Lying On the Floor, I’ve Come Undone

Every single aspiring writer who wants to work in show business should be forced to watch True Detective.

This writing and acting is so good, it’s almost orgiastic. I’m watching again for the second time even though I’ve got a fever and there is no cow bell in the world that will fix it. I’m just drowning myself in diet ginger ale and trying to deal with the funny voices.

In other words, Sunday.

31 replies
  1. 1
    SuperHrefna says:

    It is the best show I have seen in a long, long time. Dear FSM is it good, and I am gobsmacked at how Matthew McConaughey has turned his career around from corny second string rom com lead to nuanced, mesmeric actor I will watch in anything.

    I’m sorry to hear you have a fever. Be careful – my first symptom of the flu was a fever of 102.5 and the flu that is going around is a real bastard. Still getting my stamina back.

  2. 2
    SuperHrefna says:

    So, TRUE DETECTIVE SPOILER ALERT does anyone have any ideas where they are going with this? Are we going to get full on King In Yellow/ HP Lovecraft supernatural horror or are they going to go for a more psychological/ metaphorical/ 21st Century take on the horrors Rust has seen?

  3. 3
    Keith P says:

    @SuperHrefna: My original guess was that Reann Olivier’s grandfather was going to be the mastermind (notice his crab traps were yellow). But now I think the whole thing is that the main LA evangelist (Tuttle) is secretly in a satanic cult run by some scarred up guy going by the alias of The Yellow King.

    @SuperHrefna: Funny you should mention MM’s corny roles, since Magic Mike is on right now. Good movie (the choreography is heee-larious), but MM is doing his cheeseball schtick to perfection (“Alright, alright!”)

  4. 4
    Cermet says:

    Sorry you are ill. If the fever is due to a flu and not dangerous, far better to not treat it; fever will shorten the time to get over a viral infection a good bit. Fluids are the correct course of action.
    By the way, diet soda neither reduces or prevents weight gain nor is healthy – use water and some regular soda is a better approach.

  5. 5
    SuperHrefna says:

    @Keith P: The King In Yellow is an imaginary play that drives anyone who sees its second act irretrievably mad because it contains too much truth. The writers keep quoting from it and alluding to it and I think present day Rust *has* seen the second act, but in what sense I don’t know. I agree with you that the preacher is coming back, he seemed to be Up To No Good. I am so excited by this show. I can’t remember the last time I was so excited by a show.

  6. 6
    Kristine says:

    If anyone wants to read TKIY, it’s available through Project Gutenberg.

  7. 7
    John Cole says:

    @SuperHrefna: I have no idea, because the reveals have been so slow for much of the five episodes, and then bang something explosive happens that totally changes your perspective on things. I know nothing about TKIY that others are referencing, but if I were a writer, I could see a lot of real possibilities here.

    Clearly, in this episode, Brother Mouzone and his partner were trying to paint the picture to Woody’s character that Matt M. had been around, suggesting he was the actual murderer who just deflected evidence onto others, and had been around for ten years, all capped with Matt M. walking out of the conference.

    You could do so much with it, but my gut instinct was that they are going to spend another episode or two passing on the idea that Matthew M. was the murderer, but we will find out that the “True Detective” is actually Matthew M., who stayed around to find the real killer and discovered that it was Woody H., his partner. He was, after all, the one who executed the guy at the site that started the whole cover-up.

    I am also on robitussin.

  8. 8
    Bob In Portland says:

    I had to skip over the comments because I haven’t seen tonight’s yet. But, yes, the writing is great. The cinematography is great. T-Bone Burnett’s soundtrack is great. The acting is great. Last week when they raided the crack house and everything went to shit was one of the best clusterfucks ever filmed. The same kind of rush as the first time I saw the Normandy landing in “Saving Private Ryan”.

