After an erratic, confusing and lethargy-inducing first six episodes, True Detective finally decided two nights ago to deliver an installment — “Black Maps and Motel Rooms” — that seemed to actually pull you in to some extent. Well, sort of. Along with the usual feeling of being drained and diddle-fucked.
I feel so detached from this damn show that I didn’t watch it until last night (i.e., Monday), and I’d been a hardcore Sunday-night watcher for the previous six weeks, catching the East Coast feed at 6 pm. True Detective has been one of worst plot-diddling wankathons in search of a gripping drama that’s been consumed nationwide, ever. It’s dense and meandering and pickled to a fare-thee-well. I felt vaguely haunted during the first season (all of that bayou voodoo Yellow King shit), but mostly felt a growing annoyance with season #2. It’s become a joke, a punchline, a psychological endurance test. I honestly wouldn’t mind if the show just shoots itself in the head next week during the 90-minute finale (around the 45-minute mark, say) and goes to black screen. You know, like the final seconds of The Sopranos.
Read this moderately hilarious Atlantic summary by Spencer Kornhaber, Christopher Orr and David Sims — these guys could not give less of an infinitesimal speck of shit about this series. Read this q & a breakdown of the whole seven episodes by Slate‘s Willa Paskins — the woman is clearly in pain, pulling out brain strands and meshing them into soggy lumps and trying to stuff them back into her head. The truth is that I’ve loved the online summaries of Season #2 more than the show itself.
Yes, I was half-fatigued but half-intrigued at first by having to watch each episode two or three times and read two or three plot summary pieces to keep up…stay with it! But I realized last weekend that I didn’t give a shit any more. Because even when you sorta kinda half-assedly figure it all out a few plot points are still unclear. I gradually began to feel like Richard Burton‘s Alexander the Great contemplating the Gordian Knot. And then sometime last Friday or Saturday it came to me: “Fuck this show.” And you know I’m not alone. You know that the entire world has come together against it. You know that HBO chief Michael Lombardo was on the defensive about this last week.
From here on and for the rest of my life the name “Nic Pizzolatto” will put a vague (make that very vague) fear of God into me. That and an instinct to watch something else. I really, really don’t like the feeling of being Pizzolatto’ed.
But at least Vince Vaughn‘s Frank Seymon got really angry last night and started killing guys and starting fires. At least that! I’m presuming that when the Season Two Bluray comes out there will be a subtitle option, and this will afford me the opportunity of finally understanding what Rachel McAdams‘ Anni has been saying half the time with her whispery-breathy anxiety “fry”-speak. I didn’t know what to do with Anni and Colin Farrell‘s Ray Velcoro hooking up, by the way, but I’m certain that it didn’t feel earned or inevitable like it did, say, when Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis finally locked loins in Witness — it was just kind of “uhhm, uhhm…I’d…uhhm, I think I wanna kinda might-as-well fuck you.” Thank God they cut away because I really didn’t want to see Ray’s dad bod thrusting into Anni’s. Yes, it’s true: Farrell used to be a hotty, and now he’s a schlumpy & dumpy whom I’d rather not contemplate in carnal terms…sorry.
And I’m naturally presuming, by the way, that those two bullets that slammed into the back of Taylor Kitsch‘s Paul Woodrugh were made of rubber and so he’s not really dead…right? That would be in keeping with Velcoro getting shot twice with a shotgun at the end of episode #2 (once at point-blank range) and not only surviving but more or less back in action at the start of episode #3.