HBO’s hit series True Detective returns for its second season with a brand new cast of superstars. Many critics are questioning if this new group can live up to the first season’s cast.
True Detective’s first season starred Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. People states they were superb and played well off of each other. The source says they were as good a team as Sherlock and Watson. People also explains how the first season developed itself right away, not leaving the fans waiting.
HBO’s website sets the scene for this season with a brief description of how the story will unfold. After the discovery of a body, three policing agencies are thrown together in a whirlwind investigation. The setting is described as the “scorched landscape of California.”
The first character they introduce is Ray Velcoro, played by Colin Farrell. Velcoro is a “compromised detective.” In the trailer, the audience gets a glimpse of him sitting across from Vince Vaughn’s character in an empty diner just staring at each other. Farrell, an Irish-born actor, is known for his roles in Phone Booth and Total Recall.
Next, HBO describes Vaughn’s character. Frank Semyon is an entrepreneur at risk of losing everything. Semyon is the criminal in this season and is supported by his wife despite her personal struggles. Vaughn is most known for his comedic roles, but he has been involved in more dramatic works like Domestic Disturbance, where he played the villain.
The female lead is played by Rachel McAdams known for The Notebook and Wedding Crashers. Ani Bezzerides is a sheriff’s detective who does not always agree with the system she works for. Furthermore, Taylor Kitsch plays a war veteran who is now a motorcycle cop. Kitsch is known for his roles in Lone Survivor and John Carter.
Many are questioning if this brand new superstar cast with True Detective’s return can live up to the hype set by its predecessor. People gave the opening episode a grim review. They claim the series starts on a winding web going back and forth between each of the cops’ miserable lives. However, People explained that the audience must have patience. After the first episode, once the body is discovered, the series picks up the pace and is better throughout.
In their review, The Los Angeles Times claims that viewers once treated the first season as the best show on television, but started changing their tune half way through. People were concerned with the show’s treatment of women and its supernatural aspects.
The Week gives this season poor reviews as well. They claim that the problems from the first one were not addressed and still appear. The Week also reports the dialogue is too involved and could be hard to follow. They believe that while True Detective’s first season may have started to suffer halfway through, the lead characters’ relationship carried it the rest of the way.
The L. A. Times believes that with the way fans can voice their opinions directly to the creators of a show via social media, it is often expected that their desires are met. They suggest that the show may get bad reviews because of the way people feel about topics discussed and represented.
Overall, The L. A. Times gives the show a good review based on its style, “California noir,” and the character performances, not on emotions. They praise McAdams’ performance and give Vaughn and Farrell accolades as well. They also note it was hard to review an entire series off just three episodes.
Some have stated this season has been highly anticipated, yet these first reviews are not as appealing. HBO’s True Detective returns tonight with a brand new cast of superstars looking to come out of the shadows of the first season. True Detective airs Sundays at 9:00 PM Eastern Time on HBO.
By Megan Hellmann
People-True Detective Review: A Huge, Disturbing Mystery
The Los Angeles Times-The TV We Deserve? ‘True Detective’ Season 2 and the Age of Microcritism
The Week- True Detective Season 2 is a Grim, Ridiculous Misfire
Photo Courtesy of The Conmunity – Pop Culture Geek’s Flickr Page- Creative Commons License
Photo Courtesy of Gage Skidmore’s Flickr Page- Creative Commons License