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If anyone actually feels like going back and rewatching the second season (it's a lot better than you remember), this deep dive helped make a lot of sense on the themes of it that went over everyone's head (including my own)

https://www.reddit.com/r/TrueDetective/comments/6wlztq/true_detective_season_2_and_the_eastern_book_of/

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I think what that analysis highlights as much as anything for me is how well-done season 1 was - maybe it was having fewer central characters, fewer plates to spin, but Rust Cohle serves as such a functional lightning rod for drawing together a lot of disparate ideas. Sometimes those are overly pop-culture in nature, like the conveniently "thinky" notion of name-dropping string theory, but in the end, those ideas all row in the same direction and pay off accordingly.  

Ultimately, that's the second season's biggest failing: even though all these characters are dealing with the same thing (literally and metaphorically), you never get the sense of it building and focusing effectively.  And I don't think the audiences' familiarity, or lack thereof, with certain texts does anything to change that.  

Maybe having the same director on every episode was just the thing needed to make those themes more unifying; maybe the whole shooting match really was rushed.  But having the key to a rusted lock doesn't make the rust vanish.

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The lack of unifying director was an obvious reason to pinpoint how mishmash S2 felt, which was why I was initially excited at Saulnier's involvement but then...

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None of this changes the fact that:

1) The characters were bad. Really fucking bad. Historically bad.

2) The dialogue was maybe some of the worst ever and hand waving it off as it being pulpy is like M. Night trying to defend The Happening by saying it was meant to be that bad.

3) Even with one director, the guy running the show is about as good as Vince Russo was without a filter to strain the shit through. Like, a unifying director doesn't change the fact that the entire plot sucked, the characters sucked, and everything they said sucked.

The final season of Dexter rightly gets a ton of hate because of how shitty it was and how it delivered so poorly for a final season, but head to head, it's still not as crummy as season 2 of True Detective.

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That's playing fast and loose with the notion of what a fact is.  But, it's 2018, and I'm on a wrestling message board talking about opinions...in 2018...

I would argue the last season of Dexter was actually much, much worse.  Largely because it went so far in undoing who the character was.  The best working element in the early seasons was, of course, the charade being propped up of his normal life clashing and contrasting (and eventually blowing up) due to his real persona.  The last season was so godawful because it negated so much work that went in earlier; it was, frankly, an insulting way of wrapping up the show, and I never bought for a second that his relationship with Our Lady of F-Bombs did much of anything to define him.  She always just felt like the Person Who Would Catch Him and not a lot else (at least, insofar as how their relationship worked, or didn't).  Additionally, I felt like the whole "she loves Dexter" bit was some crap that went into the show because Carpenter & Hall were married for a while.  Maybe it was in the books, I never read them, and never would, but the last season of Dexter was hardly the only bad one.  It slid down that cliff for a while, rather than falling suddenly.

But my point is that the level of scorched earth from that one season of TV is well, well beyond that of True Detective season 2, if only because the latter show is an anthology, and therefore it's conveniently (perhaps smartly) conceived so that there's no such thing as a disastrous retcon.

I've said it before that a show about just Ray and Ani might have worked.  And Ray's character is pretty damn good - or, at the very least, I think people will concede Colin Farrell acted the everloving fuck out of something that would (or should) have been horrendous.  But I'll spare everyone the fantasy plotting of stuff, since that never went over so well back in the days when I described Benoit/Liger as the best Benoit/Angle match...

 

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Quote

I've said it before that a show about just Ray and Ani might have worked.

 

Even just reading the name Ani is a reminder that the character's name was Antigone Bezzerides and my stomach muscles are scrunching up all over again. That's going to be right there on the character list of the 1st page of the 1st script before it even starts and someone should have been like "I haven't even opened this yet, but i think we have to have a talk just to see where you're mind is at right now."

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Yep.

What seems to slip the minds of writers and community college professors is that the only people who are impressed by literature references are....writers and community college professors.  Sign me up for the Neil Gaiman School of Making Things Up and Writing Them Down.

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1 hour ago, Contentious C said:

That's playing fast and loose with the notion of what a fact is.  But, it's 2018, and I'm on a wrestling message board talking about opinions...in 2018...

I would argue the last season of Dexter was actually much, much worse.  Largely because it went so far in undoing who the character was.  The best working element in the early seasons was, of course, the charade being propped up of his normal life clashing and contrasting (and eventually blowing up) due to his real persona.  The last season was so godawful because it negated so much work that went in earlier; it was, frankly, an insulting way of wrapping up the show, and I never bought for a second that his relationship with Our Lady of F-Bombs did much of anything to define him.  She always just felt like the Person Who Would Catch Him and not a lot else (at least, insofar as how their relationship worked, or didn't).  Additionally, I felt like the whole "she loves Dexter" bit was some crap that went into the show because Carpenter & Hall were married for a while.  Maybe it was in the books, I never read them, and never would, but the last season of Dexter was hardly the only bad one.  It slid down that cliff for a while, rather than falling suddenly.

But my point is that the level of scorched earth from that one season of TV is well, well beyond that of True Detective season 2, if only because the latter show is an anthology, and therefore it's conveniently (perhaps smartly) conceived so that there's no such thing as a disastrous retcon.

I've said it before that a show about just Ray and Ani might have worked.  And Ray's character is pretty damn good - or, at the very least, I think people will concede Colin Farrell acted the everloving fuck out of something that would (or should) have been horrendous.  But I'll spare everyone the fantasy plotting of stuff, since that never went over so well back in the days when I described Benoit/Liger as the best Benoit/Angle match...

