TDBar640

Ugh, it’s over.

Alright, I’m going to come right out and say it: I kind of fucking loved this episode, despite some of the inherent weirdness. Maybe “fucking loved” is a bit strong, but, you know what? I don’t get what all the haters are talking about. I thought it was a very strong episode. It felt more like a movie, with the intensity that the rest of the season should have had. But because it didn’t, I see how the last episode falls short of expectation. But doesn’t it always?

I’m not going to hash out the plot much here since we’re now at the end of the season. Now we get to look at it the way Gestalt tells us to. Spoilers abound ahead; you have been warned.

What I Liked

Call me a girl, but I really liked that Jordan and Ani made it out alive, and that Ani (of course) had Ray’s baby. Take this as a sex education lesson, kids. All it takes is one time. As long as you follow these steps: Step 1: cut a hole in the box have sex. Step 2: have fucked up pillow talk about y’all’s fucked up childhoods that involve getting into a van with a stranger because he told you you were pretty, and misguided deeds that involve murder. That’s it. Voila!

Actually, let’s pause and talk for a second about Ani’s story. Jesus, was that depressing. And for perhaps the first time this season I had some Actual Feels™ during this story because Mother of God do I relate to the “but he told me I was pretty” thing. Not that anything like being kidnapped and held in a cave for four days ever happened to me, but God, I understand that mentality. Bottom line here is: I really like Ani, and I’m really glad that she got the hell out of Vinci, and now she has a baby that she clearly loves and despite having lived through weird stuff, she seems happy(er).

Speaking of Ani getting out: I also really liked that she told the whole story to a journalist, who wants her to go back to the States to testify. That’s it. That’s all there was to that 3 minutes of television. It’s meh, but I enjoyed it. Read the rest of this entry »

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Now we’re getting somewhere! Maybe?

It feels really ineffective to say, “This is the level the show should have been at all along,” because ultimately that doesn’t mean anything. We couldn’t have gotten here without all the slow-building, more-than-occasionally confusing plot that came before. Mostly, I’m just sad it took until episode 7 to get to this point. Sigh.

You guys, I don’t hate this season. It’s not my favorite thing on TV by far. And that’s just so sad since the first season of this show is my favorite thing on TV probably ever. But, this season doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense. They sort of tried to tie everything together here, but I’m still largely confused. That’s why I chose this quote as the title. Everything about this show is fucking… weird, confusing, out-of-place, kind of cool, but mostly still confusing. Still don’t really understand WTF is going on with the rail corridor land thing, and how they were able to divide the land, and why even, and I just don’t really even care. And I’m not totally sure I understand why the whole thing with Paul even went down (which I’ll get to later). Like, what is the point? So maybe it’s just supposed to show more of the corrupt cops/security/land developer/powers that be. Whatever. It’s weird and it doesn’t feel like it fits. The stuff with Frank is kind of strange too, but at least he’s directly related to the land deals, which is directly related to Casper, who is directly related to the sex parties that Ani and Ray are dealing with. Paul is working that too, obviously, but he doesn’t really need to be part of the ensemble, you know? He’s sort of… extra.

Anyway. Let’s try to understand this together, shall we?

So, in the beginning, we’re in the aftermath of the party. Ani and Vera are still drugged the hell up while Ray and Paul babysit them in some shady, but actually quite quaint backwoods-looking cabin motel. Ani, still drugged, starts talking to Ray about the fucked up shit that happened to her as a little girl, but doesn’t get into too many details. But I think this is the first time that Ray really realizes that she might be just as fucked up as he is, and the look on his face is kind of precious, but we’ll get to that later.

So, Paul has some more work to do and Ray has to go talk to Frank, so Ani is left there with Vera. She finally wakes up and VERA IS PISSED. She did not run away, thankyouverymuch. But she does give Ani some pretty good details regarding those pictures that were mailed to her PO Box, the contents of which her sister eventually got mailed. The infamous Tascha is the one who took the pictures, and the girl in the picture is someone named Laura. At first I’m all, Laura?

Laura`s_photo_in_the_Hall_of_Fame

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intensestare.exe

intensestare.exe

Hoo, boy. Well. That was an episode.

I mean. I don’t know what to say. I didn’t dislike it. But I thought last week was much stronger. If you follow me on twitter (if you don’t, you should) you might have seen me tweet a link on Friday to this interview with Nic Pizzolatto from last summer. He talks about a lot of different things, and if you have 57 spare minutes, I recommend watching it. But one of the topics he covers is very dear to me, and I almost wish he’d talked about it for longer: characterization. He and the moderator (Dan Harmon) talk about how you have to have characters driving the story. When you have characters, the story doesn’t really matter. It’s in the background. It’s something that happens to the characters, but it’s them with whom the real story lies.

