IR TV Review: TRUE DETECTIVE [HBO-S2]

truedetective_season-2“True Detective” bases itself in creating a noir style of world. While many people reserve their judgments on the first viewing, I wanted to see the second episode at least6 to allow a perspective. With last season, I binged watched one night in NYC after seeing Colin Farrell’s “A Winter’s Tale” with about 4 episodes before I headed off to the bar at 2am for a nightcap. Interestingly enough a year or so later, it comes around full circle with Colin in the lead for the second season here. Despite his attempt to create balance, these kind of dark characters are what Colin does best…guys that want to go the high road but fall tempted to their base natures while searching out redemption. This is true of all the characters in this series. In the first 2 episodes, Colin’s is the most pronounced which is why the impact action at the end of the 2nd episode has such effect. If they stick to their guns on it, it shows a great presence of mind with the writers and an interesting movie by Farrell to regain some cred. “Miami Vice” is the last time he progressed deep and entrenched himself and, as a result, that performance has a definitely degree of soul. He went into the backwaters of Ecuador and the DR with Michael Mann while Jamie Foxx opted out. Different people. Here you can see a little bit of that edginess peeking through. Colin is more controlled but he, like Gary Oldman, when properly poised, can do great things. And with Colin, the older he gets the better he gets. Oldman, by comparison, had it right from the start.

In this series, Colin plays a cop in a subsection of downtown/east LA that seems to be under the thumb of questionable figures and is able to keep his head just above water. An aspect of his former fiancée getting raped and her having a son anyway screams dysfunction and Colin embodies it. Not his fault in terms of the character…just a side effect of life. On the other side of the sheet is Vince Vaughn’s gangster who is trying to go legit. It is nice to see this side of Vaughn again but he is not as edgy as he could be. At one point in the second episode you start to see his fangs come out, if all goes well, the animal will rear its head and that is when Vaughn will shine. He needs a resurgence and this will present it. Rachel McAdams’ character is flawed but has the possibilities to be the strongest of them all. When she subtly calls Colin’s character out at one point, it comes off as sly, intelligent and spot on. She does have a immense dark side that shows in different ways whether it be raiding a house where her sister is doing web cams legally as an “art piece” or her research into a suspect who was into escorts. You can see her slipping and that is intriguing to do. This iteration of “True Detective” does not shy away from the darker edges of LA or the near bottom feeders who exist there. People there want to do good (a large part of the main characters are cops) but they just can’t get above water. The use of location is also exceptional too. This is the underbelly of LA that you don’t see or usually see from a different angle (even Malibu).

The last of the main characters is Taylor Kitsch’s motorcycle cop whose deeper seat relationship problems show that the devil is in the details. His character is not as well defined in terms of personality traits in the first two episodes but hopefully his character will unravel in the best possible dramatic way. “John Carter” wasn’t his fault as it was not a bad film. Its timing, like “Tomorrowland”, was simply wrong. “Battleship”, of course, is another story. And in Season 2, even supporting characters are great from Colin’s boozy would be partner (Bruce McGill is that you?) to Kelly Reilly as Vaughn’s better half/black widow partner. The reality is that her character can likely cause some widespread carnage. We’ll see. The first two episode of Season 2 of “True Detective” is a different animal than its predecessor and will be held under the microscope with infinitely more scrutiny. While the former had the element of surprise and Louisiana, it is a matter of time to whether LA can stand up to the challenge. So far though, it is working.

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