TV - True Detective

True Detective

Just before the second season of True Detective starts, Steve Taylor-Bryant remembers the first and lays out his fears going forward...

When HBO's True Detective hit our screens in 2014, I watched along with high hopes and received perfection. Everything was perfect. The perfect cast, the perfect script and story, perfect direction and cinematography, perfect setting and backdrop, I bet even the coffee was perfect. It was a small snapshot of what can be achieved with a television show when everything is, well, perfect. Nic Pizzolatto wrote a story that brought out every emotion it could in a viewer, took an already outstanding cast and asked them to go to another level, and did it all with clever subplots within a larger grand scheme without losing his audience or playing dumb with them. All eight episodes were directed by Cary Fukunaga with a touch that would have brought Oscar awards had it been a film and, on fifth watch through since my initial reviews, I'm still spotting little things I've missed at other times. It really is the gift that keeps on giving. Then, after a short while, a second season was announced and I was conflicted. Yes, the first season had left me wanting more but it was such perfection that maybe it should have been left as a one off, that moment where you can sit back and honestly say you have witnessed the change of television.

True Detective

The thing is that you can write the best script ever in the whole history of shows but if your casting is wrong it just won't work. Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey, along with the superb Michelle Monaghan, were already world class talents that have a back catalogue with very few questionable performances in it and so where do you turn to top or even at the very least equal that? I thought Leonardo DiCaprio and that ilk as well, so imagine the fear level I had when I saw the names of Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn. Neither is the worst actor currently working but Vince Vaughn hasn't played anyone that isn't Vince Vaughan since Swingers in 1996, and Mr Farrell is not exactly consistent in performances over the years; for every In Bruges there is a Fright Night trying to get out. Add to the fear factor that the glorious landscape of Louisiana is changed for a city backdrop and that more than one man is behind the camera this season crafting the vision and you can see why I'm sceptical. 

I'm going to watch and review the show and I hope, like Twelve Monkeys before it, that I one day get to apologise for being wrong. I just really think it could go from genius to diluted cop show and that would be a crying shame.

Image - IMDb.