True Detective Season Review: No Spoilers

My attempt at a television review….

Unbelievable job by Mahershala Ali. I’d watch him do anything at this point. The 3 different story/time lines were great for him. Besides the obvious change in hair and makeup, he played each stage of this guy’s life as a completely different character, and nailed all of them.

Stephen Dorff shockingly held his own here all season long. He’s no Woody Harrelson, but blew Vince Vaughn’s season 2 performance out of the water. Both Dorff and Ali adeptly showed how the case changed the detectives as men throughout the years, with the subtleties in their performences- albeit, when the writers and directors weren’t always so subtle.

That’s it for positivity from me.

I spent the entire season defending the show’s slow build. I argued that Season 1 was arguably just as slow, and we’re just looking at it differently because we’re thinking about it in its entirety. I argued that this story line and format (across different eras) could actually be better for this type of short series.

But as it turns out…the slow build was a build to nothing.

The finale was a HUGE let down. Even worse than the criminally overrated Season 1 finale. There was a twist! But is was so obviously lazy, that a character LITERALLY EXPLAINS EVERY DETAIL to the audience. A stark departure from Season 1, with such a “nuanced” finale, that I still have no fucking clue what McConaughey was talking about in the last scene.

Also, in the finale, they played WAAAY too much with the timelines, haphazardly jumping back and forth randomly to points in the characters’ lives that momentarily seem poignant, but ultimately teach us very little we didn’t already know about the people, the case, or really anything at all. Other than the fact that Roland West needs to get beat up by bikers to fill the emptiness in his dead soul.

As was the case in Season 1 and 2, there were several plot points they invested time in, that get no payoff whatsoever. Why Dungeons and Dragons and the stupid dolls? Just to make some weak link to Season 1 and the paranormal, to ultimately have it not pay off? What about the TV interview? The son banging the hot reporter? Were they Red Herrings all along, or just lazy story-telling crutches and the writers’ way of filling 8+ hours? Seems like the latter.

Oh, one more positive. I really did like the Beverly-Hills-Cop-Meets-Last Vegas feel of the “current” timeline, and absolutely need to see the spinoff “Odd Couple” reboot of those two living together.

I had such high hopes for this season, and a great finale would have changed my whole outlook…would have me giving a positive review here. But, I have to say… Nic Pizzolato, you’ve fooled me twice…. don’t get fooled again.

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