True Detective: Night Country – A Review

This was bound to happen. I have already extolled the virtues of the first season of this show, and I have seen every season since.

Quick thoughts on the other ones, Season 2 was a trainwreck filled with half good ideas, some decent performances, and a whole lot of random ass acts of smart people writing. Season 3 was much more toned down, digestible, and also too long.

Neither of those two lived up to the glory of that first run. In fact, I would say that the first season should have been its own thing and that’s it.

Enter Night Country, what is basically a full reset in development. Nick Pizz is out, and enter Issa López, a filmmaker known for making a bunch of horror/thriller titles.

But thats not what is really new here. In the build up to this show, the marketing department really leaned in hard on it connecting back to the first season.

So, naturally, I am thinking…how the fuck are they going to manage that…Nick Pizz couldn’t even manage it. They must have something decent cooked up.

They didn’t.

I want to start by side stepping yet another Great Internet Fight happening over this show. A ton of people are pissed that this thing sort of mooched on Season 1’s quoted quotables to basically promote something that has nothing to do with that, while Max celebrates the ratings. Big time.

Lets just skip all that.

Let’s focus on what it is. Issa Lopez had a movie idea that she pitched to HBO, and they were the ones to told her to True Detective it up.

With that in mind, everything else makes sense.

This is a six episode show that should have been a two hour movie with more time cooking around the ending. Instead you have six episodes where the only detecting occurs in the first and last, and alot of like…weak character building in the middle.

Writing a TV show takes a separate skillset from a movie, and those skills aren’t working.

Ok, so what does work. The show LOOKS great. Substituting Iceland for Alaska worked enough for this. Cinematography is spot on.

I actually think the performances are not bad, probably because they casted the shit out of the show.

And honestly thats what helps the show float along….

What doesn’t work, the fucking script…it’s just disjointed… you are stuck in an incompetent police department trying to investigate a 5-6 person homicide and its just 5 episodes of hanging around incompetence. It’s not even in an interesting or a fun way. Its just boring.

And I get that the text here is talking about how we (Americans) abuse native communities. Totally agree, but that can be and has been done in more interesting ways. Reservation Dogs covers that in a much better way every week.

Actually I want to give a shout out to Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner. I kept thinking about that movie as I was watching this show. Its not supernatural or a detective thing. But its the last time I saw artic-adjacent areas filmed so well. And also a native story, but Inuit this time. A much better experience if you are into these kind of big landscapes and want to hear Inuit folk legends.

What I am getting at is do not settle for substandard writing and narrative. Always consume the good stuff and leave mediocrity behind. This show does none of those parties any kind of service, and the ending is the worst kind of uncreative play on these themes.

The show does a terrible job of conveying any type of emotion besides anger so we don’t get to connect as an audience to anyone on the screen. You are supposed to just accept things as they happen, and that’s not how writing works.

One last thing I want to cover is the little tropes that clearly the showrunner loves that just fucking pisses me off. For example, Issa loves her fucking unearned jump scare. Loves it. Just the laziest, people pointing at the screen coming into frame from a swish pan and a music sting hits.

I mean like 2-5 an episode. It’s stupid and it sucks every time.

Can we also kill the trend of having a slowed down moody version of a pop song? This one features the Beatles’ version of Twist and Shout done like 5 different ways. Acoustic. Chopped and Screwed as if it was done by DJ Screw himself.

Stop it. It doesn’t help, and it is not profound.

1.5/4 – This could have been done well. This show/movie could have been at least 3/4 if not higher. Strip the True Detective shit out, let the script cook for a bit longer, keep the same cast and location, and you got a stew going.

As it stands now, its just…forgettable. And that’s a damn shame.

My Brushes With Rush Week (Storytime)

[Editor’s Note: This story came up in two completely different conversations this week, so I felt the need to do the appropriate level of preaching]

I never liked the concept of the Fraternity system. All I knew of it prior to college is what you see in the movies. None of my family members were in what I would consider a “real” frat. Like my dad was in the band fraternity. That don’t count.

I’m talking like the direct pipeline that pumps only the finest douchebags and assholes straight from high school into the frat houses.

Once I got to college, from almost day 1, it just seemed weird to me. Symbology and greek superficiality just an excuse to debauch more than usual. And I went to a college where frats weren’t a huge thing. Like sure, we had them, but if you wanted to skip them, you could still have a good time. To put it directly, they didn’t run the school.

I did see a place once where they did run the school. For reasons I cant remember, I was in a car driving down fraternity row for UGA, and that fucking frat row looked like the movies. Just these ornate roman columns and shit. Well, we happened to be there on a weekend where the sororities were “introducing” themselves to the fraternities. Picture this, a bunch of dudes in tuxedos sitting in rocking chairs out in front of their houses, while the girls in formal ball gowns went house to house like courtseying and having formal greetings.

This was in the strong punk rock days, so I remember leaning out the car pointing and yelling “What the fuck is this white, cotillion, plantation horse shit?”

Our fraternities were not that. That was way too clean. Don’t get me wrong, they tried to BE that, but they could never be that. They didn’t have the money, the power, the support from the school, or the real estate to actually be that kind of landed aristocracy.

The only time I ever really ran into them was Rush week. Cause they consumed the campus with their stupid pranks, hazing and whatever. Luckily, the further along you went in college the less you saw them. By the time I was a junior, I barely knew rush week was going on.

But that is not today’s story. Today’s story happened freshman year.

