True Detective

If you did not catch this on HBO tonight, you missed out.

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63 replies
  1. 1
    efgoldman says:

    Sorry, my cable/intartoobz/phone bill is already too high, because mrs efgoldman wants the tier with Biography so she can watch those stupid paranormal shows.
    But my daughter just gave me the complete The Wire on DVD for Xmas, so I’ll probably catchup on True Detective 5-6 years down the road.

  2. 2
    Keith P says:

    I want to watch the rest of the season *tonight*. It’s like watching a half hour of Silence of the Lambs and putting off more of it for another week.

  3. 3
    Porco Rosso says:

    Archer and Rick and Morty tomorrow

  4. 4
    MikeJ says:

    Gonna kick back and watch Sherlock S03E03 His Last Vow HDTV x264 in a bit.

  5. 5
    Botsplainer says:

    I’m on a Shameless marathon. Season 2 is mighty grim.

  6. 6
    Hawes says:

    If only there was some way to watch shows after they aired….

    I guess I’ll never know.

  7. 7
    jl says:

    I missed out, then. Had enough TV today at football BBQ, watching the forces of goodness and light win (at least they won the first game). Really didn’t care that much about the second game, though would have been nice for San Diego to win, but not nice enough for me to watch much, instead of eating too much.

    Anyway, AL says Cole was ogling starlets’ ‘globes’ displayed on the awards show. Did Cole really watch some detective show, or is the post just to throw us off the truth?

  8. 8
    imonlylurking says:

    Just saw 47 Ronin in 3D and I want to see it again. I know it’s not everybody’s thing but I loved it. Visually one of the prettiest movies I’ve seen.

  9. 9
    Anne Laurie says:

    It must’ve been great, Cole — you didn’t bigfoot my last post!

  10. 10

    It’s an interesting way to do a series — as I understand it, it’s going to be like “American Horror Story” in that each season will be a single story that gets wrapped up within that season, and Season 2 will be a new story with a new cast.

    We have it on the Tivo and will probably be watching it this week.

  11. 11
    E Stamm says:

    That is what hbo-go is for.

  12. 12
    MikeJ says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): I’m a firm believer that if you have season long story arcs you (the producer/writer) should know the ending before you start. I hate shows that just stack up more bullshit as long as the ratings as good enough to stay on the air.

  13. 13
    khead says:

    Uh, it’s HBO. It will be on 637 more times this week not including on demand.

  14. 14
    MoeLarryAndJesus says:

    In the opening scene Woody Harrelson looks like an Oompa Loompa. Awesome.

  15. 15

    @MikeJ:

    Yes and no. Some of the most memorable TV plot lines — like Scully being abducted by aliens — came about accidentally. What’s annoying is when TV shows try to drag a “mystery” across multiple seasons. It never, ever works.

  16. 16
    srv says:

    @MikeJ: Just finished it.

    And I won’t spoil it for all the n00bs who have to wait a few more weeks w/o a Beeb VPN, but there will be a season 4.

    There will be no season 4 for Luther, unless Elba gets a movie deal.

  17. 17
    Violet says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): “Who killed J.R.?” worked pretty well.

  18. 18
    Petorado says:

    @MikeJ: This episode redeemed the season, which was looking a bit wayward after episode 2. I hope the next season won’t require an interminable wait like this past one.

  19. 19
    srv says:

    Oh, and Archer premieres tomorrow and Boondocks has been moved out of January.

  20. 20
    Petorado says:

    @srv: Downloading the Hola plugin for a Firefox browser unblocks the Beeb so folks don’t have to wait a few weeks after all.

  21. 21
    SuperHrefna says:

    True Detective was amazing – atmospheric, layered, interesting, well acted and genuinely mysterious.

