The Female Perspective: True Detective Season 2

Welcome! This is a twice-weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

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*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.

It’s been a bizarre week for this Rhode Island gal, first we have a, what I have dubbed, a hurrisoon 2015 that knocked my power out for 2 days and then the cable was down all morning. Fully established back in my lair of things electric and cable-fueled, I am here to type the blog I meant to write on Tuesday!

True Detective Season 2 has been less than impressive.
True Detective Season 2 has been less than impressive.

Said blog is about the HBO show True Detective. While I realize we have one episode left and I should really wait until then I decided to write this blog early and after the finale I’ll add a bit more about the show. My thoughts thus far? Meh.

I was a HUGE fan of the first season, Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, New Orleans, creepy goodness abounds, you cannot go wrong! McConaughey’s acting was some of the most bizarre, intense and nonsensical wonderfulness I’ve seen in a long time. The below speech is just one example of dozens I could show you.

True Detective Season 1 was a revelation. A wonderfully creepy tale about murder and religion. I couldn’t binge-watch this show fast enough.

Season 2 however? The only thing I can come up with is to say it is a disappointment.

It was full of potential. A great cast with Vince Vaughn, Colin Farrell, Taylor Kitsch and Rachel McAdams. Great casting. Problem is, there are too many actors in this tiny kitchen. I get that they were trying to make up for the lack of diversity, the lack of females in the first season but don’t just put people in as fillers (and for the record, all the leads were still white men so yeah, there’s that), use them to their full potential!

This show could have been stellar with just Vaughn and Farrell glaring at one another over  table. Their interactions are crisp, tension-filled moments of intense eye stares and blank facial expressions that are showing the tiniest cracks of barely suppressed fury. Vince Vaughn as the mobster trying to make some money is actually really amazing. He has better acting chops than I recalled and I could watch him all day was he releases his rage every once in awhile on his poor victims.

When Vaughn and Farrell are face-to-face, sparks fly.
When Vaughn and Farrell are face-to-face, sparks fly.

It’s obvious that Farrell and Vaughn were meant to be the stars of this show and that’s fine, as I said already, their interactions are fantastic to watch. Some of the one-liners tossed out are brilliant and fun but over all, the rest of the mess of True Detective Season 2 doesn’t help anything.

The fact is that Taylor Kitsch isn’t given much to do, his story really makes no sense and he seems to be a glorified gopher for the Farrell and McAdams. Even McAdams doesn’t get to do much but her character is fleshed out a helluva lot more than Kitsch’s is.  The thing is though, she’s a cliche. She’s the tough girl who had a rough life. She is brave, she is ballsey and yet, she’s fragile in some indefinable way that makes her almost likable. Almost, but not quite. I give McAdams a lot of credit for this, she manages to take a character that is barely well-written and make her seem three dimensional and interesting. I would honestly like to know more about her but sadly, I don’t think I will get that chance since we only have one episode left.

Will it get better? Maybe this guy knows...
Will it get better? Maybe this guy knows…

The thing is, the story loses me in almost every episode. I’ll start go get bored or tired an then BAM! Suddenly some serious stuff goes down that wakes me up. But those moments are quick, flash and gone. Those moments aren’t enough to make me say that Season 2 has been worth my time. I am waiting for the finale this Sunday but I am not quite sure that it’ll be worth it. True Detective has been a pretty short season, only 8 episodes, and it has felt very, very long but I’m hanging in for that 90-minute finale, I am REALLY hoping it’ll make up for all that has come before it!

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