Friday, August 14, 2015

Season 2 Downgrades 'True Detective'

The plot of True Detective season 2 centers on the investigation of the murder of Ben Caspere, the city manager of the fictional city of Vinci, by a task force made up of representatives of three different police departments.  The three main investigators of the case are Vinci Police Department detective Ray Velcoro (Colin Farrell), Sgt. Ani Bezzerides (Rachel McAdams) of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office CID, and California Highway Patrol Officer Paul Woodrugh (Taylor Kitsch).  Also interested in the murder investigation is Vinci mobster Frank Semyon (Vince Vaughn) whose dream of legitimization is ruined because the late Caspere has lost his money.  But as they go deeper into the Caspere murder investigation, they also get to learn how deep the appalling tradition of corruption and depravity has rooted on the city of Vinci, antagonizing those in power.

So how did this tale compare to that of True Detective season 1?  Not so well, unfortunately.  I’m greatly disappointed and unimpressed overall.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  Season 2 isn’t necessarily disastrously bad.  It has a thoughtful and complex story.  It has fascinating messed-up characters.  The dialogue and acting are riveting.  The opening theme, camera shots, editing, and directing are gorgeously-done in general.  And it does have a couple of awesome moments – the ending of episode 2 made my jaw drop, the start of episode 3 is quirky fun, the gunfight in episode 4 is brilliantly executed, and Ani’s undercover job in episode 6 was a smart and horrifying sequence.  It has the things that made season 1 terrific.

However, the first season was a masterpiece.  And season 2, regardless if it’s good or bad, is a massive step-down of quality.  Everything about season 2 is less interesting.  And since it’s less interesting, it suffered from the slow-pace.  There were several times that I got bored.  It also doesn’t have the kind of magnetism season 1 has.  Right from that first scene in season 1, the show gripped me and never let go.  Season 2 doesn’t have that.  In fact, it took time before an episode rouse my interest (except for episode 3, the opening was perfect).

By its own, despite being actually a solid drama, I don’t think I would have bothered watching it.  But I really loved the first season, and this somewhat made me feel oblige to see this show through the end.  I was hoping that it would eventually blow me away once it wrapped up – but it didn’t.

Still, I won’t give up on True Detective yet.  I would still welcome a third season.  This show might still bounce back after all, and maybe – how I wish – even exceed season 1.  However, I’m no longer interested on following this show by watching a new episode as soon as it’s out.  I’ll let the season have its run first, then, depending on the buzz it will create, I will make my choice if I will binge-watch it or proceed to finally give up on True Detective.

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