    I love the fact that they named it “True ____” and set it in Louisiana. It’s like HBO is apologizing to the state for the lunacy of the past few seasons of True Blood :-)

  22. 22
    Heywood J. says:

    @Botsplainer: I won’t spoil it for you, but we just finished Season 3 last night, and it does get better — for the most part. I really disliked the show at first, but I’ve come to appreciate it. Very underrated, fantastic ensemble cast.

  23. 23
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    It must’ve been great,

    but it’s over now…

  24. 24
    BrklynLibrul says:

    Loved every minute of it. Both actors were superb. Silence of the Lambs meets Broadchurch.

  25. 25
    NotMax says:

    @MnemosyneThe Fugitive managed 120 episodes over four seasons.

  26. 26
    The Pale Scot says:

    @MikeJ: It was bloody good mat… err……fucking good show.

  27. 27
    mclaren says:

    @Botsplainer:

    Original British series? Or the American version?

    …And does anyone else find it symptomatic of the times we live in that a comedy TV show features the comedic antics of alcoholic welfare cheats and scammers who behave like witless clownish sociopaths?

    Where are the black comedy TV shows featuring the comedic hijinks of coke-addicted hedge fund cheats and scammers who make us bust a gut laughing when they behave like witless clownish sociopaths?

  28. 28
  29. 29

    Just watched it. Without giving anything away, I think there’s going to be some interesting racial stuff going on. Notice how all but one of the detectives in the 20-years-ago flashbacks are white, but the two detectives doing the present-day questioning are both black.

  30. 30
    Violet says:

    @mclaren:

    Where are the black comedy TV shows featuring the comedic hijinks of coke-addicted hedge fund cheats and scammers who make us bust a gut laughing when they behave like witless clownish sociopaths?

    Well, it’s a movie not a TV show, but it sounds like you’re describing “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

  31. 31
    SarahT says:

    @BrklynLibrul: interesting take – not 100% sold on your theory yet, but yeah, really good show so far.

  32. 32
    mclaren says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    What’s annoying is when TV shows try to drag a “mystery” across multiple seasons. It never, ever works.

    Yeah, except when J. Michael Straczynski managed to tantalize us with the mystery of “who are the Shadows and who are the Vorlons and what are they doing?” for 3 years in BABYLON FIVE…and then made it all pay off big-time.

    Your post manages to break the Pauli Exclusion Principle by cramming too many states of wrongness into the same sentence at the same time than should be possible according to the laws of physics.

  33. 33
    mclaren says:

    @Violet:

    Well, it’s a movie not a TV show, but it sounds like you’re describing “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

    I liked the original version MY MAN GODFREY (1939) a lot better.

  34. 34
    SarahT says:

    @Violet: yeah, I think so too. But wherever they’re going should be good.

  35. 35
    mclaren says:

    Oh, and if you’re looking for a smart gripping TV show with well-written characters and a provocative near-future world, check out the Swedish science fiction show “Real Humans” (Äkta människor).

  36. 36
    Fuzzy says:

    Matt and Woody were great and the 17 year jump was well done. All the other “body count” shows and reality? crap are not worth the cable bill. I think I’ll cancel mine from the Super Bowl until next fall.

  37. 37

    @mclaren:

    Yeah, except when J. Michael Straczynski managed to tantalize us with the mystery of “who are the Shadows and who are the Vorlons and what are they doing?” for 3 years in BABYLON FIVE…and then made it all pay off big-time.

    And yet the series was five years long, not three. What was the mystery for the other two years the show was on?

  38. 38

    @mclaren:

    Also, the fact that you think “Babylon 5” was the pinnacle of American TV says more about you than you seem to realize.

  39. 39
    Violet says:

    @mclaren: I thought you were speaking of examples of current TV shows. While it’s not a TV show, it is currently in theaters and does not paint Wall Street types in a good light. Plenty of drugs and cheating and scamming on Wall Street.

  40. 40
    🎉 Martin says:

    @Violet:

    While it’s not a TV show, it is currently in theaters and does not paint Wall Street types in a good light. Plenty of drugs and cheating and scamming on Wall Street.

