Season Review True Detective

True Detective – Season Two

"Everything is fucking."


It’s fascinating to witness the vicious public backlash aimed squarely at True Detective’s second season. The show’s debut year was a breakout success on every level – critics adored it, and people raved about it all year long (primarily thanks to Matthew McConaughey’s revelatory performance). But this year? Everyone hopped on the hate bandwagon, and honestly… I can’t say the show didn’t deserve it.

The main issue with this season is that the narrative was needlessly convoluted. Even though the year started fresh with a new cast and premise, it felt like it was wading through years of boring and never-ending backstory. In addition, the conspiracy at the heart of the story became particularly confusing with the multitude of corrupt cops and government officials. After watching the season finale, I still can’t tell you what this season was about and who was responsible for what. Sure there were some highlights (the brutal shootout in episode three, and the sinister orgy in the season’s sixth episode), but the plotting left a lot to be desired. Ultimately, it proved tiresome, and painfully slow across the board.

The good stuff? One can’t deny that Detective exudes a uniquely unsettling atmosphere. Much like its haunting title song, season two managed to maintain an eerie sense of creepiness and menace. I know a lot of people disliked this season’s cast, but I thought Rachel McAdams, Collin Farrell, Taylor Kitsch and Vince Vaughn all delivered first-rate performances with the material they were given. Sure none of them could live up to the standards of Matthew’s Rusty, but the heavy-handed themes and clunky dialogue did them no favors. In addition, each of their endings worked on a thematic level, further conveying the bleak notion that evil always seems to prevail. The season’s final scene was especially intriguing, bringing together two characters that had yet to interact all season long in somewhat satisfying fashion.

While it had some bright spots, True Detective’s sophomore season was a messy and often dull affair. Here’s hoping season three returns the show to its former glory and reclaims what made it so special.

Nad Rating


  1. I didn't hate this season as much as most people did. But it wasn't that great of a season either for the reasons you mentioned. The central mystery was too complicated to keep track of and the dialogue can be a bit off. But, like you, I believe the cast did their best with the material they have. I hope the writers of the show learn from the mistakes of season two and come up with something better next season that can come close to the level of greatness season one had.

  2. Ugh! I completely agree with paragraph two….the narrative was definitely convoluted….and broken. Fractured beyond repair….dialogue about things that really didn't seem to fit or matter, and dialogue missing about things that DID matter! This whole season should have been re-named “Lost”….as in almost everything about it was missing!

    We had high hopes with the cast. Collin Farrell and Taylor Kitsch, (aka “Timmy Riggins” in our house!) stood up to the test, but reservations with Vince Vaughn and Rachel McAdams…..Vince was a disappointment and Rachel eventually surprised us by the time it was done….it was extremely hard to picture her as the cold, hard detective she was portraying in the beginning…but became more convincing by the end.

    Honestly the best thing about the whole season for ME was the title song!!

    I could really rag on this a lot more but will instead try to divorce myself from it altogether. I feel like the C+ rating was a bit generous……I would give it a D- instead! I mean, it was almost a complete failure for us. If not for the first season, we might forget this series altogether. But because of that first season, we will hold on and give S3 a try in hopes that major repairs will keep it alive. It's truly hard to believe it was the same writing team as S1.

  3. Hhahah LOST! Love it 😀

    Wasn't that title song so creepy and effective? It would literally send chills down my spine! And every time I think of the grade, I start thinking C+ was too generous as well… The season just left a bad taste in my mouth Nikki!

  4. Yes, bad taste indeed. And yes, the title song was perfect….but everything falls apart when the music is done, lol!

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