True Detective Season 2: TV Review

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Before I begin to review the season premiere of True Detective season 2, I need to point out that was not sold on the previous season. Yes, the performances by Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson were amazing and yes, the final 2-3 episodes were brilliant but it was too much of a slow burn and I was forever waiting for things to properly start happening.

But, when the cast for season 2 was announced I decided to give it another shot and I’m still not fully convinced True Detective is the show for me. I love Rachel McAdams, I feel like I haven’t Colin Farrell or Vince Vaughn in anything good for ages, and I will never moan about Taylor Kitsch being on my screen. So winning combination right?

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Well, it could be. We have only had one episode so I don’t want to say the whole thing will suck but it didn’t have the pilot vibe of ‘oh wow, this is gonna be awesome – I want to watch more’. At first I didn’t think we would even get the central case/story in the premiere, so thank God we did in the final moments. At least we know the direction and link between the separate storylines. Otherwise it was simply a introduction to each character which took forever to get going – perhaps because they are trying to tell too many different stories and bring them together?

My favourites so far are McAdams’ sheriff Ani, who has serious man issues, struggles with her sister and a possible gambling problem. Colin Farrell’s detective Ray is a bent cop working for Vaughn’s entrepreneur slash criminal, but I most enjoyed his personal side, with the custody over his son, his alcohol and drug addiction and when he beat the crap out of a kid’s dad to stop him bullying. Vaughn and Kitsch’s characters have interesting stories to come, I can just feel it.

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The only thing they all have in common? They are fucking bleak. Not one character was remotely happy, fun or light, not even for a second. I know this is a heavy drama – but come on?! Don’t people need to be likeable?! I understand the audience enjoys nuance and well-rounded characters but does that mean they all have to have these demons and be corrupt?! Is there a nice guy in this town?!

As you guessed, I’m not loving so far. The setting doesn’t have the same creepy vibe as the backwaters of Louisiana and I fear it will be a bit too character driven (with too many stories at that). Nothing was particularly well explained though and I had to read the plot online to double check I hadn’t missed anything vital. I enjoy the cast and I think the plot and connections between characters will build and build as the season draws on, but I’m not sold on this premiere.

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