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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Reviews    Movie, Television and DVD Reviews  ›  True Detective Moderators: Nixon
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oJOHNNYoNUTSo
Posted: February 16th, 2014, 9:13pm Report to Moderator
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I had to postpone House of Cards to catch up on a gnarly new show: True Detective!  Has anyone else seen this?  It's got my mind in a square knot right now.  TV ain't what it used to be haha!
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James McClung
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Just finished Episode 3. Honestly I want to like it a lot more than I do.

I LOVE the character of Rust Cohle. Between the writing, the philosophy, and McConaughey's performance, he is singlehandedly keeping me watching. I swear, McConaughey has proved himself the ultimate dark horse as far as I'm concerned. One of the absolute last actors I thought would ever make a turnaround like he has and I NEVER would have expected him to play a character like this.

That said, I'm not nearly as interested in the main plot. It's definitely not your typical police procedural case but they definitely haven't pulled out as many stops as I would expect. I'm also not a big police procedural fan and the show definitely seems to be geared towards fans.

Woody Harrelson doesn't do a bad job but I can't help but feel he's a little stiff, especially compared to McConaughey, not to mention his character is clearly supposed to be the "normal one." I mean, he's well developed and not exactly the model family man, which I appreciate, but he's definitely a more familiar, less interesting character.

That said, the final image of Episode 3 left off very promising and I get the sense that whatever's around the corner won't be pretty. So I'll keep watching for now.

EDIT: House of Cards, Season 2 is insane! Highly recommend it!



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oJOHNNYoNUTSo
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Yeah, just finished the most recent episode.  It gets very interesting to say the least... McConaughy is killing this role in every way imaginable.  Can't wait till the next.

Also can't wait to watch The Cards, back to back baby!
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James McClung
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Just finished Episode 5.

Yeah... it payed off.

Everyone's talking about the long take at the end of 4. It's not hard to see why. Not only is it exceptional technical speaking, McConaughey's performance is just... no words. Simply put, he needs to take on more roles where he's the scariest motherfucker in the room.

Hart's character has taken on some interesting turns as well. I'm liking him a lot better now.

That said, I am still much more interested in Cohle than I am the identity of this Yellow King. Not sure if that's good or bad.


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nawazm11
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I thought the pilot was surprisingly stale and meh, not sure what I expected having read the script prior. Thought I'd go along with the hype and keep watching and wow, episode 4 really boosted into some great territory. A terrific production and kudos to the whole cast, crew and writer. There's a treatment floating around the web full of spoilers and I'm struggling not to ruin it for myself! Will be exciting to watch the later episodes.

I'm also surprisingly excited by the later seasons as well, will be nice to see how they can build up the same hype with a new slate.

Not sure about the latest episode though, felt the transition through the years felt forced, as well as Hart's backstory.
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Levon
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Just IMDb'd it. It looks pretty good!

I'm in Britain without Sky, is it available anywhere else?
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Demento
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The first 3 episodes were pretty average in my opinion. I hate this new trend with family problems in every show.

But the last 2 episodes have been awesome. Can't wait till next week. I can't say that about any recent shows.
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James McClung
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Seriously. Show's over. No thoughts?

Loved it. Watched it twice. Probably one of the best TV seasons I've ever seen. Rustin Cohle is officially one of my top ten favorite characters AND performances of all time.

A lot to be said about the finale. Moments of brilliance, namely the Carcosa chase. But after some time to digest... yeah. A little disappointing. Way too streamlined and with the exception of a few moments, definitely out of sync with the rest of the series.

Still, I enjoyed it and it didn't take away from the rest of the series by any means. Definitely well above the average fare. Stoked for Season 2.


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Demento
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I thought this was a bad show.

I liked two episodes of it, but the show as a whole, I can't rate highly at all. In fact I thought it was horrible, after it ended.

Anticlimactic is the word to use. It appeared as the show was building to some sort of conspiracy, some kind of cult, a bigger villain then it turned out to be. There were hints at something better then it turned out to be.
When I saw the last episode, I was like: "that's it? that's what we set up with 7 episodes before?". You can't build something for 7 episodes and the have a finale like that. At least pace the show accordingly to what you're building towards.

