Tuesday, June 30, 2015

True Detective Season 2, Episode 2

Score Technician: Sean McConnell

Tom Cochrane's excruciating pop missive may have been the inspiration for this season of True Detective, but that doesn't mean the nanobots have fully committed to driving it all night long. However, with questions still surrounding who's actually the real true detective, what's up with Tim Riggins' penis, and why the rapist from Dancer in the Dark is hanging out with Don Draper off the Pacific Coast highway still to be answered, the nanobots remain intrigued, if not fully interested. And, sometimes with a sophisticated nanotechnology, you have to give them what they want.

"Jessie is a friend."
  • Vince Vaughn's water stained ceiling/symbol of relationship with father throws down with the Kingpins' abstract expressionist painting and comes out on top. = +2pts
  • Match-cut says eyes. Although, given the look and feel of the show, we would have thought natty testes. = No points, just a clarification.
"I played along with the charade."
  • Giving an officer accused of soliciting a blowjob a promotion because he's bad at killing himself. = +4pts (We believe in second chances!)
  • "I really do." = +2pts
  • Attempting to appear masculine by lobbing a homophobic comment at the police equivalent of Fat Bastard, and falling embarrassingly flat. = +5pts
"You know I feel so dirty when they start talking cute/I wanna tell her that I love her but the point is probably moot."
  • If you loved Internal Affairs. Imagine how much you'd like it if you multiplied it by three! Internal affairs have affairs! = +3pts
  • Having a nice fried chicken dinner with your mom... = +2pts
  • ...as she creepily semi-molests you while slagging on your high school girlfriends and comparing your houndog sexual magnetism with that of you father's. = -25pts
"Cause she's watching him with those eyes."
  • It's not True Detective if there isn't car talk. = +2pts
  • Answering police questions while half in the bag... = -5pts
  • ..while at work, when your job is the mayor... = -10pts
  • ...in a city of 94 people. = +94pts
  • We're not sure which of the following makes the mayor of Vinci the worst in America: His love of daytime drinking, the way he shakes down local gangsters for his cut of their profits, or the obvious photo of him hanging out with George W. Bush that he likes to keep in camera frame behind him at all times. = No score, more of an existential pondering. 
  • "I'm not tight with anybody." = +3pts
"Cause she's loving him with that bod--"
  • Look, at The PCS we've calculated thousands of hours of popular culture. If you think you're going to get some bonus points for an end of the episode twist where the best character is shot with a shotgun, only to find in the next episode that it was full of rock salt, you've got another thing--HOLY SHIT THAT SECOND SHOT LOOKED FOR REELZ. = +20pts
  • I guess this means that Detective Velcro won't be sticking around. = Cannot compute (Technician has been removed due to bad punnery.)
Episode Score = +87pts
Season Score: +61pts

The nanobots calculations are showing that there are three things missing from this season of True Detective: Cary Fukunaga, Matthew McConaughey, and Woody Harrelson. If only those three were back, things might be a lot better. But, when you think about it, it could also be a lot worse. Despite how engaging the first season was, the central mystery of who was killing girls became the red herring to Rust Cole's spiritual salvation. The faux philosophizing and talk of the Yellow King never really amounted to much more than an extended therapy between the audience and McConaughey. But because it was so beautiful, we didn't really care that much about leaving all those old white guys to killing girls in cults and stuff. (Seriously, what happened to the guys behind that snuff film?)

So, it's pretty clear that this season is not last season.

But, to quote a particular show: "Sometimes your worst self, is your best self." What this season has given us is a little bit more LA Confidential and a bit less grad school confessional. Most of those long winded monologues about the universe have been distilled into more bite-sized nuggets. More importantly, they've been given to more than one character to say, so that, as an audience, we're not quite sure whom our favorite might be, as opposed to last season where the deck was so clearly stacked in favor of Rust Cohle.  Is that a good thing? Too early to tell. The fact that one of our favorites probably got taken off the board in the second episode is a good a reason as any to stick around to see where things are going.  (Side Note: The fact that the source for most of the humor in the show just took a serious blow to the bread basket leaves us a bit concerned that any levity to be found may have just died in West Hollywood. And that would be a big problem.)

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