body count when Raylan tips his Stetson for the final time. Here are 21 things you might not know about Graham Yost’s Emmy-winning series. 

1. RAYLAN GIVENS EXISTED BEFORE JUSTIFIED.

Though Justified, and its pilot episode in particular, is based on Elmore Leonard’s 2001 short story "Fire in the Hole," Raylan Givens made his literary debut in 1993, as a character in Leonard’s novel Pronto, and again in 1995’s Riding the Rap.

2. STEVEN SEAGAL IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SERIES’ TITLE.

In the early stages of production, the series’ working title was "Lawman." “And then Steven Seagal’s reality show [Steven Seagal: Lawman] came on and we felt that there would be too much confusion, so we had to come up with something else,” series creator Graham Yost told IESB in 2010. “And someone at FX came up with Justified because it was used as a line in the pilot.”

3. EVEN BEFORE JUSTIFIED, LEONARD WAS ONE OF YOST’S BIGGEST INFLUENCES.

“Elmore was an influence—or at least someone I aspired to emulate—even before Justified,” Yost told TV Dudes when asked about the writers that inspired him.

4. YOST GOT HIS START ON HEY DUDE.

Yost’s first paying gig in Hollywood was as a writer on the Nickelodeon series Hey Dude, which ran from 1989 to 1991. “It was very low-budget,” Yost recalled to A.V. Club in 2013. “We were shooting on location at a real dude ranch in Tucson, so it looked pretty good for the paltry sum. We’d shoot an episode in three days so we were shooting 10 to 15 pages a day in the half-hour format. It was a great experience. The budget was a challenge, but the big challenge was just that we weren’t necessarily the best writers; we all became better.” 

5. YOST ALSO WROTE FOR FULL HOUSE.

Shortly after his Hey Dude gig ended, Yost spent a couple of months as a writer on Full House. “I was on Full House for nine and a half weeks,” Yost told A.V. Club. “I was hired on a probationary period of 10 weeks, and I quit four days before I was going to be fired. It’s funny, I’ve run into Dennis Rinsler, who was one of the showrunners there with Marc Warren, and they have never confirmed for me that I was going to be fired, but I certainly felt like I was going to be fired … I was told that I was hired because they wanted edge, and a show like that really didn’t want edge. It was a big room, and it was competitive, and it was hard to get stuff in. I just felt like I was completely not the right fit. Although I really liked everyone in the room, it just didn’t feel like a good fit. So I quit, and then happily Speed sold a couple days later.” 

6. LEONARD WAS A FAN OF OLYPHANT’S PORTRAYAL.

Before his passing, Leonard was very vocal about being a fan of Justified—particularly with the way that Olyphant interpreted the character of Raylan. In 2012, The Wall Street Journal asked Leonard whether the series had influenced the way he visualized the character in his writing, to which he responded: “No, because Tim Olyphant plays the character exactly the way I wrote him. I couldn't believe it. He's laidback and he's quiet about everything, but he says, if I have to pull my gun, then that's a different story. And it works. There are very few actors that recite the lines exactly the way you hear them when you're writing the book. George Clooney [in the 1998 movie Out of Sight] was one. He was very good.” 

7. OLYPHANT ISN’T THE FIRST ACTOR TO PORTRAY RAYLAN GIVENS.

James LeGros got there first, playing Raylan Givens in the 1997 TV movie adaptation of Pronto. And LeGros has popped up on Justified, too: In 2011, he began a recurring role as small-potato criminal Wade Messer. 

8. NICK SEARCY WAS THE FIRST CHOICE FOR ART MULLEN.

“When I read Elmore’s story 'Fire in the Hole,' and I got to the character of Art Mullen, I just knew that that would be Nick Searcy,” Yost told IESB. “I worked with him on From the Earth to the Moon, and he’s from the South and he has that avuncular, good sense of humor and yet is believable as a boss.” 