I mean they used up so much time for all that family drama BS and then you tie up the loose ends of the major point of the show in one episode. It's just so anticlimactic. Horrible.

What the hell is with this current trend about family problems in shows? Why do I have to watch marriages going down hill, fathers not paying enough attention to their kids, the kids acting out and so on. I'm watching a crime/thriller show. Family drama, takes up like 60% of most serious shows no mater what the subject.

I'm not watching a show like True Detective to see if one cop can stay faithful to his wife. I mean, cool, add a few scenes like that, but you don't have to make 50% of the show about what goes on in the guy's family life. Breaking Bad, Homeland... all do the same stuff.

Actors did a fine job. The characters had potential. I just think this was one missed opportunity.

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oJOHNNYoNUTSo
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I've gotta make a case for this.

SPOILERS

Not too many shows can pull of what True Detective achieved in a finale. In fact, I can only think of one TV show, Terriers, that pulled off a reveal of the villain at the end that really nailed it. But True Detective goes straight up Apocalypse Now. So Errol Childress ain't no Colonel Kurtz, but a after watching the season as whole, there is no doubt it was inspired. Every aspect of Errol's character (all 20 minutes!) was DESERVED. How chilling was it!? Funny, intense, disturbing, and epic.

Then we get a slap of reality at the end. It's a great way to clear a path for the theme, and answers the question, "who deserves to wear a crown of judgement?" These are some of the best characters TV has to offer, and it's rare to see abstractions solved with abstractions. It's a classic, everything about it.
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nawazm11
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I personally thought the villain reveal was done poorly. That 'no', and him running off was hilariously stupid and contrived. Like Demento, I expected some kind of twist, or a play on a character that suggested the killer wouldn't be... Such a small/random character. The family drama was again, wrapped up really poorly and the last ten minutes were probably some of the slowest and boring TV I've seen in a while, and really, they didn't make much sense either. Just not the note the show should've ended on.

Not a bad season overall, but comparing it to let's say Dexter's first or fourth season, you can see a clear difference between how the writers handled character arcs and mysteries. I just thought this was lacking with some episodes boosting between great and mediocre. Although I'll have nightmares over that 20 minute exposition scene at Rust's garage...
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Penoyer79
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Loved the show. I want to go back and watch it again.
Gave me that same feeling I had after watching Se7en for the firs time.
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albinopenguin
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Amazing show, stellar cast, disappointing ending. Watched the entire season in a day, and oddly enough, I miss it. Rust really resonated with me. Too bad the big baddie sucked ass. I have a difficult time believing he was ever that deep/artistic.


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oJOHNNYoNUTSo
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Quoted from albinopenguin
I have a difficult time believing he was ever that deep/artistic.


Errol captured Rust's imagination for twenty years.

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albinopenguin
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Yeah, I get that. I just don't buy that an incestual, bumbling idiot could come up with something so thought provoking. Now I'll accept Reggie Ledoux, but as stated in the second to last episode, the killer is still on the loose.

Overall, the reveal was simply disappointing. However, I'm loving all the screen caps and clues people are finding that stated that he was their killer.


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Manowar
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Hard to call it a show, considering (like "American Horror Story"), it's a contained series for just one season, to be replaced next season by new characters, new situations. That said, it's some of the best TV watching over the past few years.

Matt McConaughey gave the best performance I've ever seen him give (his Oscar-winning role was also great, but second to this IMHO). And Woody effing Harrelson--I had no idea he had the chops to portray such an engaging character. I thought this was the best one-two punch of actors as cops since John Kelly and Andy Sipowicz of "NYPD Blue."

The dialogue dripped like syrup with great drawls engaged in interesting topics, if not always relevant to the plot (when done right, it works and adds layers to the characters... see Tarrantino). The plot was fairly basic, but the writers in keeping it simple, allowed for the tentacles of the astrocities to take more precedence. The procedural was on-point and the use of present-time versus past-time reveals of the plot worked well.

