Tonight another pivotal episode of “True Detective” season 2 is set to air on HBO, and as we prepare to watch this story unfold we are still left to ponder one very simple question: Are we getting the show we deserve? That’s a modified version of the tagline for this season, but it is hard to deny that even before season 2 begun, we were hearing snipes about how the cast was bad, about how nobody wanted a Los Angeles setting, or about how the first season was suddenly overrated.
Now, just a simple Google search reveals a variety of harshness about the show. Salon is putting a harsh word like “laughingstock” as a title for an article. The Hollywood Reporter is talking about “lost” sings that have been put up in New York mocking the series. We’ve read several articles over the past couple of days mocking the dialogue. All of this would suggest that we are looking at a terrible series worse than what network TV puts out.
Out feeling here is that the show is not a laughingstock; however, it should learn to laugh at itself a little more often. The dark subject matter and the gravitas have turned it into an easy target, and having someone like Vince Vaughn in the cast, who is known for some poor films as of late, have put the spotlight on potential shortcomings even more. “True Detective” season 2 is not bad by any means. Colin Farrell and Rachel McAdams have been fantastic throughout, and while it has been hard to grasp the Paul character, Taylor Kitsch has done his best. The shooting sequence, while hard to understand at times in terms of the plot, was fantastically created.
We felt like this past episode (the fifth of the season) was the best so far; jumping forward allowed for a bit of a reset, and a chance for the writing to simplify as we learned how Ray, Ani, and Frank were brought back in to work on the Caspere murder case. At that point, were minds on the series already made up?
The rut that “True Detective” is for us stems from what we feel is expectation, and the sensationalism that comes from being at times a little bit boring. There is nothing interesting in calling something good-but-not-great; therefore, in the age of the internet, the series suddenly becomes terrible and a waste of everyone’s time. If you are on HBO, you are either fantastic in the minds of the media or a disappoint. Is there a way for it to change its narrative? We’d like to believe so, but much as many people had their minds made up this season before the premiere, it may be a little late.
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