July 19, 2015

True Detective Season 2

The first season of True Detective on HBO was 8 of the best hours of television I’ve ever watched. I had high expectations for season 2, which were promptly crushed in the first episode. I don’t know exactly what I wanted out of the new season, but what we’ve seen so far definitely hasn’t delivered.

I was glad to see the new season was going to completely different from the last. A new setting and a new cast of characters was the right way to go. Rust & Marty were interesting characters that could have been explored more, but I felt like their story was complete. True Detective Season One was so great because it focused on the relationship of the two leads. The True Detective S2 meme was defined by coming up with the two perfect actors to explore in the next season. It was a misstep for them to focus on four characters in season two. The lack of focus has made the show much less interesting.

The writing in season two has been awkward. It is the same set of writers so it makes me question the writing in the first season, which I thought was awesome. I feel like I should watch it again to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating. In S2 there has been at least one moment in each of the first four episodes that has made me cringe. The ridiculous things Rust Cole said felt honest and important. All of those moments in this season just feel corny and stupid. I’m not sure if it the writing itself or the shows inability to get me to buy in.

Having said that, I’m probably going to continue watching it. Today is the 5th of 8 episodes and I am committed enough to finish it out. I feel like each episode has been slightly better than the last. Hopefully that trend continues and they are able to put together a somewhat satisfying conclusion to what so far has been a bland story.

Update: I have now watched the 5th episode and I'm happy to say that the show continues to improve week after week. Maybe it is just me, but it seems like the awkwardness is subsiding and the story is getting better.

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