The early reveal of the true culprit could've spoiled it for a lot of folks, but the way it was done, I feel, didn't hurt the seaason. Okay, so we know earlier than normal who did it. So what? Most rom-coms you know boy gets girl or girl gets guy, but if done well, you enjoy it for the ride. Same here. Even though the villain was revealed earlier than normal--as in, not in the final scene of the season--I was okay with it, because the ride to get there was so enjoyable, and despite the lack of any last-minute "twists" like most TV shows, movies, and novels have devised since the movie "Sixth Sense" gave us a wallop of a twist, I was just looking forward to seeing how (or if) they would take down this baddy.

And a lot can be said for the setting of this mini-series. The locations chosen for various scenes totally added to the creep factpr and helped form more of a sense of despair. Not since "Lost" has a show's location been such a thriving force for me like the bayou of LA. It was almost as if the setting was another character. Cudos to the location scout team.

While I don't consider it on the same level of "Sopranos," this show still holds its own, if just for one season, and does compare favorably to some of the best cop dramas of the past 20 years. Hate to be the cast and writers following it up.
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Penoyer79
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Quoted from Manowar
Hate to be the cast and writers following it up.


Given the level of writing, and the ridiculous performance that McConaughey turned in...(and the awards that will likely follow).....

this show should have no trouble recruiting more A-listers looking to go bananas off the gauntlet that McConaughey has thrown down.
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oJOHNNYoNUTSo
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I like your take on it Manowar, and I completely agree with Penoyer79.  I expect some great actors in season 2.  I know the director won't be coming back, but I'm curious if the writer will collaborate with others. From my understanding, dude basically wrote all 8 solo. That's pretty damn impressive.  
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rendevous
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This was a pleasure to watch. My only gripe is that was only eight episodes long.

I wasn't convinced when I started watching this that yet another cop drama could be any good. But this was great.

Fine writing and acting from all. Up there with the best of them. Stands up to repeated viewing as well. Enough said.

R


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I thought the series was brilliantly executed but that the ending was a bit of a let down. Almost formulaic. Still it was better than 95% of everything else that's on TV right now, easily.

I was still confused about the whole "the real killer" is still on the loose thing. I wonder why they went through all the trouble of building the case during the first seven episodes and not have the reveal?  I realize that in real life you don't always find the killer, but we're all led to believe by the clues that ol' Scarface was the killer. Just a little frustrating. Maybe someone can explain that one to me.

Otherwise, it was beautifully and stylishly shot, well-written, expertly directed, great acting. Couldn't ask for much more out of this show (except for a better ending).

Gary


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sniper
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Brilliant little show. Ranks right up there with BB and GoT.


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Penoyer79
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Jessica Chastain has officially been offered the lead role in Season 2

I had that one pegged since the 2nd episode of season 1. lol

so predictable.
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LC
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Quoted from Penoyer79
Jessica Chastain has officially been offered the lead role in Season 2

I had that one pegged since the 2nd episode of season 1. lol

so predictable.


Really? How'd you peg that one?

Pitt's rumoured to have been offered a role as well. Off course all of it's rumours at the moment. We shall see.

I loved the first series. Just proves too, not all of it is in the writing. I've read the pilot and while it reads well, it doesn't exactly jump off the page. Brilliant cinematography, direction, and top notch acting resulted in a great collaboration and final product imh. The final scene of the last episode was a little twee for my liking but that's a small gripe. Hope the second series is as good as the first.



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Penoyer79
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female lead role in True Detective? I think it's pretty obvious... she's arguably the hottest female lead on the planet right now...and perfect for the show. its a no brainer

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014.....only&ign_app_ios
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I wanted to like this show so bad, but for me it was a real Bell curve of quality.  It started off pretty so-so, with about 3 AMAZING episodes in the middle, and then it dipped back down.  The production values were so damn high, but that just couldn't save the lackluster beginning and end for me.  I think a lot of it stems from the case being oddly boring and predictable and then being told by the creator that it's "not about the case".  Kind of annoying cop-out, IMHO.


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I just now watched this show and I LOVE it! To be honest, I think TV shows are a lot better than movies these days. I have always liked Woody Harrelson and I have always thought McConaughey was a real dish. He's definitely not made to be pretty in this show, but somehow I love him even more after this show.

