This time is a flat square.
When last season’s True Detective came out on HBO there were no anticipation, no fanfare, no hoopla and no inflated expectation of this new seemingly buddy cop detective show. All we knew and saw at that moment was HBO gracing us with two credible actors in Harrelson and a resurgent Matthey McConaughey. At first it looked familiar and slightly pornographic. Slowly but surely viewers knew that something lingering and perverse was developing into a solid Cajun noir, completely at our disposal to dissect, redissect and re-redissect. Suffice to say, season one went out like a meta-physical indecipherable beast! Because of that, conspiracy theories were born, the yellow king became the yellow monarchy and McConaughey further cemented his comeback story with arguably his best performance of the year regardless of what the academy says. The show was the perfect storm of handing something familiar but delivering it in a different way. With eight shows and two movie stars, albeit not headliners, True Detective called its own number and won cryptic Yahtzee. So when news casting rumors were confirmed this week with a complete overhaul it was met with a collective silent dud of a stinky fart!
Various news outlets came out earlier this week that Colin Farrell, by his own admission, had landed the first role as one of the three lead detectives. Shortly thereafter, news came out that Vince Vaughn was cast as the main criminal. Then yesterday, it’s pretty close that Rachael McAdams is going to be casted as the second detective with John Carter’s colossal flop of a lead, Taylor Kitsch, well on his way to being the third and last detective. Adding to the hot garbage news piling up on the front of our lawns and blogs was the confirmation that for at least the first two episodes, ‘Fast and Furious’ director, Justin Lin, will be taking over for newcomer Cary Fakunga. Pizzolatto, who really brought a verve of puzzling wizardry with his showrunning, built up an impressive line of fan cult credit in such a limited amount of time, because he pulled it off and with such fervor! Because of this certain tongue in cheek charlatan “cryptogramming,” his brilliant screenwriting throughout cable’s competition left us on high note wanting more.
The cast, or the potential of the cast, once everything is confirmed, is a real ass-buster falling on its back not being able to support the perceived big names under its weighty intentions. Starting with Farrell, Hollywood really went out of its way to make him the next ‘Golden Boy’. It never took off for him but to his roguish credit, he re-examined himself and broke through to audiences in smaller more self-defining roles, and he is great at it. He is the Scotty Pippen of film roles, not his “Airness." The collective news of the cast is so devastatingly horrible; Farrell alone gave fans a terse eye roll in unison, then hearing about Vaughn, and now McAdams with Kitsch possibly coming after, (who stoically meanders through whatever chiseled role he just lamed). Relatively, Farrell, is not the ugliest kid apple-bobbing the turd in this diluted punch bowl. Even still, nothing strikes confidence, aside from the possibility that the castings are so bad that they could be terrifying good, which is crazy talk. That is, though, how Season 1 made me want to crate little beer can men. Pizzolatto in a weird way has a certain good-will built up, but he is not yet on the level, and maybe will never be on the level, no matter what abstract creative decisions he makes he is bonafide.
The most frustratrating thing is that there seems to be a stunt casting with each of these actors where we'll see them in roles that we are not accustomed to seeing them play but perhaps, pieces of previous performances, in theory, could create the whole picture. I don’t see that. When McConaughey and Harrelson were cast they were welcomed under different circumstances. Out of both casts, McConaughey and Farrell are the closest parallel. Both were anointed as handsome leading men that could also be the guy next door. Both failed, and both resurrected in more serious roles. McConaughey has a better acting range and more talent than Farrell but the talent isn’t astronomically far between them. Farrell is talented also but only in the right role. I don’t feel he can do what is needed from Pizzolatto’s universe, cause I’ve seen him in thrillers/procedural roles before and he wasn’t that convincing, which is why prior to this news, he wasn’t thriving in those roles. Farrell is a real life bad boy who wants desperately to be a film bad ass but can’t because really deep down inside he is too much of a really good guy. McConaughey is nuts. I mean that in the best possible way. There was always a surfer boy dude that was wacky cool and in roles where he has to chill the fuck out and focus, he brings the goods. And oh did he bring it with Rust Cohle. Harrelson, did a great job as well, but it’s McConaughey’s Cohle that we still emulate.
I hope, ultimately, that Pizzolatto knows what he is going to do because HBO needs another hit after Game of Thrones. Boardwalk, after six fretful seasons, was found dead at the pier. Newsroom is too busy playing revisionist news and Monday morning quarterback, is leaving, and we don’t even know what The Leftovers "IS." It’s my intention to support good television and good media overall, but as it stands right now, I want the news and to have these castings sacrificed like some pagan ritualistic murder scene, and have the real actorsshow up and investigate because after all – time, like a bad casting, is a flat circle.