Rush week was completely unavoidable as a freshman. In my case, I am packed in a 14 story tall coed dorm with one half of the hall guys and the other half girls. So, there is always at least 1 person on each side of the floor rushing some frat/sorority. I saw random people get their invites. I saw a dude come back one night completely covered in marker on his entire body. The word “virgin” stood out to me among the scribble. Oh! And one time I was playing Final Fantasy Tactics, and some guy comes by and says “What is that fucking video game. We had to beat that in 24 hours for our frat.” That’s the kind of nerd shit that typically went down.

But….one night…like a fucking wednesday or some shit…I had my biggest run in with the frat system. I remember I had an 8am class. I went to bed early, as is my want in life. Fucking fire alarm goes off at 1am.

Now in a building this size, full of hungover college kids, it is a mess to empty out the building. I manage to be decently clothed enough to where I just had to grab some flipflops and my phone and I was out the door. Plus I was only on the 4th floor.

Well, like 10 of us make it out of the complex first….

And we are greeted by 3 dudes, totally naked, holding their junk. I went up to one of them and I go, “Frat shit?” He goes, “yeah, Pike.” I nod and step back.

Then the rest of the building piles out. Guffaws all around. But we were out there for like a fucking hour, cause the goddamn fire marshal had to come check the building and shit. And those dudes just stood there in the fucking nude the whole time. Now, how campus police didn’t put a stop to it, or even the city cops. I don’t know.

But about 2:30 we were let back in the building…

You already know where this is going…

4am fucking fire alarm goes off. My roommate goes, “I’m not leaving to see 3 guys’ dicks. Let the building burn down on me.”

Me, not wanting to die in a building fire, do in fact go outside. Sure enough, they still out there. This time we got back in the building in under 30 min. I went ahead and took a shower and got ready for class. Was leaving to get an early breakfast at around 6:30am, and sure enough…..

Fucking fire alarm. Fuckin 3 guys holding their dicks.

I passed them up and went about my day. They were gone after class.

Never saw a mention of this in the school paper. As far as I know, no one got any kind of charges. I guess they couldn’t prove who pulled the fire alarm.

What I actually wonder was…is it all worth it. Was it worth waking everyone up on a wednesday for yucks. Did those three guys get everything they wanted out the frat system?

Who knows? Who cares? But, they get to live with the shame forever.

Thoughts from the AMEN Pew #80

Another week down. Lets get in it.

Look with all the news out there, there is one thing I want to clear up right away…and I am going to make a big shit-talkin prediction… a fucking war is not going to bail us out of our current hatred of each other.

Russia done shit the bed. China got super soaker missiles. But, what I feel like the big one out here.

No conservatives, the next fucking civil war is not going to start in Eagle Pass fucking Texas.

Like, you ever been out there? Here is a list of reasons why the next civil war is not starting there

  • Ass end of nowhere
  • The fucking cartels wont let them fuck up the bag
  • No one taking a bullet for hot wheels, jeff landry, de santis, or any of them asshole governors with manhood problems
  • Not actual military grade problem. Who is going to shoot a bullet to defend razer wire for unarmed men looking to use inflation to their advantage to get a job in the US.

The whole thing is fucking stupid, and they are stupid for actually being this St. Angry. Grow up. You want to deal with an “immigration crisis,” go after the companies hiring anyone who doesn’t have their green card.

What’s that? Its easier to wave your dick out at Eagle Pass. Fine then do it, but dont make my dad think any of this shit is real.

Speaking of conservatives being emasculated, it was totally worth Tucker being a fucking traitor and a dipshit just for him to get big timed by Putin in his own interview.

I fucking love it. Fuck that bitch.

My chinese food just got here. Liquor is happening. I got Kermit playing. Shit is fucking awesome.

God this movie better not suck.

I have been salivating over this shit for a minute now. Mannnnnnn I need this to be good. I fuckin hope it is.

I feel like I need to talk about this because its all the fuckin video game world can talk about.

In a year with a million fuckin great video games, 20 million people have chosen to stick their dick in a blender and play a combination of fucking rust and a shitty pokemon game.

Look, far be it from me to yuck someone else’s yum [Editor’s Note: not true, he does that shit all the time], but this is just sad. Riding through a million bugs and shitty design just so you can have your minecraft and pokemon together in one meal.

Its sad.

This is going to be very boomer of me, but I’m gunna do it.

Grow up.

So, I had an interesting observation this week.

My son accidentally peed on his pants at the urinal. Bad enough that he changed into spare clothes I have had in his backpack all year. I asked him if he got made fun of for it, and he goes, “My friends just told me, ‘That happens.”

Thats it. Dogg, I know people who still get made fun of 40 years later for peeing themselves in the 3rd grade.

The kids are going to be alright.

And I wonder why that is. I am sure it is a multitude of reasons, but I want to isolate one that sticks with me a bit. My son is much younger than I was at his age.

Much. Like by 3rd grade, I had basically seen softcore porn at this point. Sure a ton of that was from friends of mine who had parents that did not monitor their access to HBO and let them just run the fucking house, but I think the bigger thing is the fact that there is far more children’s media. Now they consume shit made for them all the fucking time.

I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but when I was a child, I just watched shit I was way to young for. I have mentioned before that Ghostbusters is the first movie I remember watching, but there is one movie in particular that I want to isolate on the liquor tonight.

Howard the Duck. I watched that unedited definitely before Kindergarten. And that movie has duck tits in it.

Of course that didnt register in my mind at the time. Maybe in the subconscious, but all of that to say, I was SIGNIFICANTLY older at my son’s age now than I was at his age. Thats for sure.

… I will say what I was obsessed with the most was the ending. Shooting the laser to block your way home. I connected with that.

Also that monster design is dope.

Alright, I’m not going to beat that. Hope everyone had a half way decent week out there in TV Land.

Stay safe. Stay stupid. Stay smellin good.


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