Tag Archives: The Americans

True Detective – A Character Study

For once, I haven’t read what other critics have written about True Detective, but simply watched the show and marveled at the writing, acting and storytelling. I am addicted to the show like I haven’t been to a drama in a long time. I loved Broadchurch and Top of the Lake, miss Masters of Sex, and can’t wait for The Americans to premiere soon but True Detective fills some kind of void. I have always been drawn to detectives and crime because it’s akin to seeing ourselves and what we’re capable of and frankly I prefer darker material. I rode with the homicide detectives in the city of St. Louis for six months for an article I wrote many years ago and that experience changed me. I have written my own material about detectives and missing persons and watch hours and hours of the Discovery ID channel. I have always been as fascinated by the detectives as to the crime. I watch each episode of HBO’s compelling series many times to witness all the nuances. I have many friends who couldn’t wait for the second season of House of Cards to come out, so I’ll be adding that show to my viewing time but I’m jealous they can watch the entire show over a weekend. I would like to be able to do that with True Detective. I’m not alone. Even Barack Obama has asked HBO for advanced screeners of the show. Ok, today, I obviously started reading what others have written about the show. 

Nothing that’s been written was a major revelation or something I hadn’t considered, but then I have been writing about television for decades and have interviewed many talented show runners.  But it was a pleasure to connect with others who love the show as I do, even if I disagree with some of their observations. I do watch television differently than some of my friends but it has been fulfilling to be a viewer, to look forward to each episode as they roll out for everyone. I’m not overanalyzing the show. I loved the first few episodes, was fine with it pacing and the way each episode delved into the character’s lives. Matthew McConaughey is such a pleasure to watch as a tortured and tightly wound detective and Woody Harrelson is his equal. have theorized where the story is going but even if the destination isn’t what I would have wished for, the journey to get there has been so well worth my time.  

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Random Missives From TV LAND

I may not be writing as often but that doesn’t mean I’m not watching television. In fact, sometimes watching some of my favorite shows is one of my most enjoyable activities. Look forward to FX’s The Americans and still watching Red Widow and my other faves like The Good Wife. But right now some of the newer shows have grabbed my attention.

I love BBC’s Orphan Black. The pilot was one of the best I’ve watched and I couldn’t wait to see the next episode. Even with the sci fi element, the story is so gripping, watching Sarah (Tatiana Maslany) take over someone else’s identity. I kind of wish there weren’t so many other clones as she’s enough to keep me watching.

I was also riveted to Top of the Lake on the Sundance Channel. As bleak as it was I forgot time as it was so gripping…maybe it was the landscape or the twists and turns that weren’t all predictable, and even though I knew who Tui’s child’s father was it all along that really wasn’t what I was focused on…I love Jane Campion and she knows how to tell a story but Elizabeth Moss (Mad Men) showed just how great she is and that she could anchor a drama. Her relationship with Johnno (Thomas M. Wright) was so sensual and raw and real but al along it seemed doomed somehow. Even before the secret was revealed. There was little sentimentality here and I really liked that as that’s what Americans can over do sometimes. To all showrunners and creators out there…more…more….more.

Watching Mad Men, one of my favorite shows, but the first three episodes are much less interesting to me than in previous seasons. Not big on the flashbacks of Don when he was younger…he’s a jerk really so don’t try to tell us now why he’s like that. Interesting moments of course…but not as compelling.

I’m really looking forward to Sunday night’s documentary All the President’s Men Revisited, a new documentary made by Robert Redford about the Watergate scandal and featuring material from the book and the film of the same name, which he starred in with Dustin Hoffman. I loved the film directed by the late Alan J. Pakula and the inside look at a newsroom.  As a young woman, I became enthralled with Ben Bradlee of The Washington Post and the late Katherine Graham, a former publisher of the once most prestigious newspaper.

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