Tuesday, January 14, 2014

"True Detective" - TV Review

Site: True Detective - HBO

*** There Will Be SPOILERS! ***

I'm reviewing the first episode, which I saw during HBO's free preview weekend. I guess I might get to see other episodes at some point. But, I'm certainly not paying for HBO! Almost all of what they have on is attention-grabbing, critic-bait garbage like "Girls." I'm certainly not going to fill their coffers for that stuff!

The opening titles don't help the show too much! It's the usual cable artsy-tartsy affair. If you know Maurice Binder, the famous opening-titles creator who did the James Bond films, the opening titles here are like his work if he had been on heavy barbiturates! By leaps and bounds, the highlight here is Matthew McConaughey. His performance should instantly get an Emmy! What he does in his opening scene earns that alone. Woody Harrelson's performance is the usual steady hand on the wheel.

McConaughey has a character who is your typical troubled serial-killer-profiler type. But, the writer does push it a bit far, since his character not only is a smoker and a drinker, but also a taker of drugs and has a freaky apartment situation, where all he has is a mattress on the floor and a stack of serial-killer books. Definitely laying it on too thick!

Not surprisingly, the women here do not have too much to do but be housewives, hookers or whatever. Disappointing in that having some strong female characters could have provided some good balance for the show.

The killing that is the centerpiece of the show seems to be pretty much a repeat of a key one from the first season of "Hannibal." Probably coincidence, but it gives a sense of something we've seen before.

T. Bone Burnett is the musical darling of Hollywood. For whatever reason, he is considered the great, go-to guy for earthy music, when it's needed. To me, he has done great work in the past, like with the Coen Brothers' "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" But, I don't really get what he's doing these days. His work on "Inside Llewyn Davis" did nothing for me. Just depressing songs, nothing more.

Here, he has this mumbly, what-the-heck opening song starting the show, and fairly indiscriminate music otherwise throughout the show.

The production values are good otherwise, with the cinematography being the best aspect. The program has gotten off to a good start. Viewers will have to see where it goes from here.

******* (7 Out of 10 Stars)

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