Tuesday, March 25, 2014

True Detective (Day 263 KEDfaY)

True Detective.

It's a show that has taken the internet by storm. I didn't watch it while it was airing because I decided to be difficult. I knew it was a show that I was going to watch eventually though so I stayed away from spoilers as much as possible. A friend of mine just started watching True Detective and accidentally watched the last episode first, which I would think kinda ruins the whole experience but he says he's still hooked on it.

I watch a lot of TV shows, something that if you have read my blog at all, probably already know. I was told by everyone I know that I need to watch True Detective and that it was new and different and exciting. So I did.

Because I watch a lot of TV, I think about TV a lot. I think about plots and characters and scenarios and how some are played out in every sitcom in every iteration imaginable or how some characters are just like others. Very rarely is there something new and exciting, especially in the world of sitcoms and police dramas, two types of shows that I am weirdly attracted to.

I was hesitant to watch True Detective. Something about a crime drama starring Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey, who might have the most difficult name to spell ever and why aren't more people complaining about it, really put me off. "I'm sure they're great actors," I thought, "But...really?"

And then I watched the first episode. Now I mentioned that I think about TV a lot. It's what I do. I dissect TV. Generally though, I don't stay on one show for too long. I think about it fleetingly as I'm changing loads of laundry or cleaning litter boxes. TV sits on the back of my mind when I have nothing else to ponder, so I'll ponder the latest episode of How I Met Your Mother and debate it with myself. But True Detective was different.

The characters are so complex and unique that I actually woke up in the middle of the night two nights after finishing the series because I was thinking about the characters so much. And the plot. And the uniqueness of it all. To say I was impressed with Harrelson and McConaughey's performances would be putting it mildly. I once accidentally watched the last 20 minutes or so of Failure to Launch or some other movie with a similar plot starring the previously typecast actor. I think I was wasting time until something more exciting came on the same channel. All I know is that I was largely unimpressed with the simple role and the simple actor. I now will watch anything that Mr. McConaughey wants to do. He is now in the category of, "Will watch this actor read the phonebook."

I tried to find news about the show without being spoiled before I had finished the series. I don't know why, I think to find out if there was going to be a second season or not. One of the many articles that popped up when I googled the show was about True Detective and feminism. It's an article that I didn't read and I'm sure it made a few good points but I wanted to remain unspoiled by outside opinions about the complexity of the characters and just wanted to experience the show by myself. I knew nothing really, outside of the starring actors and the mysterious Yellow King that kept popping up on Twitter. So I stayed spoiler free. (I'm sure the whole feminism angle for the show is one that can and probably should be explored but I think for the most part it is a show about the two main characters and their issues, not necessarily about the women in their lives. I'm sure someone is out there yelling at me about how wrong I am but this post isn't about that, it's about how much I enjoyed the show.)

My friend Austin keeps recommending shows for me to watch. The Americans, The Wire, Spartacus, Hannibal, etc. Most of the time, I'll watch an episode or two and be done with it. Not because it's a bad show but because the shows are so intense that I can't handle it. I'm the type of person who gets embarrassed for characters (the episode of The Office where Michael Scott has to tell the high schoolers that he doesn't have scholarships for them is one of the most painful episodes in history so declared by me) so watching True Detective was not something I was looking forward to. I was told it was an amazing show but the possible emotional impact is what scared me off.

And while there were definitely some intense moments in True Detective, especially in the season finale where I actually yelled out loud, it never felt intrusively intense like some shows can feel. I've only seen two seasons of Dexter and one episode of The Americans because they get so intense with their suspense that I start noticing that I'm holding my breath for fictional characters. True Detective didn't feel that way.

True Detective definitely has some issues like the sometimes clunky dialogue that I think was trying to be purposefully repetitive but just felt forced, and of course the aforementioned feminist angle that I'm still not going to discuss, but overall it has done something that I don't think any TV show has ever done for me. It has made me lay awake in the middle of the night contemplating the reality of the show, the characters, the plot. I've thought about numerous aspects of this show and I know I haven't even come close to being able to creating an accurate map of it.

I recommend True Detective. It's intense without being suffocating, it's unique and doesn't feel like a rehashed Law and Order episode like many other crime dramas can feel. And most of all, for me, the characters are interesting. They're flawed beyond belief but they still have a realism to them.

I watched the latest season of American Horror Story. The plot and concept had interested me so I decided to try it without watching any of the other seasons. The idea of witchcraft was appealing to my inner goth 14 year old self. After the season finale aired and I spent my afternoon watching it, I was disappointed. I wasn't shocked. I wasn't ever scared. It didn't appeal to me and it didn't seem that creative. (The fact that it used Stevie Nicks as the White Witch, which was an amazing cameo, was very unoriginal.) The lore and legend that went into True Detective is what I wanted from American Horror Story. It accomplished the feeling of suspense, of mystique and horror that American Horror Story failed to even come close to.

If you have 8 hours to spare, I suggest that you spend it watching True Detective. At the end of it, you at least won't think that you've wasted your time.


And now to make this even more of a niche post, I'm going to talk about my crafting for the day.

Here, have a cat picture!


Knitting has been the mystery washcloth as usual and my sock. I just did the row for the afterthought heel so now I'm working on the leg bit. It's going much quicker than I expected. I'm really glad I tried this pattern. I might even be able to make my goal of finishing it by Sunday.

I also got a good bit worked on the baby blanket for the friend of the family. It needs to be in Indiana by April somethingth so I have a little bit of time to work on it before I need to mail it so it'll get there in time for the baby shower. I can't find if I've actually talked about this before, I know I have on Ravelry. There's a friend of the family that is expecting her second child soon and my mom asked me to make her a blanket for her impending baby and I was actually in a good mood when my mom asked so I said I would. There's actually a deadline for it now so I've felt motivated to work on it instead of it just sitting, partially finished, in my pile of crap next to my desk.

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