My Thoughts on True Detective

My Thoughts on True DetectiveThe Wire has pretty much ruined my television watching experience. Since I watched all five seasons of The Wire, I'm been disappointed by pretty much everything I've seen on the small screen, except for my second viewing of The Wire.

It's got to the point where I rarely watch anything, because I'm always left a little disappointed. Yes, I enjoyed Breaking Bad, but the finale ticked me off royally until I decided it was not as it seemed. (Don't click through that link unless you're ready for a monster spoiler).

I'm still watching (and enjoying) Mad Men, but that show is a little different. Nothing really happens in Mad Men, it just looks and sounds awfully cool. I can't wait to see how they end it.

I didn't even bother diving into The Walking Dead or Boardwalk Empire or Sons of Anarchy or Game of Thrones or House of Cards or Homeland or any of the other dramas people rave about. I get enough drama from the Leafs, Raps and Jays.

Enough people who loved The Wire told me I should see True Detective, so my wife and I decided to bang off the eight episodes last week. This entry is about that experience, and if you haven't seen True Detective yet, you might want to stop reading now.

true-detective

I loved the look and feel of True Detective. The production values were top notch, and the shots of Louisiana were stunning. And the way they aged the two stars over 17 years was pretty awesome. You would likely enjoy this series on mute.

And those two stars, Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, are both great in True Detective. I've never seen McConaughey this good, and that includes his Oscar-winning performance in Dallas Buyers Club. Of course, it's easier to be good when the writing is so strong.

I was loving True Detective by the half-way point, and still digging it heading into the finale, but True Detective failed to maintain it's brilliance for the full 8-hours. And this is significant, as it was only eight episodes and difficult to compare to much longer series like The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, The Wire and Breaking Bad.

I'm glad I finally saw True Detective, but I wish the second half was as strong as the first half. And no, it didn't come close to The Wire.


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Comments (15 - click here to join in!)

Argie

@Mike
You might to give a British detective show a shot. Its called 'Line of Duty'. Its had 2 seasons (or series as they call them over there).
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2303687/

November 10, 2014 @ 11:16 AM

elvis

True Detective sits on a pedestal on it's own, to be celebrated as the truly outstanding, ridiculously good show that it is.

November 10, 2014 @ 11:27 AM

Roshan

I watched it a few weeks ago. Didn't enjoy it that much.

November 10, 2014 @ 11:39 AM

Boomer

I watched the True Detective finale just last week. Agree with you completely Mike. The acting was fantastic but the story did not play out very seamlessly.

November 10, 2014 @ 12:20 PM

McNulty

I think True Detective was a near perfect 8 hours of TV. I loved every minute of it.

I just doubt they can replicate that in Season 2.

The Wire had 4 perfect seasons of TV and a really good 5th season.

I think you give the Sopranos too much credit. That's a show that would have great episodes but also had just terrible ones and poor plotting over the seasons.

November 10, 2014 @ 12:41 PM

m m

I do want to watch The Wire, all thanks to Mike still mentioning it about once a week :)
True Detective, was great, up to about the 6th episode, then the story came apart a bit. That said, the acting was sublime.
I'll be less patient with the second season.

November 10, 2014 @ 12:48 PM

Claire

Sorry if this is old news (I'm so far out of the loop these days I'm up the street and round the corner) but if you liked The Wire you might like the Serial podcast. Also set in Baltimore, it follows the investigation into one teen's murder. Compelling stuff - I took the small one on an extra long walk this morning so I could fit in a couple of episodes.

November 10, 2014 @ 1:03 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@m m

"True Detective, was great, up to about the 6th episode, then the story came apart a bit."

I agree 100%.

November 10, 2014 @ 1:05 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Claire

I'm told I'll love the Serial podcast. I'm definitely going to get to it.

November 10, 2014 @ 1:07 PM

Al The Royal Pain

@Claire

I'm currently listening to Serial and so far I'm enjoying it as well!