    Wall Street would disagree with your assessment of what ‘a good light’ is.

  41. 41
    mclaren says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    Who said I thought BABYLON 5 was the pinnacle of anything? It was just a good TV show that managed to sustain a solid mystery over the course of multiple years and provide a dynamite reveal & payoff in season 3.

    The last 2 seasons of B5 are commonly agreed to represent an overall decline.

    BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER created and then resolved successfully lots of mysteries, including the mystery of Angel’s origin, the mystery of the First Evil’s nature and origin, and so on, over the course of multiple seasons.

    STAR TREK: VOYAGER successfully managed to maintain the suspensful question of “how will they get back to Earth?” and then resolve it in the 2-hour season finale with brilliant success.

    STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE 9 created the mystery of Odo’s origin and superbly resolved it in season 3.

    Other have mentioned the original series THE FUGITIVE from 1963.

    And so on.

    You’ve just been jaded by J. J. Abrams & company’s crappy unsuccessful efforts to create and sustain mysteries, as in the disastrous TV series LOST and the extremely scattershot and unsatisfying FRINGE.

    But J.J. Abrams is far from the only TV writer out there. Other much better television writers have pulled it off successfully over multiple seasons.

    None of these TV shows represent the pinnacle of TV: that would be David Simon’s THE WIRE. But these shows are at least worth watching, as are other promising brand-new shows like REAL HUMANS (Swedish TV, and multiple ongoing mysteries at its center) and THE BLAKLIST (with several continuing mysterie at its core).

  42. 42
    mclaren says:

    @🎉 Martin:

    In fact, I’d bet hard cash that Wall Street traders are now using the movie THE WOLF OF WALL STREET as a how-to manual…just as Marine Corps drill instructors started to use Kubrick’s FULL METAL JACKET as a blueprint for how drill instructors should behave toward raw recruits in boot camp.

  43. 43
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @mclaren: Full Metal Jacket was how VN era DIs behaved.

  44. 44
    patrick II says:

    @mclaren:
    That plot was made into a movie that won a Golden Globe tonight.

  45. 45

    @mclaren:

    The last 2 seasons of B5 are commonly agreed to represent an overall decline.

    In other words, you just proved my exact point that you can’t sustain one mystery over multiple seasons of a TV show. Even “The Fugitive” isn’t a good example, because it was basically an anthology show that used the one-armed man storyline as backstory, so they only had to throw the audience a “clue” once in a great while.

    “Buffy” worked because it had one “mystery” per season, as did “The Wire.” You had recurring characters, and occasional one-off callbacks to previous seasons, but the “mystery” would be wrapped up in a single season.

    STAR TREK: VOYAGER successfully managed to maintain the suspensful question of “how will they get back to Earth?” and then resolve it in the 2-hour season finale with brilliant success.

    If that’s your standard, then “Gilligan’s Island” is the most brilliant TV show of all time, because they managed to go three seasons before answering the question, “How will they get off the island?”

  46. 46
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): Actually, he did suggest that the B5 sustained the mystery over multiple seasons (three seasons is multiple seasons, yes?). He did not claim nor suggest that the mystery was sustained over the entire course of the show. I never watched the show so I have no idea about the accuracy of the claim.

  47. 47

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    This is where we get into aesthetics, though I still haven’t seen an example of a GOOD show that sustained a multi-season mystery. So can a mediocre show be said to be successful solely because it sustained a multi-season mystery even though the acting was wooden and the characters uninteresting?

  48. 48
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    What’s annoying is when TV shows try to drag a “mystery” across multiple seasons. It never, ever works.

    That was your remark that kicked this off. Good wasn’t mentioned. Do you think I like defending mcl’s argument? He did provide an an example that putatively refuted your absolute statement.

    ETA: If you want to argue that, due to the problems you noted, the show never “worked,” fine. Like I said, I never watched it, so I have no idea.

