true_1My initial concerns regarding True Detective Season 2, as expressed in the previous blog, HOW GOLDEN IS THE NEW GOLDEN AGE OF TV, reasserted themselves with last night’s episode #6, Church in Ruins. While the HBO cable series is delivering a first class murder mystery/conspiracy tale that seems to involve all the corrupt powers that be in the town of Vinci, Calif., it is being sabotaged by the soap opera format, which is the current rage in television series writing.

The development of a vast plot involving almost all the characters delivers what was missing in Season 1, which promised more than it delivered. In this season we have a nice, sordid tale of money, power, corruption and pure evil, and I expect the end will be more satisfying than the end of the first season. But the over-sized cast of characters, with all their own individual stories and backstories is becoming too confusing.

Episode 6 veered from one set of characters to another so often, in some cases bringing in new characters, or bringing back characters from earlier episodes that you barely remembered that you needed a scorecard to keep track of what was going on. It’s distracting and undermining the tension that writer Nic Pizolatto is building up for the big finish.

All the scenes with Vince Vaughn are played much too slowly. Is it him? The direction? The staring contest between he and Colin Farrell was actually enough to put you to sleep.

One huge plus was the scene at the orgy with Rachel McAdams. Not that it was believable at all. But the background score reminded me of Jerry Fielding and some of the lush, nightmarish music he wrote for Sam Peckinpah films. Maybe that’s what’s lacking– a director with the blood instinct of a Peckinpah. Sam would have known how to ratchet up the tension in the kitchen scene at least.

Nevertheless, regardless of these criticisms, Season 2 is still must see TV. That’s how I see it. Feel free to comment.