True Detective
Seeing Things

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | 76 USERS: A
Old Men Die & The World Keeps Spinning
Carla: "Her eyes, there was something wrong with them. No idea about the church, though. Last summer when she moved out of her place, that was when I stopped seeing her around. I think she was staying at this Ranch down south, near Spanish Lake? Like a shelter of sorts."

There is nothing more obnoxious than hardboiled staccato dialogue in a television show. It doesn't matter how much stylistics you can get away with in other ways -- the monologues, the overlapping chatter -- the fact is that nobody actually talks that way, so you're being bullheaded when you put that in a script: The actors can't do much with it, and the director can't really fix it, so you're left with people saying bullshit like, "Girls used to stay there. Something. All she said." There is no way to say that line that doesn't sound stilted, because stilted is what it is.

(Source: I am a person, and have had a conversation with a human being before.)

It should be the actor's choice, or the director's, to elide words out of the lines: Writing the actual cadence into the lines does the opposite of what it's trying to do, it marks the script as being uncollaborative and silly, it exists only to charm the suits on paper and in table reads, and it is the only thing I really hate in television writing. Go write a story and come back later. You are not bringing the literary to the mundane, you're just putting ketchup on ice cream and then congratulating yourself for it.

Cohle: "She sounds sad, Marty. Like a torn-up person on her last legs. An easy target."
Marty: "Okay, what do we know about him."
Cohle: "Hits prosts [sic, again]. Artistic, religious in some kind of way..."
Marty: "Just like everyone else in a thousand miles of here, besides you."
Cohle: "How many DBs [?] have antlers and bindfolds and symbols painted on...?"
Marty: "I'm sorry, are you not acquainted with drug addicts? I heard about a dude in NOLA that cut up his girl and then tried to Krazy Glue her back together."
Cohle: "That's not this. This has the scope of religion, of a cult; there is a mind here. She articulated a person's vision, which means there's meaning to it, which means there's a narrative. Meaning is historical. She was just chum in the water of this person's deal."


There's a montage of them driving through the swamps at night, then waking up the next morning: Marty to his daughters shoving open blinds and jumping on the bed, and Cohle sitting up on his sad mattress, like a robot under a crucifix, before staring into his one eyeball in an eyeball-sized mirror seemingly placed on the wall for this express purpose.

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True Detective




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