  9. 9
    SuperHrefna says:

    @John Cole: I like that idea! I hadn’t thought of that, but there is a lot going for that theory. Hart is obviously violent and prone to fucking around. And he did shoot Reggie Le Doux. And if Le Doux knew Hart it might explain why Le Doux focused so much on Cohle, saying he knew who he was, etc. I like it! But they could do all that and give us a little Cthulhu/ Yellow Sign action as part of a wider conspiracy Hart is part of. Speaking of yellow signs, Keith P noticed that the grandfather’ traps were yellow so maybe that’s a sign he’s involved with the cult too ( the grandfather, not Keith P. I don’t think the conspiracy stretches all the way to Balloon Juice’s comment section :-)

  10. 10
    Violet says:

    @John Cole: Try taking a bunch of Vitamin C to see if it might help with the fever. If you’ve got a virus, it can help.

    Changing your diet rather suddenly, even for the better, can be hard on your gut, which is a key component in the immune system. The artificial sweetener in the diet ginger ale you’re drinking puts additional stress on it (most artificial sweeteners are hard on the gut). You’d be better off drinking water if you’re looking to get fluids.

    To help your gut through this transitional period and boost your immune system, try taking some probiotics (pill form). If you don’t have any, eat good quality yogurt, kefir, kimchi and/or sauerkraut–the good kind with the beneficial bacteria still remaining, not the highly processed kind where the bacteria is destroyed. The beneficial bacteria in those can help your gut heal and boost your immune system to help you recover.

    Hope you feel better soon.

  11. 11
    bago says:

    Titanfall and Old Spice teamed up for a free weekend of XBL gold. So many demos to catch up to. In 2014 it seems like we’ve reached an age where your years are measured in the number of games you’ve played times sequels. A Mario (20) Sonic(9), Metal Gear (9) kind of guy might be 48 in console years. Megaman, Street Fighter, Resident Evil if you’re a Capcom sort of fellow, or Gradius, Castlevania, Contra if Konami is your jam.

    We live in a world where this makes sense.

  12. 12
    NotMax says:

    Real men drink real ginger ale.

  13. 13
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Could we please do this thread again when True Detective gets to Netflix?

  14. 14
    NotMax says:

    Put a couple of spoonfuls of ghost pepper salsa into the spaghetti sauce made tonight.

    Good times.

  15. 15
    SuperHrefna says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: Sounds good to me!

  16. 16
    Duane says:

    I’ll chime in that I too am mesmerized by TD and I have no a freakin clue where this thing is going to end up. It’s not TV it’s HBO and its never been truer than this show. TD is the first thing I have watched that even approaches how I felt when watching The Wire and I am thinking this thing is even better.

  17. 17
    Hawes says:

    I get worried when shows are so incredibly atmospheric, that they bypass plot logic.

    If Hart turns out to be the killer, I’ll shoot my a TV. If it’s Rust, I can live with it. But he’d almost have to be committing these crimes in a psychotic fugue state.

    Tuttle has been Person of Interest #1 since he walked onto the show.

  18. 18
    Gypsy Howell says:

    My heart didn’t stop pounding for an hour last night after this latest episode. And now I’m thinking I’ve got to go back and watch the first 4 eps again very very carefully.

    Nic P said in an interview somewhere that all (most?) of the clues are in the first episode. I think I’ll go back and watch one that frame by frame.

    Terrific show.

  19. 19
    Trinity says:

    I watched the first two episodes of True Detective over the weekend. I am still blown away. The writing is nothing short of phenomenal. I normally am not a fan of this genre of TV but the acting and writing is so compelling that I cannot look away. Brilliant stuff. I am trying to get my husband to watch it asap.

  20. 20
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    Alyssa Rosenberg has an essay on TD at Think Progress. Lots of things seem to be going on in the literary references, but who knows whether she’s seeing what the writers are getting at…

    (I haven’t seen any TD episodes myself.)


