True Detective


Television

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Scarab Sages

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As the season has progressed, besides the overall theme of hopeless despair, one thing that really sticks out to me is the "Detective" is the mobster. Vaughn's character really has nailed it for me. I'm looking forward to seeing how he develops in the face of the evil sex murder crew.

Also, the foreshadowing so totally connects evil sex murder crew to that commune Ani grew up in. The "up past Ventura" or the town that starts with a G has been mentioned too many times, and is either a big red herring, or will end up being the location of the third act.


Who the hell was Stan?

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I don't know. He's been credited in all 3 episodes according to IMDB (unreliable), so I'm guessing a background henchman for Frank. This guys is playing him and I'm not recognizing him from anything.

EDIT: one of frank's Thugs. LINK


archmagi1 wrote:

I don't know. He's been credited in all 3 episodes according to IMDB (unreliable), so I'm guessing a background henchman for Frank. This guys is playing him and I'm not recognizing him from anything.

EDIT: one of frank's Thugs. LINK

I know. I was trying to point out how inept this season's writing is up to this point. How are we supposed to relate to Frank's exasparetion about the death a character whose name wasn't even mentioned in the show?


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I think my biggest problem with this season is the lack of humor and chemistry between the principles. The first season had its share of anvilicious and clunky dialogue, manly man-angst, and darkness too. But it had McConaughey chewing through dialogue like Cookie Monster through cookies, and Harrelson always ready to rein him back in with common sense. They both cut through each other's b*+#$$$@, and their chemistry led to natural humor and believable camaraderie.


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Season 1 was greatly helped by having only two leads, only one of which really had any sort of life outside his job.

I think the writing is just spread too thin, covering 4 characters, all of which have more stuff going on than the case. The first season pretty much began with a murder to pull the audience in, whereas there almost has not been any time to even spend on this season's murder.

Scarab Sages

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Oh the carnage. In what was shaping out to be the worst episode (and the first half of the episode still stands out as pretty horrid), the final 20 minutes ramped it up to 11 in what can only be described as pretty much the worst possible thing any police raid can turn into. Despair, horror, and hopelessness still continue to somehow emerge as the dominant theme, no matter how much "I'm not gay!" face that Woodrugh struggles through.


I might give this one more episode. I'm just not really invested in anything the main characters do. Somehow Vince Vaughn's character has managed to garner a sliver of sympathy, but not enough to keep me watching unless there's a serious shift in momentum. The weirdness of season 1 seemed steeped in everything. Here, it seems tacked on almost as an afterthought, or maybe it's because of the setting. Weird, kinky sex stuff just doesn't seem out of place in L.A.

Scarab Sages

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I agree that the weirdness has been toned down a lot this season. Although they try to push some weird via the communes, the sex whatever, and the gruesome murderer, it lacks that same mystique that season 1 had. The setting, I think, is a large part of the problem. Since the procedural became popular, and even with feature length stuff, the "weird stuff goes on in LA / California" theme has been pretty much reduced to a Trope. I mean really, the weirdness inherent in the mystery is only distanced from the PAGAN cult in Dragnet (1987) by the scale from Depressing to Hilaraious (each being on polar opposite ends). No matter how hard you try to make it serious, the Weird in Cali trope has been lampooned so much from Dragnet to Beverly Hills Cop to any number of movies with caricatured cults and spiritualist movements.

The backwater Louisiana setting of the first season is just more mysterious in our popular culture landscape. Yes, the setting has been bashed to pieces from film as well (Live and Let Die, Candyman II, no shortage of Scooby Doo episodes and movies), but the depiction always remains a creepy weird and mysterious place. Cali's trope, at least in my cinematic memory, just always has been too campy. Trying to put the ubergrimdark undertones of dread and hopelessness onto the sex, drugs, and corrupt politicos trope of cinema Cali just doesn't have the same gravitas.


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I think an added problem is they're using the same style of cinematography. The aerial shots of the Louisiana bayou were beautiful and eerie. Aerial shots of L.A. set me to thinking that I'll be landing soon and hopefully my connecting flight won't be delayed.