9. WALTON GOGGINS HAD TO BE CONVINCED TO PLAY BOYD CROWDER.

“I've known Walt for years, and when we first mentioned the idea of him playing Boyd, he had concerns—the stereotype of the Southern racist and all that,” Olyphant recently told Rolling Stone. “He's from the region [Goggins was raised in Georgia] so he was sensitive about putting that out there in a one-dimensional way. You know, a lot of actors, we aren't that special; you get a well-written scene, and it's virtually actor-proof. But during the casting process, we had a list of people we had in mind for Boyd and the more I looked at his name on that list, the more I kept telling everyone involved, ‘Look, I stand corrected. I've been saying anyone could do it, but we really need to get this specific guy to play Boyd. He'll bring something special to it.’ And the son of a bitch did. He makes everybody better just by being around him.”

10. BOYD WASN’T SUPPOSED TO SURVIVE THE FIRST EPISODE.

It’s hard to imagine Justified without the frenemy friction between Raylan and Boyd. But even when the series began shooting, the plan was for Boyd to be killed off in the pilot. “Walton Goggins was initially resistant to the idea of playing Boyd, but we talked him into it,” Yost told IESB. “And that became a huge get for the show because he really made Boyd come alive and become someone that, in Elmore’s story and then in the pilot as we shot it, dies, but the decision was made to keep him alive.” 

11. THERE WAS NO ARLO IN "FIRE IN THE HOLE."

In the series, Raylan’s criminal father Arlo serves as an impetus for his choice to stay on the right side of the law. But in the original short story, Raylan’s daddy issues weren’t quite so prominent. “In Elmore’s story ... Raylan’s father is dead and he died of black lung,” Yost told IESB. “He was a miner. I just decided, ‘Well, let’s keep him alive and let’s have him be a criminal.’ That’s what Raylan rebelled against, and that’s why he became a U.S. Marshal. So, right there, that dynamic gave us something to explore.”

12. TO GET LEONARD’S VOICE RIGHT, THE WRITERS BECAME READERS.

One of Justified’s hallmarks is its ability to perfectly replicate Leonard’s whipsmart dialogue. And much of this comes from the first assignment Yost gave after assembling his team of writers: Read! “When we started the writing room, we bought as many of Elmore’s books as we could find and divided them up,” Yost told IESB. “Everyone took a couple on and read them, so they would get into the rhythms and get the style. One of the great things that I got to do in writing the pilot was actually retype a lot of Elmore’s style and put it in the script. It was interesting. Just the act of retyping it let me get into the language a little bit more.”

13. LEONARD ENVISIONED RAYLAN WITH A SMALLER HAT.

Raylan’s signature Stetson is a bit larger than Leonard imagined it. “The critics have been calling Raylan a cowboy with his hat,” Leonard told Salon. “The hat came unexpectedly [with the show]. I had described kind of a businessman’s Stetson, a smaller Stetson … But evidently he found his own hat and design. It’s perfect. I don’t see him bareheaded. He seems to need a hat to define who he is.”

14. THERE IS ONLY ONE BACKUP FOR THE HAT ON SET AT ANY GIVEN TIME.

Raylan’s hat is one of the character’s key accessories (second only to his gun, perhaps—though he did spend much of season five hat-less). But there’s not a closetful of Stetsons on set should the main hat sustain damage during shooting. “Over the holidays, our costumer took the hat and asked if it was okay to have it refit,” Olyphant told Rolling Stone in 2014. “‘It's taking a heck of a beating.’ So I said, ‘Of course,’ and she said, ‘God, I had the hat at my house and I was constantly locking the doors… I can't be the person who loses that hat.’”

15. YOU CAN BUY YOUR VERY OWN RAYLAN HAT.

Want to channel your inner U.S. Marshal? A replica of Raylan’s hat can be yours—for the price of $144.95—at FX’s online shop

16. GOGGINS IS AN OSCAR WINNER.

Though he was nominated for an Emmy in 2011 for his work on Justified, Walton Goggins has already got the ultimate golden guy on his bookshelf: an Oscar, which he won in 2002 for The Accountant, a short film he co-produced and starred in that took home the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film. 

