Thursday, August 20, 2015

True Detective Season 2, Episode 8

Score Technician: Sean McConnell
I believe it was the nanobots that said, "All things that start end. And all things that disappoint end slower."

Yea, so endeth the second season of HBO's True Detective. How would things end for Velcro, Buzzkill, Riggins, and Angry Trent? Looks like that our cue to fire up the nanobots and wake T. Bone Burnett from whatever drunken stupor he's in, which is a fancy way of saying that it's time to bring the science.
  •  Nothing better than a post-coital cig... = +3pts
  • go with that recollection of that time you were kidnapped, held in a cave, and sexually molested... = -6pts
  • ...along with that other hilarious story about how you killed your wife's rapist... = +6pts
  • ...who actually turned out to not be her rapist at all. = -12pts
  • DAMN YOU SEX AND YOUR ABILITY TO MAKE US SHARE INAPPROPRIATE INFORMATION AT AWKWARD MOMENTS. = No score, just a scientific admonition of sex's power over our word boxes.
  • Call us crazy, but this little sharefest has us seeing an adorable family trip to the Magic Kingdom in a few years. = +2pts (Me llamo, Chavez.)
  • I'll see your Cracker-Jack-wedding-band and raise you a diamond of several carrots. Enjoy our dramatic declarations of fidelity, homeless panhandler! = +4pts
  • All of this talk of "two-weeks" makes us think they stole this dramatic framing device from this movie. Which then made us feel this way about the entire second season of this show. =  +10pts (Because laughter is important.)
  • Velcro and Buzzkill give it their best shot explaining the relevance of dead-Riggins. = -2pts
  • Chessani's last drink. = +1pt (GET IT?!)
  • Leaving your murder stuffs out for everyone to see. = -3pts (Did we learn nothing from this example?)
  • "When the lights go out, that's me." Nope. That's us turning off our television. = -5pts
  • Colin Farrell should be given a lot of credit for his work on this show. He should not, however, be given any credit for the cowboy hat he wears to the meet. As far as the scorecard is concerned, there's only one Stetson wearing lawman in this country and you can find him in Harlan (or Miami). = -2pts (Here's another link in case you think we're joking.)
  • Colin Farrell's befuddled and wordless reaction to the line, "I am the blade and the bullet." = +5pts (If only there were a GIF of this out there...)
  • Giving us the closest we'll ever get to S.W.A.T. II. = +5pts
  • Detective Velcro, for the sake of a tragic ending, makes the wise decision to visit a son he's already promised to stay away from. = -5pts
  • Losing your grandpa's prize police badge in a game of Magic. = -2pts
  • Random giant puddle of water in a city suffering through a catastrophic drought. Cthulhu cares not for the rules of your pathetic world! = -2pts
  • Trying to send a giant emotional mega-dump of an audio file on your cellphone while retreating into a mountainous forest that, call us crazy, probably has terrible cell connection. = -3pts
Episode Score: -6pts
Season Score: +131pts

Look, it wasn't great. Was it as bad as everyone says it was. Probably not. We watch a lot of bad TV--most of which doesn't have the decency to limit itself to only eight episodes. As it stands, most of the leads were fine (Vaughn), some were very good even (Farrell and McAdams), they were just forced to swim in very muddy waters.

We could argue that the fault of this season was that it wanted to tell a different story. That following a serial killer who offers up newer and more twisted tableauxs/signposts is guaranteed to make things a bit more focused and linear (see this season of Hannibal). And, while we would like to applaud the show for taking a different rout, there are too many great films out there (Chinatown, LA Confidential) that serve as amazing templates for these types of stories. That TD had more time to tell it, yet somehow produced something so muddled and boring, is disappointing. And, while the last two episodes offered a bit more of "stuff actually happening," the last few minutes of Deus Ex Machina storytelling made us question our entire faith in plot driven stories.

Oh well, I guess we'll all just have to sit back and wait until next year when Game of Thrones can (hopefully) restore our faith in plot. Fingers crossed!

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