  49. 49
    CaseyL says:

    Just re-watched “His Last Vow,” which was amazing. The writing, the acting… and the way it’s filmed, the very creative and original way they chose to stage scenes.

    The last scenes guarantee another two years of crazy speculation by fans – assuming it is two years before we get Season 4. (I’m not sure if I want to applaud Moffat and Gatiss or strangle them). M & G say they’ll get the next season written and filmed as fast as possible, but a lot depends on Freeman and Cumberbatch’s availability.

  50. 50
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @CaseyL: Hey, I don’t get the first episode until January 19. Be careful, please.

  51. 51
    piratedan says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: it’s one of those semantic arguments, the/a mystery can be sustained over multiple seasons, shows like NCIS and Castle have done it. The thing is, the “mystery” itself isn’t the primary focus due to the episodic nature of the modern television age for the last 50 years. Hell, even Sam Beckett never got his resolution in Quantum Leap… Sometimes you can even debate on what the mystery even is much less what is considered “good”. imho, it’s one of those ymmv kind of things, the FSM knows that our own personal tastes don’t always dovetail with what is popular or even what is popular could be considered good. For me the “mystery” is what drives the show, some don’t survive once the mystery is revealed, say Moonlighting and their kiss (will they or won’t they) and others use it as a catalyst for the next mystery (say Castle and who killed Beckett’s Mom)

  52. 52
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @piratedan:

    (say Castle and who killed Beckett’s Mom)

    One has solved the who did it and goes on to the why. Why can be a different mystery than who.

  53. 53
  54. 54
    CaseyL says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I don’t think I gave anything away. I was careful not to. Season 3 is brilliant is all you need to know :)

  55. 55
    Spankyslappybottom says:

    Well, tomorrow’s justified online freakout will JUSTIFIABLY be over the ghoulish Bill and Emma Kellers’ columns on dying cancer patient Lisa Adams.

    Seems that Lisa’s social media omnipresence has caused Le Kellers to tut tut and click click their tongues and wonder just how much, you know dear, exposure, is, well, appropriate in these cases. And also, since Keller’s father died differently, Lisa is obviously an attention whore.

    Atrios and Wil Wheaton are all over it on Twitter. Appalling.

  56. 56
    🎉 Martin says:

    @piratedan: Shows with a pervasive mystery to solve are in conflict with the reality of how tv works. Any mystery that will engage the public as the basis of a show (as opposed to some subplot) will need to be resolved within a reasonable period of time – a season or two – or the audience will either get bored, or the writers will need to engage in ever more convoluted plots to keep everything going. But resolving the mystery effectively ends the show in that case – the show pretty much needs to have a defined lifetime when the writers start. Networks, wanting to keep shows running, don’t usually fund shows that are pitched that way. 24 was an interesting take on the problem – one season was one day of plot to resolve one mystery. It was elegantly limited, and allowed the show to be renewed around a new mystery.

    There are exceptions to every rule, of course, but generally speaking MikeJ and Mnemosyne are correct. And the exceptions tend to be in scifi where the audience tends to be far more patient, and more interested in long convoluted story lines than with other genres.

    And how you write these stories has changed considerably since the advent of DVRs and on-demand. Before, audiences couldn’t be relied on to see every episode, so incrementally built story lines were dangerous to do. The flip side to DVRs and on-demand is that audiences are far more selective than they used to be. Hooking them for 3-5 seasons is tricky – the show needs to be really damn good to make it happen. The days of Thursday night must-see TV is long dead.

  57. 57
    JPL says:

    @Spankyslappybottom: Normally I skip Keller’s columns because I find them useless. I ventured over to the NYTImes and I’m appalled that Keller thinks he can compare two different experiences. I then read his wife’s column at The Guardian and she has this update
    Since this article was published two days ago, there’s been a lot of negative comment on Twitter and below the line. Lisa Adams herself was upset by it. I had been in communication with her a number of times in recent weeks; given her health, I could have given her advance warning about the article and should have told her that I planned to quote from our conversations. I regret not doing so.
    My brother died of stage 4 cancer a month ago and the pain that their columns caused not only Lisa Adams but other folks suffering from an illness, is beyond repair.