  21. 21
    rb says:


    I normally am not a fan of this genre of TV

    Right. I was psyched for this show. But then the ads kept showing shocking/titillating shots of the victim with the antlers, and watching the first episode I’m thinking “christ, ANOTHER serial-killer-mutilated-women’s-bodies-procedural-torture-porn-extravaganza?”

    But I have to admit the writing and execution has won me over. It’s been very helpful that they have (mostly) refrained from lingering over the various grotesqueries; it’s been more A Rose for Emily than Saw, and that is very fine by me. (The blair witch – esque twig sculpture thingys are a convenient way to communicate extreme creepitude without exploiting photos of mutilated human flesh.)

    I think (and hope) that they will NOT go full paranormal activity in explaining the Yellow King. I think the references to Chambers and Ligotta are nods to fans of weird fiction, but in the end the Cohle character’s outlook is going to be motivated by the epic and endless horrors perpetrated by ‘normal’ human beings.

    My one concern is that to bring this across, they may have to go so deep in the well to invoke psychological horror and disgust in the viewer – to make us fully empathize with Cohle – that it may actually ruin it for me.

    Still, must admit that this show is MUCH better than I had anticipated from the subject matter, goofy title, and half of it taking place seated at a detectives’ conference table. Last night’s episode in particular.

    (Also: I’ve always thought that, like narrative voiceover, flashback/parallel time is a kind of cheating that can just destroy a narrative. But TD is showing that it can really work when executed with precision and grace.)

  22. 22
    rb says:

    @Hawes: If Hart turns out to be the killer, I’ll shoot my a TV

    Agree. It has occurred to me that perhaps Papania and Gilbough think Hart is the killer, not Cohle – or perhaps that it’s both of them together – and are trying to give Hart to slip up by pretending they’re suspicious of Cohle.

    I really hope that’s NOT the case. It would be too clever by half and completely inconsistent with what is presumably reliable narration of their investigation and home lives in 1995.

  23. 23
    Renie57 says:

    My .02 its Tuttle.

  24. 24
    Dave C says:


    FYI, they claimed last night (in 2012), that Tuttle had died two years prior, so he can’t be the one responsible for the most recent murders.

  25. 25
    the Conster says:

    I just can’t imagine how this ends, at all. What a great great show. Major kudos to all involved.

  26. 26
    Vlad says:

    My suspicion at this point is that Ledoux was (wholly or partially) responsible for the earlier murders, but just as The King in Yellow corrupts and changes those who read it, one of the two detectives has been corrupted and changed by his involvement in the case, and is now mirroring the crimes in the present day. It reinforces the show’s messages about cycles and repetition.

    It’s also an interesting parallel with the little hints of sexual abuse of the daughters that keep getting thrown out there.

  27. 27
    Vlad says:

    (Though now that I think about it a bit more, it’s probably Rust, and he’s probably involved because he’s undercover and trying to infiltrate the group – but has necessarily become complicit in some terrible things as a result.)

  28. 28
    WaterGirl says:

    I think I read somewhere that True Detectives will only have this set of actors for one season. If the show returns, it will be with a completely different story and completely different actors.

    Is that true?

  29. 29
    Keith P. says:

    @Dave C: IIRC there are two Tuttles.

  30. 30
    mclaren says:

    Seconded. An amazingly bleak show but truly outstanding.

    Every time I peruse the comments section on this forum, I have an impulse to quote the Matthew McConaughey character in True Detective:

    The hubris it must take to yank a soul out of non existence into this meat. And to force a life into this thresher. (..) I think human consciousness is a tragic misstep in evolution. We became too self-aware, nature created an aspect of nature separate from itself; we are creatures that should not exist by natural law. We are things that labor under the illusion of having a self; an accretion of sensory, experience and feeling, programmed with total assurance that we are each somebody, when in fact everybody is nobody. Maybe the honorable thing for our species to do is deny our programming, stop reproducing, walk hand in hand into extinction, one last midnight, brothers and sisters opting out of a raw deal.

  31. 31

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