When a television series is successful, it is inevitable that the show is renewed and a second series is created. After the success of season one of True Detective, it came as no surprise when season two was announced and it was highly anticipated. Unfortunately, the second season is slightly disappointing in comparison and didn’t quite pack the same punch.
With season one of True Detective, the narrative was told from a first person account of the two detectives with flashbacks to show the action, this worked very well and was very engaging. The problem with season two is that it was slightly confusing. There were too many characters with too many narratives that would then come together to make the one linear story. This confusing element made the story hard to follow and meant that it just wasn’t engaging for the audience.
One reason there could be for the many narratives is that there is a big cast of some famous names. There isnt a problem with the line up and acting skills (bar Rachel McAdams’ accent at times) but it does seem a bit like ‘how many famous faces can we cram into this series’. It is good to see Vince Vaughan in a slightly more serious role than what we are used to on the big screen and he does play the bad guy very well. His mix of ‘don’t care, I am a villian’ and ‘I really love my wife and don’t want to hurt her’ attitude means that he is the one character that you do feel some compassion for when things start to go wrong.
In season one, the dark sinister feel to the show worked really well and progressed as the series went on. With season two, this is pushed on the audience straight from the get go and fails to leave the same impression. There are some stand out scenes from season one (the fight scene with the bikers in episode four being key) but in season two it is really hard to pick out some moments that are still thought about after. The scene when Rachel McAdams’ character attends a strange and sordid party and is drugged is a particularly good one just for the shear weirdness of it all but unfortunately scenes like that are few and far between and aren’t really enough to save the series and make it something that you would be talking about for days to your friends.
It seems the main problem with season two is not the acting, the actors can feel proud of what they have done, it’s not even the way in which it was shot, the camera work is superb and some location shots are beautiful. The audience do feel like they are right in the action with some scenes and in particular the drugged scene is shot in such a way that you really do understand how the character is feeling. The problem is the story. It is just too confusing and there is just too much going on for it to be followed easily. This means that the compassion you should feel for the characters doesn’t happen because in all honesty, you kind of forget who each person is. The show just seems a bit too try hard and unfortunately it’s left quaking in the shadows of season one.
Dir: John Crowley, Justin Lin
Scr: Nic Pizzolatto
Starring: Colin Farrell, Woody Harrelson, Rachel McAdams, Michelle Monaghan, Taylor Kitsch, Vince Vaughn
Prd: Aida Rogers, Peter Feldman, Blake McCormick
DOP: Nigel Bluck
Number of Episodes: 8
Episode Runtime: 55mins
Season 2 of True Detective is out on DVD and Blu-Ray from 11th January.