  58. 58
    estamm says:

    Not long ago, Ashley Judd (one of my ‘free five’) was in a TV show where her son was kidnapped. I’d pretty much watch her in anything. But that show was a terrible idea. Either the kid is freed or he’s killed. So, we already know the ending. Bad idea for a TV show. It can work ok in a movie (like ‘Taken’, which is where the story idea was ‘borrowed’ from), but in a TV show it just can’t work. Very few shows can manage a ‘mystery’ over too long a time before the idea flames out and/or viewers become impatient. Think ‘Twin Peaks’. And THEN, the problem becomes coming up with ANOTHER ‘mystery’ to keep the show alive. Very few shows can successfully accomplish that goal.

  59. 59
    Ken T says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): I noticed that too, but I’m not sure it represents anything other than the demographic changes over the 20 year timespan.

    I have a few ideas of what direction the story might be going, but so far no clue as to where it will end. Let’s hope they can keep up the suspense for the whole season.

  60. 60
    WayneL says:

    Oddly, what were there, three or four commenters who actually watched the show for which the thread was created? Can’t stay on topic for the life of ya, can ya? lol This is why we can’t have nice things.

    The SO and I didn’t find it as impressive as we wanted it to be. Maybe we are action junkies, but on the Globes last night were nominated Breaking Bad (Winner, yea!) and House of Cards. In comparison, True Detectives was beyond slow. Molasses and turtles lapped it. Glaciers are faster, certainly melting faster. This show is sllllloooooowww. Yes, the acting was good. There are lots and lots of threads to play out. But what the hell is going on?

    Not sure if we’ll invest another hour to see if something develops, and that’s not good for a series premiere, I think.

    Now, back to the forty-leven different tangents I had to wade through to find anyone talking about True Detectives.

    :)

  61. 61

    @WayneL:

    I think a lot of people had it DVRed and haven’t watched it yet. That said, I think I can safely say that there are at least two mysteries that were set up: the serial killer mystery and the more personal “mystery” of how Rust Cohle and Martin Hart ended up where they are today.

    I actually don’t mind the pace of the show since I know that it’s going to be wrapped up in 8 episodes. If it was a normal TV show and I knew they were going to drag those questions out for 22 episodes a season over 5 seasons, I would probably be a lot more impatient, but knowing that there will be an end makes me more willing to go along with the pace.

    It’s also interesting that all 8 episodes have the same writer and director, which is not the norm for American television. Basically, it’s a return to the classic miniseries or multiple night TV movie format, but they’re calling it a “series” so as not to scare people off.

    @Ken T:

    I think the church is going to end up playing into the story, but I’m not sure how yet. I’m willing to wait and see since I know the questions will be answered.

  62. 62
    Uncle Ebeneezer says:

    We loved it. But I’ve always had a thing for this type of story. I just made my wife watch Manhunter last weekend. I didn’t mind the slow pace, but I rarely do. And as for confusion, meh: I was pretty disoriented for the first few episodes of Boardwalk and Game of Thrones and it made them no less enjoyable. I’ll be curious to see how many similarities to the Paradise Lost murders there will be in the series. Also it seems fairly clear that the church is going to play a seedy role in the plot. I’ve always appreciated the acting of Harrelson and McCaunaghy and my only complaint so far is that MM’s character is just a tad over-the-top, but not too bad.

  63. 63
    Mnemosyne says:

    If anyone stumbles back on this thread before watching the show, I found an interesting quote from the writer in Sunday’s New York Times story about the show:

    “The voice may lie to you, but the image never will.”

    So that’s something to keep in mind — the characters’ voiceover or dialogue may lie, but the visuals will not.

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