I agree that the "monster" reveal at the end was a little bit of a let down. Super mega important in any story, I think, is that your villain is really well written. This one felt very cliche', but the show itself with its two main characters made this show such perfect series.


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Penoyer79
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they're saying Colin Farrell and Taylor Kitsch are up for 2 of the lead roles in Season 2. (apparently there will be 4 central characters)

http://tvline.com/2014/07/11/true-detective-colin-farrell-season-2-cast/
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Quoted from Penoyer79
they're saying Colin Farrell and Taylor Kitsch are up for 2 of the lead roles in Season 2. (apparently there will be 4 central characters)

http://tvline.com/2014/07/11/true-detective-colin-farrell-season-2-cast/


Man, someone high up in Hollywood really wants us to love Taylor Kitsch.  He was great in Friday Night Lights, but the guy is very one-note.  We've seen all he can do.


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This show was amazing, period.  The villain was about the only thing lacking.


Quoted from Penoyer79
they're saying Colin Farrell and Taylor Kitsch are up for 2 of the lead roles in Season 2.


-_-

I'll pass.

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Glad to see so many people loving this show. Ran into so may people, writers in particular, who were hating on it. Especially the pilot. Saying the writing was so dense and over written. Well, I guess sometimes dense and over written works. I loved it. Cool to see something so character driven. Love a good slow-burn as well.
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I don't give a flying hoot who's in series two as long as the writer and main crew are the same.


Quoted from Dressel
Man, someone high up in Hollywood really wants us to love Taylor Kitsch.  He was great in Friday Night Lights, but the guy is very one-note.  We've seen all he can do.


There's some truth in this. He does seem to appear in lots of films. And nearly every one of them flops. Being floppy is not good. Or so I'm told.

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Penoyer79
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Taylor Kitsch is interesting. Loved him in FNL, and he was pretty good in Lone Survivor a as well.

i think he could do a lot more if given the chance with better material...like True Detective  
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Like the first season, I'm sure the most important character will be the location. It was certainly the beautful canvas upon which McC and Harrelson were able to deliver their performances. The tone was so assured because so much work had gone into building a cohesive tone owing to the location.

Looking forward to this season irrespective of who they choose. This is a creative team that really knows what they're doing.


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Penoyer79
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IMDB confirms Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn for season 2....

My first impression is meh.....
Miami Vice and The New World made Colin Farrell completely un-watchable for me. I honestly don't know how he still finds work after those two unforgivable turds.

And Vince 'Rom-Com' Vaughn... Really?? how am i supposed to take this guy seriously?
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My first impression is... bring it on! Can't wait.


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Quoted from Penoyer79
IMDB confirms Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn for season 2....

My first impression is meh.....
Miami Vice and The New World made Colin Farrell completely un-watchable for me. I honestly don't know how he still finds work after those two unforgivable turds.

And Vince 'Rom-Com' Vaughn... Really?? how am i supposed to take this guy seriously?


True Detective is up there with Breaking Bad, The Wire and The Sopranos in my book. Utterly gripping.

They used to dismiss Woody Harrelson and Matthew thingy the same way. True, they have both done some stuff best forgotten. Most actors do.

Me, I blame the parents.

I don't care if Chavy Chase and Adam Sandler are in it. Thankfully they aren't.

I think both are capable of decent performances, given the right script and direction. And they will be, I hope.

I'll wait to slag it off once they've done it. Too early to tell yet. Hopefully I won't have to.

I've got a feeling it will be as good as the first.

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Penoyer79
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i'll still watch it. don't get me wrong. The producers/writers have earned the benefit of the doubt.

still waiting to hear on the female lead.
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Quoted from Penoyer79
i'll still watch it. don't get me wrong. The producers/writers have earned the benefit of the doubt.

still waiting to hear on the female lead.


Glad to hear it. It won't be out for quite some time. It'll be worth waiting for, methinks.

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IMDB reports Rachel McAdams and Taylor Kitsch are very close and expected to land the roles of the other two lead characters.... both Cops.
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Season 2 premiere (no spoilers)

WOW. It was horrible in every way I could think of. HBO must be really stoked on how this season is going to unfold because I'm not. I loved season one, so we could witness the greatest hailmary touchdown in television history, but what a mess.

