True Detective’s return has really crept up on me. I purposely left it out of June: New Releases & Returns because I really thought it was worthy of a post of all of it’s own. If you haven’t seen season one, I’d like you to please close the browser, step away from your computer or put away your phone and take yourself off to your local JB Hifi or whoever your preferred entertainment retailer of choice is and purchase yourself a copy on DVD or Blu-ray. Hell, I’ll even lend you MY copy but as you’re obviously a fan of great entertainment (otherwise why would you be here?) it’s completely essential viewing.
Season one of True Detective might be the best thing that HBO has ever produced, and it might even be the best thing that’s ever been on television. It’s definitely the best work Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson have ever done. Woody Harrelson has a body of work that is many and varied, and I don’t think anyone was too surprised that he could pull this off, but if someone had told you ten years ago that Matthew McConaughey was going to win an Oscar for Best Actor and would star in one of the most critically acclaimed television mini series of all time, let’s be honest, you would have laughed in their face. I know I would have. But how lucky we are that Hollywood recognised him as more than just a pretty face destined to fade into obscurity by starring in essentially the same rom com, over and over agin.
I promise we’ll get to season two soon, but I think it’s important to acknowledge how incredible the first instalment in this anthology series was, so we can really understand why people are so damn excited for what comes next. True Detective is dark, and season 2 isn’t showing any signs of lightening up. I think it’s one of the best and worst qualities of it. Rust Cohle is the darkest mofo’ to have ever graced our small screens. I mean like, intensely twisted, consumed by it, fucked up dark. He made Don Draper look like a power puff girl by comparison. So I guess I didn’t connect with it on that level (and I hope there weren’t too many people who did) but I respected the incredible depth of that character.
There’s a certain school of thought (and I tend to be on board with this) that premium networks like HBO are picking up the slack of the film industry in Hollywood right now. Hollywood seems mostly interested in giving a ton of money to big studios to make the next Marvel film or remake things that don’t need to be remade. Then a bit of money is given to things they think might make some bank, such as the reportedly turd-esque ‘Aloha’ (sorry Cameron Crowe, even I don’t want to see this) and then sometimes there’s a tiny bit of money left over for the people making important films to fight over and create something that doesn’t just entertain us but makes us feel something. The point is, thank god for HBO, Showtime, AMC, etc for making TV with movie stars. HBO really started it with the Sopranos, but True Detective has decided to own that space. Never before has a casting of a TV show been so hotly anticipated as season two was. Which brings me to what to expect from this new series.
Colin Farrell. Check. Rachel McAdams. Check. Vince Vaughn. Check (you know, weird feelings about guns aside). I’ve purposely avoided knowing too much about the story, other than those 3 are in it, the first episode is called ‘The Western Book of the Dead’ and the tiny things revealed in the trailer. Season two has massive shoes to fill. The expectations are probably way too high and incredibly unfair but they’re there all the same. And anyway, if it sucks, we can all stop watching and go back for yet another viewing of season 1, because time is a flat circle.
True Detective Season 2 begins on Showcase (Foxtel) tonight.