17. OLYPHANT CLAIMS TO BE DOING HIS BEST SAM ELLIOTT IMPRESSION.

In order to be the coolest guy in the room, Olyphant claims that he just acts as Sam Elliott might. The irony, of course, is that Elliott will star as one of the final season’s bad guys. “On his first day of work, I took [Sam] aside and said, ‘Look, buddy, here's the deal: Raylan is really just me trying to be you and failing miserably,” Olyphant joked to Rolling Stone. “‘In fact, I've just been stealing your whole deal since before I started this gig. Now, when we do our scenes together, people are going to be like, 'Oh, now I get it! Tim is doing Sam Elliott but with the voice of a 12-year-old girl.’” I mean, what the f*** was I supposed to do? I couldn't rely on my old tricks. But we cast him anyway. It was too good an opportunity to pass up.”

18. IT WAS YOST AND OLYPHANT’S IDEA TO END THE SERIES WITH SIX SEASONS.

“It really came down to me and Tim, but everyone was comfortable with what we decided,” Yost told HitFix in 2014. “It was just our feeling that we only had so much story left, and to try to stretch it to a seventh season would not be the smartest move. It wouldn't be an entirely clean and separate seventh season.” 

19. THE FINAL SEASON WILL BRING THE SERIES FULL CIRCLE.

“The final season will bring us back to where we started in the pilot,” Yost told TV Dudes in 2014. “It will all come done to Raylan, Boyd, and Ava. At this point we still haven't decided who lives and who dies.”

20. THE WORLD IS NOW FULL OF RAYLANS.

In 2011, Raylan—the name—made its way into the real world when it became the 699th most common name for newborn boys. Its rank rose to 535 in 2012 and 510 in 2013. It doubles as a girl’s name, too, though for every 15 boys named Raylan there is just one girl. Some fans of the show have opted for a softer Rae-Lynn. The name came from a real-life Raylan that Leonard met. 

21. EVEN OLYPHANT ISN’T SURE WHETHER RAYLAN IS A GOOD GUY.

When recently asked whether he’d miss playing Raylan, Olyphant told Rolling Stone, “I know what you mean by that question, but ... no. I mean, I realize this was a great part to play, and I'll miss working with these guys a lot. But I had some problems with Raylan. I'm not so sure he's a great guy … When people tell me they like Raylan, I just say ‘Thank you very much.’ I honestly do appreciate the compliment. Just because I think he's kind of an asshole doesn't mean they have to think that, too.”

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8 Things We Know About Stranger Things Season 3
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[Warning: There are lots of Stranger Things season two spoilers ahead.]

Stranger Things season two is in the books, and like we all hoped, it turned out to be a worthy follow-up to an addictive debut season. Now, though, we’re left with plenty of questions, mysteries, and theories to chew on as the wait for a third season begins. But for everything we don’t know about what the next year of Stranger Things will bring us (such as an actual release date), there are more than enough things we do know to keep those fan theories coming well into 2018. While the show hasn't been officially greenlit for a third season by Netflix yet, new details have already begun to trickle out. Here’s everything we know about Stranger Things season three so far.

1. THERE WILL BE ANOTHER TIME JUMP.

The third season of Stranger Things won’t pick up right where the second one left off. Like the show experienced between the first two seasons, there will be a time jump between seasons two and three as well. The reason is simple: the child actors are all growing up, and instead of having the kids look noticeably older without explanation for year three, the Duffer Brothers told The Hollywood Reporter:

“Our kids are aging. We can only write and produce the show so fast. They're going to be almost a year older by the time we start shooting season three. It provides certain challenges. You can't start right after season two ended. It forces you to do a time jump. But what I like is that it makes you evolve the show. It forces the show to evolve and change, because the kids are changing.”

