The first season of True Detective was truly lightning in a bottle. You had Matthew McConaughey quoting Nietzsche while making little beer can people, and Woody Harrelson as the perfect befuddled foil to his colleague’s anti-social ramblings.
The plot was kind of a muddled mess about a “Spaghetti Monster” figure tied to a group of rich right wing child rapists, but all of that was easy to ignore with the amazing cast and great direction.
This year’s season of True Detective has a similarly muddled and this time almost impossible to follow storyline involving corrupt wealthy politicians and businessmen, mixed with prostitutes, new age gurus, Russian gangsters, and some guy in a giant bird mask.
However, instead of Woody and Matt being the proverbial “rug that really ties the room together”, we get Vince Vaughn as an unconvincing gangster, Colin Ferrell as a bored drunk cop with a chubby kid that may or may not be his, and Rachel McAdams plays the part of a “detective with a troubled past” meaning a mix of daddy issues and other past tragedies that gives her a convenient window into the world of prostitution that this story begins in.
Taylor Kitsch plays a gay cop who creates a world of problems for himself and his partners (all convenient at times for pushing plot forward) by remaining in the closet to a degree that seems strange in a place as open minded as Los Angeles in 2015.
There are those who say this show will be revered as a cult classic when all is said and done. I don’t know about that. I didn’t think it was as bad as its worst critics thought it was, but I definitely did not find it to be good on the whole.
There were brief moments of brilliance such as an epic gunfight in the middle episode, or a creepy raid on an Orgy for Billionaires. Overall though, with characters that were mostly uninteresting to a great degree, and performances that seemed mostly muted, this show was difficult to get through for me.
Even though the first season had a weird misfire of a plot, it fired on enough cylinders to still be a smash hit, this season really only succeeds on the visual level. Everything else including the acting, dialogue, etc. are a mix of boring and/or laughable.
True Detective Season Two gets a two out of five: DECENT.