The prospects for the series seem positive given the early ratings success yet the show doesn't score as well with the much coveted 18-49 yr. demographic. It benefits from shooting in New Mexico, certainly a beautifully acceptable alternative to yet another southern California-based production. There's snow on the ground in scenes set in the foothills and in one hostage situation, I'm sure there were real flurries swirling around the actors. 

My hunch is, the show is hitting the middle-aged A&E viewer just as you would expect for a show starring a deliberately unglamorous but rugged lead, and the network is to be congratulated for not slavishly seeking the youth audience. This modern sheriff is more than a stolid lawman, he's also a reminder of the type of hero we rarely see, the self-reliant, get-‘er-done male who's underestimated by about everyone.

Walt Longmire's haunted face, the hint of buried secrets yet to come to light may intrigue viewers enough to invest long-term in this unusual protagonist. You root for him to overcome whatever demons he's battling just as you appreciate the realism of his heavy panting after one of the action scenes. 

So far we've gotten to know the sheriff, but for the show to really take off, it needs to develop the other characters besides one-sentence biographies. Why did Vic leave the big city and move to a tiny Western town? Is Henry Standing Bear going to be anything more than a listening ear to Walt's angst? And how is the sparsely populated Absaroka County going to produce enough corpses to support several seasons on a basic cable crime drama?

*This Review First Published 7/3/2012