Obviously, I talk about this a lot. And Pizzolatto was really good at it last season. And he’s actually been really good at it this season, for the most part. And you know what? I love that this episode didn’t really have any Paul characterization because he’s probably the most boring out of the four. But the gripe I do have with the episode is that it didn’t go anywhere—at first. I actuailly shocked myself halfway through the episode when I wrote in my notes that there wasn’t enough happening in the story. Where was the plot? It was just Ray having a supervised home visit with his super sad son, and Frank visiting Dead Stan’s family and giving his son some precious, precious advice. And Ray doing enough coke to put the entire 1970s to shame. And it was all SO FANTASTIC.

But then the episode switched gears. And it felt so clunky, and so strange. Like, “Let’s get all the character stuff out of the way at the beginning, and then have them do a bunch of stuff that doesn’t really have anything to do with what we just showed about them for the second half.” That applies to everyone except Ani, who we see at the Sex Party™ trying to keep her bearings, trying to stay in control, and eventually swiping a trident knife off the buffet table, and killing a dude. She should probably think about laying low for a while. Read the rest of this entry »

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Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 10.28.17 PM

Secret Task Force! Woo!

 

OMG YOU GUYS THINGS ACTUALLY HAPPENED PLOT ACTUALLY ADVANCED AND THINGS MADE SENSE WHAT KIND OF LOGICAL WORLD ARE WE IN NOW

(Warning: this may be a long one. That’s what she said.)

It only took five episodes. Five episodes to tell a story in 60 minutes that actually made sense. You would think that I would be ecstatic that they finally made an episode that pulls me in—and it did pull me in, but man oh man has the pacing in this season been terrible. I suppose we needed to see and experience a few of the things from the first four episodes for all this to really sink in, but it shouldn’t have taken half the fucking season, you know? The last four episodes could have been pushed into two, and then we’d be talking business. Instead we got Frank Semyon.

Don’t get me wrong… no. DO get me wrong. I hate Frank. Honestly, I think he’s the most boring character on TV this side of Alcide Herveaux. Okay, maybe not that boring, but still. I’m really tired of having to recall my vocabulary class days to try to understand what the hell he’s talking about. And I’m not the only one.

BUT, I guess we did get some actually useful information on Frank last night. For some context, last night’s episode takes place roughly 60 days after Caspere’s murder. So time has passed, things have been shifted off course, in the case of the detectives, or in Frank’s case, set in motion. He’s taken control of the club again and he and his wife have downsized into a quaint little house. Except for his exhaustive proselytizing of some sort of psuedo-blue collar enlightenment, he’s not a bad guy. He wants what he’s earned, which is actually a pretty admirable thing. He loves his wife, clearly. I really enjoyed the scene where they fight in the back office of the club. They both lay their cards out. He wants to get back his money and she’s either with him or not, and she’s had three abortions (Boyfriend: She’s like Claire Underwood, but I like her more. Me: Yeah, but she’s never done anything shitty to him. Frank’s Wife: I’ve had more than one surgery. Three. I’ve had three. Me: She IS Claire Underwood!). After all that, they still love each other, and then she goes home and tells him to make time to come home too, and he does. And it’s sweet. And we get to see another layer of Frank that never really peaked through to the light of day before. Read the rest of this entry »

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So, in between episodes, I found myself thinking about ratings the other day, and decided to take a look at True Detective. Something feels off. It feels like NO ONE is watching this show anymore. No one is talking about it. What I found actually shocked me. Because the issue isn’t that people aren’t watching. It’s that people aren’t talking. And that means death for TV in 2015. (Note: I got all my math from TVbythenumbers.com.)

*This is just the 9pm EST airing. For the night of the finale, it raked in 4.9 million viewers.

*This is just the 9pm EST airing. For the entire night of the finale, it raked in 4.9 million viewers.

So, let’s take a minute and look at the numbers, shall we? They’re pretty self-explanatory. I even made you guys this pretty graph. But, let’s talk it out.

Overall, you can’t exactly say that Season 2 has been a failure. Not if you’re purely looking at numbers. Even after four lackluster episodes, we’re still looking at total viewing numbers higher than Season 1’s premiere. And remember, that was because of the “WHAT?! MCCONAUGHEY AND HARRELSON?! IN A TV SHOW?!” buzz.

Obviously, if you look at the ridiculous 3.17 million from this season’s premiere, that was because of the buzz over HOW GOOD IT ALL WAS. There was faith in this show. I mean, the overall numbers are much higher this year than the corresponding episodes of last year. But there is still something mighty troubling about those trends. Read the rest of this entry »

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Colin Farrell filming 'True Detective'

Yay! We finally have context for this scene!

That’ll do, Pig True Detective. That’ll do. For now.

I think I’ll venture and say that last night’s episode was much better than the previous three. More happened not only plot wise (sort of), but character wise. Let’s start with the plot.