2. THE IDEA IS TO BE SMALLER IN SCALE.

If the series’s second season was about expanding the Stranger Things mythology, the third season won't go bigger just for the sake of it, with the brothers even going so far as to say that it will be a more intimate story.

“It’s not necessarily going to be bigger in scale,” Matt Duffer said in an interview with IndieWire. “What I am really excited about is giving these characters an interesting journey to go on.”

Ross Duffer did stress, though, that as of early November, season three is basically “… Matt and me working with some writers and figuring out where it’s going to go.”

3. THE MIND FLAYER WILL BE BACK.

The second season ended on a bit of a foreboding note when it was revealed that the Mind Flayer was still in the Upside Down and was seen looming over the Hawkins school as the winter dance was going on. Though we know there will be a time jump at the start of next season, it’s clear that the monster will still have a big presence on the show.

Executive producer Dan Cohen told TV Guide: "There were other ways we could have ended beyond that, but I think that was a very strong, lyrical ending, and it really lets us decide to focus where we ultimately are going to want to go as we dive into Season 3."

What does the Mind Flayer’s presence mean for the new crop of episodes? Well, there will be plenty of fan theories to ponder between now and the season three premiere (whenever that may be).

4. PLENTY OF LEFTOVER SEASON TWO STORYLINES WILL BE IN SEASON THREE.

The Duffer Brothers had a lot of material for the latest season of the show—probably a bit too much. Talking to Vulture, Matt Duffer detailed a few details and plot points that had to be pushed to season three:

"Billy was supposed to have a bigger role. We ended up having so many characters it ended up, in a way, more teed up for season three than anything. There was a whole teen supernatural story line that just got booted because it was just too cluttered, you know? A lot of that’s just getting kicked into season three."

The good news is that he also told the site that this wealth of cut material could make the writing process for the third season much quicker.

5. THERE WILL BE MORE ERICA.

Stranger Things already had a roster of fan-favorite characters heading into season two, but newcomer Erica, Lucas’s little sister, may have overshadowed them all. Played by 11-year-old Priah Ferguson, Erica is equal parts expressive, snarky, and charismatic. And the Duffer Brothers couldn’t agree more, saying that there will be much more Erica next season.

“There will definitely be more Erica in Season 3,” Ross Duffer told Yahoo!. “That is the fun thing about the show—you discover stuff as you’re filming. We were able to integrate more of her in, but not as much you want because the story [was] already going. ‘We got to use more Erica’—that was one of the first things we said in the writers’ room.”

“I thought she’s very GIF-able, if that’s a word,” Matt Duffer added. “She was great.”

6. EXPECT KALI TO RETURN.

The season two episode “The Lost Sister” was a bit of an outlier for the series. It’s a standalone episode that focuses solely on the character Eleven, leaving the central plot and main cast of Hawkins behind. As well-received as Stranger Things season two was, this episode was a near-unanimous miss among fans and critics.

The episode did, however, introduce us to the character of Kali (Linnea Berthelsen), who has the ability to manipulate people’s minds with illusions she creates. Despite the reaction, the Duffers felt the episode was vital to Eleven’s development, and that Kali won’t be forgotten moving forward.

“It feels weird to me that we wouldn’t solve [Kali’s] storyline. I would say chances are very high she comes back,” Matt Duffer said at the Vulture Festival.

7. OTHER "NUMBERS" MIGHT SHOW UP.

We're already well acquainted with Eleven, and season two introduced us to Eight (a.k.a. Kali), and executive producer Shawn Levy heavily hinted to E! that there are probably more Hawkins Laboratory experiments on the horizon.

"I think we've clearly implied there are other numbers, and I can't imagine that the world will only ever know Eleven and Eight," Levy said.

8. THERE MIGHT NOT BE MANY SEASONS LEFT.

Don’t be in too much of a rush to find out everything about the next season of Stranger Things; there might not be many more left. The Duffer Brothers have said in the past that the plan is to do four seasons and end it. However, Levy gave fans a glimmer of hope that things may go on a little while longer—just by a bit, though.

