Time isn’t so much of a flat circle this time round, but it does have a drinking problem...
After re-launching the career of Matthew McConaughey and re-defining what good television should be – even in a world of Breaking Bad and Game Of Thrones – the first season of HBO’s True Detective set a pretty huge legacy.
The first episode of the second season aired last night on Sky Atlantic and has already drawn the inevitable comparisons with its predecessor. This time around we have a completely new set of characters, a new location in the form of California and a new grisly murder to speculate over.
The California locale may make it instantly more recognisable than the first season’s Louisiana swamps, the characters may be drawn from a familiar stock character pool and the lines may verge on just a bit silly (“Never do anything out of hunger, not even eat”) but that didn’t mean it wasn’t 50 minutes of great entertainment.
Here’s what we learned…
01 Colin Farrell might play the best character of all time
While not quite in need of a McConaughey style career boost, Farrell hasn’t exactly been blowing critics away in recent years. His turn as troubled detective Ray Velcoro, though, might change that. It’s beautifully over the top and the first episode saw him knuckle duster the father of a school bully and scream at his own child “What did they do to your trainers? They shit in ‘em?!” Erm… no Colin, they just stole the shoes, obviously… Beautiful.
02 Rachel McAdams is tough as nails
Forget about The Notebook. With any luck you’ve never seen it and McAdam’s turn as Ani Bezzerides is your first introduction to the actress. The toughest of the lot, she packs a knife in her belt buckle, a gun on her hip and a knife in her boot and we can already tell she’d happily beat Colin Farrell to a pulp. Extra points for busting up a webcam porn ring her wayward sister was involved in.
03 Vince Vaughn almost pulls it off
Remember long, long ago when Vince Vaughn made a film called Swingers and was heralded as the next “Big Thing”? Well, he hints at that here as a brooding crime boss, but he’ll have to do a lot more to make us forget sitting through Four Christmases.
04 Taylor Kitsch is Christian Bale
Taylor Kitsch has been trying for a breakout role ever since his tenure on Friday Night Lights came to an end and roles in Savages, John Carter and Battleship haven’t yet elevated him to the heady heights of stardom. True Detective, of course, has all the power to do that and his role as a physically and mentally scared, Viagra taking veteran looks like just the ticket. His Christian Bale Batman voice, we’re not so sure about.
05 It’s already flipping mental
Skeletons wearing crowns. Dildos. Slashed nude paintings. Balaclavas and bruised knuckles. Suicidal late-night motorcycle runs. Threatening businessmen. Under-loved ginger children. Gambling, Johnnie Walker Blue Label. Cults, police raids and bodies with no eyes. What a first episode.
True Detective season two, episode two is on Sky Atlantic next Monday at 10pm