I adore Raylan, but I find myself loving all of the characters. My second favorite is definitely Boyd, and damn, if the show didn't do an amazing job in the twists and turns and building of this character. I was partial to Natalie Zea already (I remember her when she was the recast Gwen on Passions -- who was then replaced by the original Gwen, played by Susan Lucci's daughter!), so I figured unless her Winona was horribly written, I'd like her. She's not, and so yeah, I love her too. Ava took a bit of time to grow on me, but by episode four of season two, I was on board with her too. And now I'm all SHE BETTER NOT DIE! I love Art, Rachel, Tim and Helen (sniff, sniff). All of the recurring characters, even the one-off ones are genuinely interesting.
I didn't really cotton to Raylan and Ava so I'm glad they've moved from that. Especially since I've got Raylan and Winona and Ava and Boyd (!) out of that. I think that Olyphant and Zea have great chemistry, and I love that even in the midst of all of the drama, there are still moments where they are just utterly cute and adorable and I want to squish them. And Ava and Boyd -- what a development there, alongside Boyd's -- just spark.
Acting/Writing and Plots/Direction
Overall, it's top-notch across the line. The plots, the overreaching season arcs as well as the one-episode cases, are really well done, connect beautifully and really grab and keep attention. I also really enjoy the fact that there is a sly sense of humor and laugh-out-loud moments (the old geezers chase -- sorry Art -- comes to mind, hilarious!) amidst all of the drama, gunslinging, drug-pedaling, backstabbing, betrayal, sexing, profanity, blood-shedding, law-breaking and mayhem.
Overall, I'm really glad I decided to watch this show. I wish I could remember who it was on my flist who talked about this show enough that it stuck in my brain. Now, I just have to wait forever for season three. *sigh*