Episode 4 finally gave me enough hints/clues on the original murder to be intrigued enough to want to see the mystery (and this season) to it's conclusion. The show had already established that Velcoro and Woodrugh were in serious career trouble, and now Bezzerides is at least as screwed over too... that police raid turned into such a fustercluck that they're all pretty much done in law enforcement even if they solve the original murder and conspiracy (which I'm betting involves all the guys shown in that old group photograph).

I'm still not sold on Vaughn as Semyon, but I think he's more believable the further his character gets from respectability.

Dark Archive

Shadowborn wrote:
I think an added problem is they're using the same style of cinematography. The aerial shots of the Louisiana bayou were beautiful and eerie. Aerial shots of L.A. set me to thinking that I'll be landing soon and hopefully my connecting flight won't be delayed.

Ha!

And yeah, this season lacks any hint of the supernatural that fueled my (limited) interest in the first season. I'll probably watch the rest just to see how screwed the various members of the cast get (since all of them seem pretty screwed already).

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

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My overwhelming feeling about this season is that I desperately want someone to do something about Rachel McAdams hair. How about a comb? It's like someone who has food in their teeth, but it's her whole head.

Edit: I'm also looking forward to the departure of the rodent that lives under Colin Farrell's nose, as shown in the previews for the next episode.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

All I'll say is that I just finished Season 1, and this is a masterpiece.

Just Wow...:
How this whole case could only be cracked open due to the unbalanced/unhinged lifestyle of McConaughey was amazing, and the pervasive and insidious culture of "don't ask don't tell" portrayed by whole State was a character in itself.

McConaughey kept going after losing his job; i.e. only a man with no respect of authority and nothing to lose could really unravel something covered up by every-level-of-society, from top to bottom...

Sovereign Court

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Purple Dragon Knight wrote:

All I'll say is that I just finished Season 1, and this is a masterpiece.

** spoiler omitted **

spoiler:
Thing is they didnt really crack the case. Sure they caught one god awful human being but the cult and conspiracy remain intact.
Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

true... as it went way up the food chain... but that one guy seems to be a true bad apple, having footholds all over the State through various mundane jobs


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Hmmm. I seem to be in the minority that enjoys this season. I like the starkness of the California landscape. I think that Farells character's struggle to reconcile his life is interesting.

Scarab Sages

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OH I enjoy it tremendously, but I'm not looking for the mythos references and hallucinations that season 1 had. I've harped on it previously, but the themes of dread and hopelessness really are what I see this season championing.


I'm very much enjoying Season 2. I could live without Rachel McAdams and the other fellow, I think Colin Farell and Vince Vaughn are making the season so far.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

I haven't watched Season 2 yet, but it seems the Season 1 team looks superior than the Season 2 team... and why the heck could they not have kept the same actors going into Season 2... (although I would probably guess that most of that Season 1 story is done... a Season 2 in the same setting would maybe result in boring moments i.e. "Noooooooooo! this is the same crap as Season 1!", etc.)


I don't know if there was really anywhere left to go for the show with season one's plotline. So I am cool with a whole new storyline/actors/characters

Sovereign Court

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I am enjoying this season but,

spoiler:
The Woodrugh dilemma "im not gay!! What a baby? Great lets get married!!" bit is just a little cartoony. Though woodrugh is hardly alone as a caricature this season.

The shootout scene was way too convenient that our main cast survives alone. It also conveniently closes the case similar to season 1 but feels sort of lazy compared to the natural feel of season 1.

I keep watching cause I think this thing is going to turn a corner at any point and get infinitely more interesting. Problem is that corner never gets turned. Maybe they have a ton in store for us in the second half of this season.....maybe.

I think the talent is definitely there this season.(probably not vaughn though hes inconsistent at best, drama aint his bag) I feel the execution and writing have really taken a step back. So far all we have is a good cop drama, but not something living up to the True Detective brand. Heres to hoping for a better second half.


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Pan, I agree. It's one of the things that bug me about this season. It's 2015. It's set in California. Woodrough's issue seems like an odd plot point.

Sovereign Court

I just finished the finale and need to get my thoughts out....

Thoughts:

I read this book once by Agatha Christie called Ten little..... well it didn't exactly have an appropriate title, which was later changed to an equally inappropriate title, but that is neither here nor there. While trying to be as not spiolier-ish as possible i'll explain the premise. A group of people who dont know each other are brought together. Things start happening and both the reader and the characters in the story are in the dark throughout. Story ends and the mystery remains unresolved, yet there was enough story to end at this point.