“Hearts were heard breaking in Netflix headquarters when the Brothers made four seasons sound like an official end, and I was suddenly getting phone calls from our actors’ agents,” Levy told Entertainment Weekly. “The truth is we’re definitely going four seasons and there’s very much the possibility of a fifth. Beyond that, it becomes I think very unlikely.”

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20 Random Facts About Shopping
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Shopping on Black Friday—or, really, any time during the holiday season—is a good news/bad news kind of endeavor. The good news? The deals are killer! The bad news? So are the lines. If you find yourself standing behind 200 other people who braved the crowds and sacrificed sleep in order to hit the stores early today, here's one way to pass the time: check out these fascinating facts about shopping through the ages.

1. The oldest customer service complaint was written on a clay cuneiform tablet in Mesopotamia 4000 years ago. (In it, a customer named Nanni complains that he was sold inferior copper ingots.)

2. Before battles, some Roman gladiators read product endorsements. The makers of the film Gladiator planned to show this, but they nixed the idea out of fear that audiences wouldn’t believe it.

3. Like casinos, shopping malls are intentionally designed to make people lose track of time, removing clocks and windows to prevent views of the outside world. This kind of “scripted disorientation” has a name: It’s called the Gruen Transfer.

4. According to a study in Social Influence, people who shopped at or stood near luxury stores were less likely to help people in need.

5. A shopper who first purchases something on his or her shopping list is more likely to buy unrelated items later as a kind of reward.

6. On the Pacific island of Vanuatu, some villages still use pigs and seashells as currency. In fact, the indigenous bank there uses a unit of currency called the Livatu. Its value is equivalent to a boar’s tusk. 

7. Sears used to sell build-your-own homes in its mail order catalogs.

8. The first shopping catalog appeared way back in the 1400s, when an Italian publisher named Aldus Manutius compiled a handprinted catalog of the books that he produced for sale and passed it out at town fairs.

9. The first product ever sold by mail order? Welsh flannel.

10. The first shopping cart was a folding chair with a basket on the seat and wheels on the legs.

11. In the late 1800s in Corinne, Utah, you could buy legal divorce papers from a vending machine for $2.50.

12. Some of the oldest known writing in the world includes a 5000-year-old receipt inscribed on a clay tablet. (It was for clothing that was sent by boat from Ancient Mesopotamia to Dilmun, or current day Bahrain.)

13. Beginning in 112 CE, Emperor Trajan began construction on the largest of Rome's imperial forums, which housed a variety of shops and services and two libraries. Today, Trajan’s Market is regarded as the oldest shopping mall in the world.

14. The Chinese invented paper money. For a time, there was a warning written right on the currency that all counterfeiters would be decapitated.

15. Halle Berry was named after Cleveland, Ohio's Halle Building, which was home to the Halle Brothers department store.

16. At Boston University, students can sign up for a class on the history of shopping. (Technically, it’s called “The Modern American Consumer”)

17. Barbra Streisand had a mini-mall installed in her basement. “Instead of just storing my things in the basement, I can make a street of shops and display them,” she told Harper's Bazaar. (There are photos of it here.)

18. Shopping online is not necessarily greener. A 2016 study at the University of Delaware concluded that “home shopping has a greater impact on the transportation sector than the public might suspect.”

19. Don’t want to waste too much money shopping? Go to the mall in high heels. A 2013 Brigham Young University study discovered that shoppers in high heels made more balanced buying decisions while balancing in pumps.

20. Cyber Monday is not the biggest day for online shopping. The title belongs to November 11, or Singles Day, a holiday in China that encourages singles to send themselves gifts. According to Fortune, this year's event smashed all previous records with more than $38 million in sales.

A heaping handful of these facts came from John Lloyd, John Mitchinson, and James Harkin's delightful book, 1,234 Quite Interesting Facts to Leave You Speechless.

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