Nic Pizzolatto proves that the same dialogue quirks that worked prior have no business in this new tale, and has no range that distances itself from the the first installment. I'll give the actors credit for doing the best they could with the lines, but nothing ever clicked. A convoluted plot is welcome, but there wasn't anything to snag me into this. The Cormac McCarthy faithful might enjoy it, I'll wait until it's over and see what folks are saying about it.
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sniper
Posted: June 23rd, 2015, 2:11am Report to Moderator
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I thought it was a good opener and I'm looking forward to see the story and characters develop. Granted, it's not McConaughey / Harrelson good but let's see what happens. I never thought I'd say this but Taylor Kitsch was actually really, really good in his role.


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IamGlenn
Posted: June 23rd, 2015, 4:24am Report to Moderator
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Yeah I liked it as an opening. Enough there to keep me interested. A lot of characters to get through so it felt like one big set up. But I'm intrigued and have no idea, really, where it's going to go. Which I like. Thought all the actors done well within their roles, especially Colin Farrell.

I see the response online hasn't been great but I'm looking forward to the rest.


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Toby_E
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Quoted from IamGlenn
Yeah I liked it as an opening. Enough there to keep me interested. A lot of characters to get through so it felt like one big set up. But I'm intrigued and have no idea, really, where it's going to go. Which I like. Thought all the actors done well within their roles, especially Colin Farrell.

I see the response online hasn't been great but I'm looking forward to the rest.


My thoughts exactly.

I'm a massive fan of the 1940s hard-boiled Californian noir, so unsurprisingly, I really enjoyed this. Excited to see where the future episodes go. Only criticism so far was that the motorbike cop seemed rendundant, as he seemed to me to be cut from the similar cloth as Farrel/ McAdam's characters, but just less interesting. Only time will tell if I am proven wrong. But I thought Farrel's character was great.


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IamGlenn
Posted: June 23rd, 2015, 6:27am Report to Moderator
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Farrell's scene with his son after his shoes were cut and then with the bully and his father were great to watch and really showed what he can do as an actor. As I said when he was cast, it is a great move for him to be on a show like this. Can really re-ignite his career.


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sniper
Posted: June 23rd, 2015, 6:47am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Toby_E
Only criticism so far was that the motorbike cop seemed rendundant, as he seemed to me to be cut from the similar cloth as Farrel/ McAdam's characters, but just less interesting.

I actually thought the exact opposite. Farrel/ McAdam's characters seemed a little clichéd to be honest. I was much more interested in Kitsch's character who's obviously suffering from some form of PTSD.



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Demento
Posted: June 27th, 2015, 10:40am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from sniper

I actually thought the exact opposite. Farrel/ McAdam's characters seemed a little clichéd to be honest. I was much more interested in Kitsch's character who's obviously suffering from some form of PTSD.



I agree. The whole divorced alcoholic cop has been done to death. Also the female cop with family issues has been done.

The Kitsch character seemed interesting, just to me it seems like Kitsch isn't charismatic enough to pull the part off. He has always come across as very bland to me.

Even though I'm not a fan of Colin Farrell, he seem to bring a certain gravitas and intensity to his role.
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IamGlenn
Posted: June 29th, 2015, 9:49am Report to Moderator
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Well, anyone watch episode 2?

Thought it was a very good episode and I like where this could be going. And it ended with a bang.

Keep 'em coming!


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Demento
Posted: June 30th, 2015, 5:04am Report to Moderator
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I liked it.

SPOILERS






I hope they did really kill Farrell. That was an interesting move. If he is in fact dead.
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IamGlenn
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SPOILERS ALSO!!

I don't think they did. No blood and pictures on imdb show there's more of him to come. Also, the show without Farrell, while it'd still interest me, would lose its biggest draw. He's been brilliant in the opening two episodes. That line about the e-cigarette being too similar to a robot's dick amused me quite a bit.


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AnthonyCawood
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I liked it, I've started to get over the fact that it's so different to first season... Hope it continues to build!


Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
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Demento
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SPOILERS!!!


It would be a pretty lame bait and switch if he's not dead. If you make bold moves, stick to them.
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IamGlenn
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Quoted from Demento
SPOILERS!!!