So, I say that the plot only sort of advanced because some Major Things did happen, and there was some much needed exposition. Not a lot. Some. First off, can we talk about that awesome shootout? I mean, I still don’t understand exactly why the Amarilla dude went all apeshit and started the damn thing. As far as we know, he only pawned Caspere’s watch (I do not believe for a second that he is Crowhead. Come on. I didn’t start watching TV yesterday). And like, WTF, guy shooting at them from the building AND KEEPS FIRING EVEN AFTER AN EXPLOSION HAPPENS ABOVE HIM? I liked that scene for a few reasons: 1) Four episodes in and minus that short chase scene from last week, this is the most action we’ve seen all season, and 2) it was so fucked up. That cop getting shot in the head right next to Ani. That guy getting pulled off the bus and then shot. Whew. When Ray, Ani and Paul were all exhausted after the fight, after literally everyone else is dead? That was the viewer too. It pulled me in, and that was the first time all season the show was able to do that. Well done.

The other Major Thing that happened was seeing Frank set all his business wheels in motion. I still don’t totally understand everything that Frank is doing. I kind of feel like we are his wife in that respect. We want things from him, and he’s telling us no, but we don’t totally understand exactly what his motivations are. But, hey, we’re club owners again, so we should be happy. Read the rest of this entry »

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In last night's episode, Paul has some unwanted feels.

In last night’s episode, Paul has some unwanted feels.

Okay, so you remember how in my recap/review of the first episode this season, I said that nothing is a context clue if there is no context? Well, it’s the third episode and there should be some fucking context by now, wouldn’t you think?

Maybe I’m spoiled by so much other good television that I’ve seen over the course of my decades on this earth. Or by the books I’ve read. Or movies I’ve seen.

There have been three episodes of this season, and I still can’t really figure out the story. Except for Ray being shot (and see? I told you he wasn’t dead), nothing has happened. And you know what? I’m going to say it: the first season went at such a better clip.

And I’m tired of people saying you can’t compare the two. Because you know what? The same guy wrote both of them. And if he can get pacing right on one of them, what’s his excuse with the other?

So much time is spent on story lines that I don’t care about. Are we really supposed to care about Frank? Like, at all? Instead last week we get the borderline ridiculous sob story about how his drunk daddy used to lock him in the basement when he went on his benders (hey, at least he did that, right?), and now this week we get his sad impotence in the fertility clinic. Okay, great. That’s sad for him. But WHY am I supposed to care about him? He’s the bad guy right? He uses people? He possibly may have manufactured a rapist for Ray to kill way back in the day just because he wanted a cop in his pocket, right? But what about his villainness makes him appealing? He’s no Walter White. He’s not even Wilson Fisk. Read the rest of this entry »

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He’s dead. Of course he’s dead, he was my favorite character.

Ray Something (21 Jun 2015-28 Jun 2015)

JUST KIDDING. He’s not dead. I don’t believe that he’s dead. Besides the fact that what I originally thought was a headshot, but upon second viewing was not, we have this promo shot:

Colin Farrell filming 'True Detective'

Haven’t seen this yet. Nope.

 

We haven’t seen that scene yet, and I highly doubt they would release something false like that just to keep us guessing. That would be pretty dumb. Anyway, Ray lives, and thank God because I don’t know if I could stand him being gone just yet. Read the rest of this entry »

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true detective

Well. There it is. The first episode of True Detective Season Two aired last night.

This is what happens when you build up so much anticipation and so much hype.

One of the problems (not that it can actually be categorized as such) was that the first season was so damn good right out of the gate. And it stayed good. And yes, a lot of people hated the ending of it—like people hated the ending of Seinfeld or The Sopranos—but I didn’t. I took it for what it was, even if it was over-earnest. Because it was a good story told through great characters.

After 61 minutes (so says my DVR), I can’t tell you much about any of the characters in Season 2, and that is a damn shame.

Okay, so I know a few things: We have the insecure business man, played by Vince Vaughn, who kind of made me think of Vincent D’Onofrio’s portrayal of Kingpin Wilson Fisk in this year’s Daredevil on Netflix. We have the mommy/daddy issues cop who is just trying to live her life, man, played by Rachel McAdams. We have the physically and emotionally scarred cop, played by Tim Riggins Taylor Kitsch. And we have the severely, SEVERELY unhinged detective played by Dirty Mustachioed Colin Farrell, which is the best Colin Farrell, IMO

true-detective-season-2-teaser-screencap_1280.0.0

Right?

 

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We’re having an ice day (it’s like a snow day, but scarier!), so while I’m home from work and nursing a Bloody Mary, I thought I’d talk about something I’ve been thinking about lately.

I was posed the following question recently: “Now that Kurt Sutter and Vince Gilligan have had two major shows on, which is better? Who is the better writer? Whose shows are better?” I realize that’s several questions, but it’s a fun one(s).

I don’t know about you guys, but to me, it always seems like a big deal when writers’ shows end, and networks (cable or otherwise) give them another series order. Sometimes it’s years later, sometimes it’s immediate. But it’s always a good sign when a network seems to trust a writer and/or showrunner.*

*In some cases, anyway. I still don’t totally get the obsession with Ryan Murphy. Social guilt is a helluva drug, I guess.

Anyway, the series of questions was a good one, and I don’t know if there can be a definitive answer. LOL just kidding. What else is the point of the internet if you don’t have an opinion? Read the rest of this entry »

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