HBO’s True Detective Review (Watch Banshee Instead)

HBO’s True Detective:  Redundant.  That’s it.  There’s a far, far better alternative from the same backer/network/conglomerate, which is Banshee.  The problem with True Detective is that it’s been done a million times, and better, for decades on network TV, and in many, many novels and lesser-value (money) films over the years.  Actually, there are many problems; another major one is that you have two film actors, even if one was once a TV actor on a sitcom (Woody!), who do not know how to pace their routines at the right speed for a one-hour time slot; if I knew more about film, I could probably blame the problem more squarely on the direction, but the actors get too much money, so fuck them anyway.

Let’s talk about Banshee, because first, it’s awesome, and second, True Detective is just a waste; if you want detective, just find and watch old re-runs of shows like Homicide:  Life on the Street, or Hunter, Miami Vice, or a million others from the ’80s or ’90s (or the ’60s, for that matter).  The detective-partner shtick is done, and it’s been done way better than it’s done in True Detective; granted, there’s only been one episode, and there were elements that worked (the Mconawhatever as a burnout).  So let’s look at Banshee:  It’s like a really great B movie, but ten-fold (season length).  Banshee has crime, action, characters, and sex.  It’s got moral conflict, morality, religion, vice, and heroism, among all the other important elements of good story; it’s also got good acting, great direction, and production value from a guy who knows story and successfully publishes novels (Jonathan Tropper–creator/producer) that I’ve actually read.  How a guy who writes literary novels gets into making this show, I have no idea, but the connection works (and I’m quite jealous).  Banshee basically says fuck you to every moral standard on the border of an Amish community (yes, that’s the setting–Pennsyltucky), while running a police department and robbing banks (as a guy who just got released from 15 years in prison).  What more needs to be said?  The other crap can’t compete–good thing for the free Cinemax peview!  I did watch the whole first season online however…

There’s another show on non-premium cable that really works, and is evolving perfectly, and that is Justified, which was spawned by ideas/stories from the late Elmore Leonard (the godfather of mainstream crime fiction).  Before this show, Timothy Olyphant was, to me, just another guy who got acting jobs because he looked a lot like a couple other guys, but with Justified, he’s found his life’s role, and I think he knows it–he kills the role, and the rest of the cast does so as well.  It’s like The Wire for hayseeds…

Learn your pulp, and appreciate the history of TV–discern and say Fuck You a little more often.  Find an episode of Banshee and tell your friends.  Drink some moonshine.

1 Comment

Filed under Jibber Jabber

One response to “HBO’s True Detective Review (Watch Banshee Instead)

  1. I know Banshee is awesome ……but I watch true detective for McConaughey’s acting….the stuff he brings out…. total badass!!…and that southern Louisiana accent ….Yeah!!

    can you suggest some series just like Banshee and true detective ….and Breaking Bad (of course).

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