It would be a pretty lame bait and switch if he's not dead. If you make bold moves, stick to them.



Just can't see it happening. They better have a good explanation though..


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eldave1
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Loved season one - three episodes thru season two and I am out - it is terrible.

Other than Farrel - the acting is abysmal.

There are dozen of scenes that could have been taken directly from the Dragnet TV series.

Way to many characters are over the top - if everyone is abnormal - how does abnormal stand out.

Would like to see one or two of the men with haircuts that were not set in the 1950s.

Do all the male characters have to talk with the same raspy rebel without a cause voice?

If you wanted to set a drama in LA in the 50s then set it in the 50s.

uggggggggggggggh!


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Demento
Posted: July 23rd, 2015, 8:59am Report to Moderator
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IMO this season is a lot better than the first one. Which I didn't like.
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Max
Posted: July 23rd, 2015, 4:01pm Report to Moderator
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Remember when Matthew McConaughey was starring in films like "Fool's Gold" and nobody gave a fuck about him?

Strangely enough, I've never had to urge to watch True Detective despite being a fan of his latest performances.  I've seen bits here and there, but I never brought into the hype.

Maybe in the near future eh?


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Toby_E
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Quoted from Demento
IMO this season is a lot better than the first one.


You know what? I might be inclined to agree. I absolutely adored this second season, which had a far stronger emotionally charged finale than anything featured in the first season.

Sure, it was complex. And sure, it was so drastically different to the first season. But I really do not understand the bashing that it's getting.


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IamGlenn
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Left it after episode 3. Was annoying me a little. Now it's done though, I might watch it in one big lump. See how it goes.


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Hated it - unwatchable


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sniper
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I thought season 2 was no way near as bad as most critics made it out to be, but then again not as good as it tried to be.

The plot seemed to be convoluted for the sake of being convoluted when really the plot was fairly simple (in hindsight), and there was just too many characters to keep up with.

As much as I liked Vince Vaughn's performance, I'm pretty sure you could cut that character from the storyline without messing up the plot too much. Yes, he was important for Velcoro's arc but that could have been tweaked easily.

That being said, I felt more or less entertained throughout the season. The characters really grew on me (except Bezzerides, for some reason I could just not get next to her). The finale had that extra emotional thing to it that I felt the finale of season 1 lacked.

I think once all the hype dies down a bit that people will give season 2 another shot and rate it on its own merit instead of being the follow up to season 1.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a third season.


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Toby_E
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Quoted from sniper
I thought season 2 was no way near as bad as most critics made it out to be, but then again not as good as it tried to be.

The plot seemed to be convoluted for the sake of being convoluted when really the plot was fairly simple (in hindsight), and there was just too many characters to keep up with.

As much as I liked Vince Vaughn's performance, I'm pretty sure you could cut that character from the storyline without messing up the plot too much. Yes, he was important for Velcoro's arc but that could have been tweaked easily.

That being said, I felt more or less entertained throughout the season. The characters really grew on me (except Bezzerides, for some reason I could just not get next to her). The finale had that extra emotional thing to it that I felt the finale of season 1 lacked.

I think once all the hype dies down a bit that people will give season 2 another shot and rate it on its own merit instead of being the follow up to season 1.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a third season.


Truer words have not been spoken. I agree with every point that you have made here. Especially about the finale packing the emotional punch that I found lacking throughout season 1. Whilst Vince Vaugn's character did not add much, in the way of main plot, I am so glad that he was included, as I thought his character (and his excellent wife) was the best thing about this (IMO, strong) season.


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Ryan1
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I can't think of a bigger disappointment for a second season than this one.  I just found it to be an utterly contrived, convoluted mess with characters that lacked any depth or empathy.  I kept thinking "It's going to get better" as each episode ticked off, but it just sunk deeper into the morass.  There's too many random, useless plot points and characters to mention.  In the end, it just felt like I'd been led on a wild goose chase.   But I'll always remember Vince Vaughn's death march in the desert and Colin Farrell's brilliant plan to lose his pursuers in the mountain forest.  LMAO, at least the show gave us some laugh out loud moments.
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