In the final minutes of the True Detective Season 2 finale on Sunday, I was still, eight weeks after the bizarre premiere, trying to make sense of the show's crazy, convoluted plot.
Even now, having watched the finale (and every episode for that matter) twice, I'm still a bit confused. I take comfort in knowing, however, that I'm not alone in my confusion or frustration. Twitter blew up Sunday night and many of those tweets echoed my sentiments.
With the second season in the books, the show has been critiqued, rehashed, bashed, and over-analyzed by writers and bloggers galore. I'm not going to go into that much depth here because, really, what more is there to be said? I'm just going to offer a few parting thoughts.
- Everyone seemed to criticize Vince Vaughan's performance of the gangster trying to turn legit, Frank Semyon.
In all honesty, I didn't find any fault with him. Perhaps any faults he did exhibit were overshadowed by my overwhelming confusion with the plot as a whole. Maybe I just had bigger fish to fry.
- Even though I didn't care for his gray roots, western style shirts, or bolo ties, I loved Colin Farrell's performance of Ray Velcoro, the city of Vinci's troubled, dirty cop.
Colin Farrell has been and on-again, off-again favorite of mine for several years, so maybe my opinion is biased. I think his acting was on mark and that he truly owned the character.
- The biggest issue I had with the season was the introduction of too many people. Below is a collage of secondary characters.
(These are in order, by the way, left-right top to bottom, in case you want to follow along.) We have a sister, a wife, a son, a state attorney, a trophy wife, a dead guy, a girlfriend, a right hand man, a dive bar singer who sings uber depressing songs, a gay lover, a dad, a Vinci detective, a questionable psychiatrist (played by 80s icon Rick Springfield), a Russian mobster, an ex-wife, a grill-wearing thug, another father, a former showgirl, a drunk mayor, and an event organizer.
To complicate matters, when you consider the my unfamiliarity and the uniqueness of many of their names - Bezzerides, Velcoro, Chessani, Osip Argronov... it made it even tougher for me to keep track of who was who. My husband and I often referred to the characters as "the mayor," "the highway patrolman," "the female cop," or "Colin Farrell's dad" because we couldn't remember their character names! LOL!
- A minor issue, but an issue none-the-less, was the offing of Stan when he only had 1 or 2 scenes prior to being found dead.
During that scene, I kept thinking, "Who is this guy and what importance does he or his death have in determining who killed Caspere?"
- Too. Many. Subplots. We learned about Frank and Jordan's difficulty conceiving and Jordan's three previous abortions; about Paul's strange mother who stole his stashed money; about Ray's son, Chad, who had trouble with bullies and how Ray was unsure if Chad was his biological child; about Ani's affair with a subordinate and the sexual harassment suit he filed against her after she cut things off with him... And that's just the tip of the iceberg! I know that details are essential in character development, but too many extraneous details can muddy the water and that was the case here.
In the end, the season was OK. It didn't blow me away like Season 1 did, nor did I enjoy it as much. But, I did stick it out for all 8 episodes (17 hours worth of viewing because I watched each episode twice) so that has to count for something. If I hated it, I would've abandoned it at some point.
My overall opinion of the season comes down to this - rewatching episodes and consulting the internet for "cheat sheet" explanations (here is one of the best I found) of who's who and what their involvement is in the plot takes much of the fun factor away when watching a series. In the end, watching True Detective this summer felt more like work and research than entertainment.
Did you watch any of True Detective Season 2? What do you think about it? Feel free to comment below.
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