Agatha's biggest mistake was writing an epilogue that explains the mystery to the reader. At this point Agatha has to back track and come up with explanations to explain the happenings of the book. Its far fetched and too convenient a reveal and ruins a perfectly good mystery that would have been best left unresolved. The book was greatly diminished by this follow up chapter. Just typing this makes me want to drive to the nearest bookstore and tear the damn epilogue out of the copies there!!!

So here we are with True Detective season 2 all wrapped up. From the beginning we are given a tiny snipet of the overall plot. The rest of the season is shrouded in mystery as we are bombarded with character development to flesh out the characters. Both us and the characters of the story are in the dark. Not until the very last episodes are we given a glimpse of what is going on. Completely non-traditional television experience. It almost worked but the rush to tie all ends made for a very dissatisfying completion.

You might want to stop reading it's about to get really spoiler-ish. "Oh that? That's just Ben Casper's stupid mask!" Really? This guy carries this mask around like some type of sentimental keepsake, yet acts like its some piece of inconsequential garbage? "I could have killed you." I get that he was a bit messed up in the head but c'mon? These things seemed way too convenient to the plot and mystery. See where I'm going with the Christie story?

I applaud the writer for taking this daring venture into unmarked territory. However, the plot development just seemed too convenient at too many points. Often times the dialogue was inconsistent as well. There were some fantastic moments like, Ray finding out he killed a man not responsible for hurting his wife, the Frank and Ray staring contest, Woodrough almost makes it out, Ani and Frank confession time, etc. The character development was excellent but the plot reveals deflated the experience.

Despite my complaints, TD remains a top notch experience. There are so many layers to this show waiting to be re-explored. I heard the head of HBO talking up the show and saying folks need to ride it out. He also mentioned a third season being up to Pizzolatto. I dont know if that was the pres throwing Nic under the bus or an honest statement. I hope it was honest because I think we need daring ventures into television like True detective. Season 2 of True Detective wasn't as tight as season 1, but it was daring and that makes it interesting. I'll sign up for season 3, there is always a chance to learn from mistakes.

Dark Archive

That Leonard Cohen song, Nevermind, gets stuck in my head. It's awesome and I can listen to it over and over.

Everything else about this season? Meh.

Sovereign Court

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Set wrote:

That Leonard Cohen song, Nevermind, gets stuck in my head. It's awesome and I can listen to it over and over.

Everything else about this season? Meh.

Cohen write that? Because T-Bone Burnett is the one on the recording.

Edit: I stand corrected.


I'm with Pan, I would have preferred they not explain everything at the end.

I'll be waiting on Season 3. However, the finale was a bit of a disappointment.


Set, that's true of just about every song Cohen's ever written, imnsho.

Having seen the whole series, I wonder how much time Pizzolatto spent on the season one script as compared to the season two script. I saw an interview in which McConaughey mentioned having the entire script to work with, suggesting that Pizzolatto had been working on it for who knows how long, whereas season two feels like it was written more quickly.

Of course, that opinion is colored by an interview I heard with Matthew Wiener, where he said that the Mad Men pilot didn't get produced for years and years, so he had a lot of very specific ideas about casting when the finally went into production. Thinking it over after last night's episode, it occurred to me that a show like True Detective, with a new cast every season, only benefits from that sort of long term preparation in its first season, rather than for the whole run of the series.

Anyhow, I actually quite liked the finale, I'm just not sure it had to take seven episodes to get there, if you see what I mean.

Burnett's the series Music editor or whatever, but he doesn't cover the theme song; it was The Handsome Family for season one and Cohen for season two.


I still think TD is miles better than most television shows out there, its in the top 10% imho. It was just not as good as Season 1's finale with its existential themes. I enjoyed Vaughn's scene at the end Never stop walking, never lay down. Baby you stopped way back there .


this season is nothing compared to the 1st


Really, nothing? Personally, I feel like it's the 2nd compared to the 1st, and I remain willing to watch the 3rd.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber
Numerian wrote:
this season is nothing compared to the 1st

I haven't watched 2nd season yet, but I was expecting this... there's no way they can ever beat that 1st season. It truly shows the depth of mankind's evil nature, and exemplifies how apathy and inaction is pretty much the source of all evil (as in, inaction is the only way evil can thrive).