 

Ah, now here is a lot to chew on. I would argue that the undoing of Dexter started right after the Jon Lithgow season (season 4?). From that point on it was just a precipitous decline. In fact, the season prior to the final season may have been the worst, but the series finale is so insanely bad that it makes the rest of garbage from the final season even worse.

You're right though, because whereas I find season 2 of True Detective completely and utterly terrible, I still recommend the shit out of the first season. I can't even bring myself to tell someone to watch Dexter because of how huge of a shadow the other seasons cast over the entire series. It helps that True Detective is an anthology so you can simply cast aside season 2 as a piece of shit, laugh at it in retrospect, and hope for a better third season. In fact, is there even a point to bringing back NP? HBO really couldn't find someone else to run other seasons? If this season also tanks, I hope that isn't it for the series as a whole because as an anthology, all it would take is someone new to breathe new life into it.

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I did a bad thing, and bought season 2, just so I could remind myself of what happened.  And then I got, y'know, 15 minutes into it, and I realized my memory of the details were even worse than I feared.  

I had really convinced myself that Burris was the triggerman for all the crap that goes down in the show; I think I believed this mostly because that's the theory I held onto throughout the original airing.  But it's those kids, isn't it?  There's the whole stupid chase bit at the airport and all that bullshit that makes no sense, instead of a much simpler plot; e.g., Burris & the mayor's son decide they want to oust Dad & the police chief and do so by letting the sharks eat each other alive once Caspere goes missing and the big-money plan starts to fray.  

I wonder how much better the show would have been had it been that; all the weirdness and sex stuff and whatnot just turns out to be one big feint, and the only things that truly drive the action are money and power.  There's an argument to be made that that's what the show *does* try to say, but it does this so shittily that you don't feel convinced by it.

I'm going to hate the 8 hours I put into this, just to watch Colin Farrell act around that atrocious mustache.

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The only thing I loved about season 2 was how committed Vince Vaughn was. Like, you can just tell, he watched season one, and was like "this is brilliant. If I get to work with this material and I just go for it, all out, it'll be my calling card as a credible dramatic actor for the rest of my life." And then he just never questioned that, no matter how undeliverable of lines the scripts kept giving him.

He just went 100% all in on truly awful material. It's mesmerizing.

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6 hours ago, Brian Fowler said:

The only thing I loved about season 2 was how committed Vince Vaughn was. Like, you can just tell, he watched season one, and was like "this is brilliant. If I get to work with this material and I just go for it, all out, it'll be my calling card as a credible dramatic actor for the rest of my life." And then he just never questioned that, no matter how undeliverable of lines the scripts kept giving him.

He just went 100% all in on truly awful material. It's mesmerizing.

When Vince Vaughn and Colin Farrell were whispering in a kitchen for no reason, that's the moment I decided this is two actors in way too deep.

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It's funny how Vince Vaughn read the script for Brawl in Cell Block 99 after that and decided to do the same thing.

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The Post is, well, not very kind.  I'm not surprised by this.  But even with the description given, it sounds like a monolithic improvement over season 2.  Ali seems like just the guy who could get out of his season what McConaughey & Farrell mined out of theirs.  Good for him, I guess?  

The descriptions of ponderousness and poor pacing are not really the sorts of things that bother me.  At least for season 1, that kind of thing just built up the dread, the tension of no one fully understanding what's been going on or why, or how to be anything except powerless to stop it.

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There are few things more ponderous than driving around while McConaughey paraphrases Thomas Ligotti...  

Oh and fuck the Post, I'm all-in on this until it proves to be worse than Season Two (which is impossible).

 

 

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The magic of season one won't be there. But I'm sure I'll enjoy this more than "serious critics" are suggesting.

Anyway, who's down for a shit-talk session about Spielberg's The Post? 

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On ‎9‎/‎5‎/‎2018 at 3:08 PM, Craig H said:

Ah, now here is a lot to chew on. I would argue that the undoing of Dexter started right after the Jon Lithgow season (season 4?). From that point on it was just a precipitous decline. In fact, the season prior to the final season may have been the worst, but the series finale is so insanely bad that it makes the rest of garbage from the final season even worse.

 

Hindsight being what it is and all, Dexter really should have ended with season 4. Nothing ever came close to topping it. But that's another topic for another thread

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Probably not going to be as good as season 1, but that was solid start.

McNairy's breakdown in the back of the car was devastating in the right way.

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Intrigued to see where it goes. Loved how the different timelines were bleeding into one another, really smartly done 

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On ‎1‎/‎13‎/‎2019 at 11:07 PM, Niners Fan in CT said:

I really liked the first two episodes!  Ali is tremendous and Dorff is great too 

I like the qualities about the show that CreativeControl mentioned (fourth wall time bleeding moments, etc.) and it is refreshing to see Stephen Dorff play a protagonist for once.  He is fucking great.

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On ‎1‎/‎14‎/‎2019 at 2:29 AM, Brian Fowler said:

Probably not going to be as good as season 1, but that was solid start.

McNairy's breakdown in the back of the car was devastating in the right way.

Will watch solely for Scoot.  And I'm not even sure he's in more than one episode.

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Watched the first two eps last night.  All I've got in terms of predictions is that they're playing this really foreboding, creepy music that hasn't entirely been earned yet, so I'm expecting something real real bad to happen pretty soon.

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I live not too far from where this was filmed, and Carmen Ejogo using generic American accent #5789 for someone born and raised in Fayetteville makes me wish they casted someone who was actually American and would make an attempt. 

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