Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Why I will give HBO's True Detective a chance

The last thing we need is another show about serial killers.  The Following is fucking wretched, a true pox on the screen for people who think they are following a deep TV show but are too lazy to watch The Fall or The Wire. It and its whole brand of sexist-female-cruelty and double-back plotting should be banned. (I am also looking at you, old-person-show The Mentalist, with your idiotic 'Red John" nonsense.) Hannibal is pretty amazing, but that quality is against all odds. The actual serial killer stuff is pretty lame plot-wise, but the performances are lovely.  And, most of all, Bryan Fuller, who makes Hannibal--and who was behind underrated shows like Wonderfalls and Pushing Daisies, as well as a cool Munsters remake--is a true visual genius.  If the plot to Hannibal was two dudes playing chess and it was written/shot by Fuller, it would still be pretty good.

HBO's True Detective follows a similar path to potential glory.  Matthew McConaughey is straight-up amazing in quiet performance.  He is simply riveting. I cannot take my eyes off him, even if he still looks a little thin from that AIDs movie.  And, as Matty wanders off in pretension, old Woody smacks him down with earthy common sense. Woody basically says "stop all this bullshit."  The dynamic is great.

The murder stuff is a big blah.  The visual image of the first victim, with the crown and such, was pretty cool. But, honestly, they could just start speaking Danish when they rattle off stuff about the murder plot. It makes as much sense as timey-wimey bullshit on Dr. Who or that Cylon nonsense on BSG. Who cares?  The real mystery is how McConaughey went from the cool, if svelte, looking cop above to the boozie drunkard here:

I'll stick around for that character issue, and for the great performances of these two actors. But, if the sexist violence gets too dumb or, well, misogynistic...or if the women just find themselves stuck in the nag/harpy role of unimaginative modern TV... well, I will probably still watch. But I will disappointed.  So far, I am giving True Detective a chance.

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