Scarab Sages

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Evil isn't really the focus for season two. Corruption and dispair and hoplessness fill that void.

I have really enjoyed this season and thought that Vaughan did a reasonable job. The dialogue for me was the seasons weak point, and there was a lot of bland and superfluous dialogue. The action was good when it emerged, and the surreal feelings in some of the sequences were nearly lynchian.

The finale was my favorite episode of the season, even if it did have a happy ending two thirds of the way through (which got wholly ruined in the final act).


I have to say I was disapointed with this season. Didn't watch the last two episodes, but based on plot synopses I don't feel I missed much.

Sovereign Court

Actually, I thought episode 7 was the best in the season. The last two bring it home but the long ride there being worth it is up for debate.


Wow, theres more fun in this homage than in all of season 2.

Sovereign Court

Not sure TD is supposed to be fun but....the side by side is pretty cool.


I wasn't going to watch S2, because if there's an actor I like less than Colin Ferrel, I have a hard time thinking of who it might be. But Mrs Gersen and Baby Gersen are out of town, so I had some non-rated G viewing time available...

E1 sucked. E2 was meh until the end

Spoiler:
Kirth jumps up: "Don't look behind you! YEAH! Got him! Two episodes in! Is this a great show or what?!"

E3 starts... double meh.
E4... meh... waitwhathellishappeningholycrap

Spoiler:
"Cover me!" "Okay" (starts running) BLAM! dead. Nothing heroic about this gunfight. No cool-guy quips like James Bond; just people running and panicking and shooting and hiding. And dying. A lot. Great shootout scene; one of the best ever shown on television, IMHO. And I love it that only the "named characters" survived.

E5... meh.
E6: finally we get some background on why McAdams' hangups come from. And a great party scene. Good enough to get me to watch the next disk. Two more episodes and done.

Really want a Season 3 now, but sadly it seems that's not going to happen.

Best line from S2 so far: "Did you see the kid out there? He was a f---ing god warrior that day!"

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

The Meh of season 2 is really strong. Despair just doesn't make for a good theme on television like it does on paper. You're having to rely too much on emoting and direction rather than just your imagination. It was a bit easier *relating* to the weird theme of season 1 than to the hopelessness of season 2.


Apparently there will be no season 3. Suits me fine. Loved the first season, but I couldn't bring myself to finish season 2.


Shadowborn wrote:
Apparently there will be no season 3. Suits me fine. Loved the first season, but I couldn't bring myself to finish season 2.

I have HBOnow and adds on that channel continually refer to True Detective as "the complete series", so yeah I assumed the show was dead.

And yeah...I loved the hell out of the first season but thought the second was garbage, and didn't even finish it.

Sovereign Court

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Too bad, despite season 2 being a marked drop in quality it is still one of the better shows on the air. TD you will be missed by at least this cat.


Last episode of S2 was strongly reminiscent of a James Ellroy novel. And that's totally cool with me.

Sovereign Court

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Season 3 is happening. Looks like they got Mahershala Ali (Copperhead from Luke Cage) on deck.

"Bloys, who did not oversee the second season as he only took over as the network's programming head in May 2016, said he thinks the extra time they've taken to craft Season 3 will ultimately benefit the series. "

Gotta say I agree with the above. I think season 2 had the right talent it was execution that failed it.


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I'm ready for Season 3. True Detective is awesome (yes even S2 was better than average).

Sovereign Court

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More details have been released. Sounds like a multi-decade story taking place in the Ozarks.


I think TD might take over the slot left by GoT when it departs 2019.

Sovereign Court

We have a number 2 now. Didnt know Stephen Dorf was still around. Sounds like this story spans 3 decades!


True Detective season 3 trailer, premieres January 13th, 2019.

Looks really good.

Sovereign Court

One week away from premier. I noticed that there has been a distinct lack of stephen dorf in the trailers. Wonder if they want to keep his role a reveal experience or they just assume nobody knows who he is anymore?

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