@Mike, Serial is a true story told over a bunch of episodes. It's made by the same people as This American Life (they call it their first spin-off).

I can't recall if you've ever mentioned watching The Newsroom, but there is a show that—while as a whole may not satisfy you like The Wire did—It has had some really great single episodes that I'd put up against any other show on television.

November 10, 2014 @ 1:48 PM

Ben Vidal

@ Al The Royal Pain: Agreed on the Newsroom. I still maintain that last seasons finale felt more like a series finale than anything else. It was also one of the most emotionally involved episodes on TV I've ever experienced. Great writing overall and some episodes stand out against any other show

@ Mike: True Detective wasn't designed to have a massive ending that people felt entirely happy about. I saw an interview where the write/producer team knew that people probably wouldn't be happy with the final episode. True Detective is set to be an anthology exploring true detective work across the US with different actors each season. I think it's important to measure it within the parameters of what it did in 8 episodes. I was actually of the mindset things started to get better episode 3 and after, but it's personal opinion so neither you, nor I can be wrong....

The acting was sublime and I think the story became secondary to the characters by the end. Perhaps this is why you felt the story came apart at the point it did.

@McNulty: Jury is out on season 2, but I think it has potential with Colin Farrell on board. He's coming into his own as an actor and has really tried to shed the miami vice days.

November 10, 2014 @ 2:20 PM

mrmojorisinca

The most recent reports say that Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn, and Taylor Kitsch have been confirmed to portray the three male lead roles in 'True Detective' Season 2. While the participation of Farrell and Vaughn was confirmed by HBO last month, Taylor Kitsch has also joined the cast of the series.

According to reports, Kitsch declined many promising projects and roles just to prepare himself to portray his character in 'True Detective'.

The actor has himself confirmed that he met the show creator Nic Pizzolatto to hash out his character. He says he is thrilled to be a part of a series which he happens to enjoy a lot.

On the other hand, the show creators have yet to confirm which actress will play the female lead.

There are rumors that say Rachel McAdams may be signed in by the producers to play the role of the female lead - a Californian sheriff named Ani Bezzerides who has been suffering from gambling and alcoholism problems.

Rumors also claim that Kelly Reilly, Abigail Spencer, Leven Rambin, and Michael Irby have also been included in the 'True Detective' Season 2 cast.

Irby is likely to portray the character of Elvis, who is a partner of the female lead in the show. Spencer will portray the character of a sexual assault survivor, while Rambin will play the role of a beautiful woman having a checkered past. Reilly, on the other hand, will portray the character that has been described as "the self-possessed Morgan."

As the producers and show creators have yet to finalize the remaining cast, they are unable to commence filming for 'True Detective' Season 2. According to earlier reports, the shooting for the show was scheduled to commence in September, but although it is already November, not a single scene has been shot.


November 10, 2014 @ 3:10 PM

J9

Gotta agree on The Wire, it is fantastic. Watching for the third time through with my 19-year old daughter, we are one episode away from finishing season 4, my favourite story line.

SOA is good, but not in the same bracket. Homeland is great, and so far very close. The characters are compelling. (No spoilers, please! We have just started season 3 on DVD). We have watched the first few episodes of True Detective, and Matthew McConaughey is amazing, and I am not your typical female who thinks he is gooorrrgeous. His acting chops are much better than Woody Harrelson's too.

I was not a fan of Mad Men, gave up after one season. Could not care less what happened in season 2.

Not sure if the BBC show Life On Mars has ever been mentioned here, but it is a great series, well acted, really different drama, and the ending is not disappointing either.

November 10, 2014 @ 5:58 PM

Lynne

For insanely funny: Episodes (on Netflix)

For more by David Simon of the Wire: Treme (the first 2 seasons are great, then it begins to fade - but the music will keep you watching)

November 11, 2014 @ 7:27 AM

mrmojorisinca

100% wit Lynne about Treme..

November 11, 2014 @ 10:08 AM

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