True Detective finale: greatest miniseries end ever?

posted at 10:41 am on March 10, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Note: Spoilers.

I hadn’t written anything about the HBO miniseries True Detective until now, because I was never quite sure where it was going. The acting and writing has been superb, but it’s been a guessing game as to the point. The texture of gritty, pulpy detective stories has been a given, as has been the oh-so-predictable gratuitous sex and nudity that goes along with the genre and pretty much every HBO series ever aired (and Showtime, for that matter). Was this going to be a Call of Cthulu update, or another series where viewers get another intellectual Bobby-in-the-shower Dallas moment in finding out that they didn’t see what they were told they were seeing?

Neither, actually — and that’s what makes True Detective a bit of a rarity. In the finale of The Sopranos, the ending left the entire world puzzled over what the writers wanted to say (although I think I figured it out after a few days, which I explained at the time at the link). Instead, we got two detectives who got it wrong almost two decades earlier finally set out to get things right. In the process, they also had their illusions about themselves stripped away — even Rust, who after years of rejecting anything redemptive about existence, comes to a painful but liberating realization at the climax. Instead of indulging in screenwriting schizophrenia, we see the eventual exposure of madness in the villain and the effects of “true detective” work.

Andrew Romano calls this ending “close to perfection” at the Daily Beast, although he draws some different lessons than I did from it:

I’m sure that the web will spend most of this week obsessing over the more supernatural elements of Sunday’s finale. What did the drawings on the side of Childress’s shack—an ascending figure with antlers surrounded by black stars and flowers—really mean? Why did Childress tell Rust to “take off [his] mask”? And what the heck did Rust see in the domed “Carcosa” throne room before Childress leapt from the shadows and stabbed him? Was it some sort of astronomical hallucination? Or was he “mainlining the secret truth of the universe” again?

But as enjoyable as this sort of literary trainspotting can be, I also consider it window dressing. The true meaning of True Detective doesn’t have all that much to do with Robert Chambers or the stories he wrote way back in 1895. Instead, the true meaning of True Detective is about the power of storytelling itself. …

Pizzolatto could have made the Tuttles a clan of psychopathic murderers. He didn’t. He made them a clan of psychopathic murderers who subscribe to a very specific theology: a theology that alludes, crucially, to The King in Yellow—an external narrative that is supposed to create insanity, or as Pizzolatto “prefer[s]” to put it, “deranged enlightenment,” which sounds a lot like a skeptic’s view of religion as a whole. In other words, both Christianity and “Carcosa” are stories. Stories people tell themselves to escape reality. Stories that “violate every law of the universe” (as Rust once put it).

Of course Christianity and the Carcosa cult aren’t the same thing. But take your “fairy tales” too far, Pizzolatto seems to be arguing, and you can wind up in some pretty sick places.

All right, let’s posit that as a theme. But then, what are we to make of the series-long identity of the villain as the “green-eared spaghetti monster”? Atheists often ridicule the religious by scornfully comparing the idea of a deity with a “flying spaghetti monster,” made most famously by militant atheist Richard Dawkins. If the idea is to repudiate dangerous fairy tales, then the use of “spaghetti monster” seems every bit as much of a giveaway as the Tuttles’ cover as Christian school operators, especially when combined with Rust’s epiphany — and there is no better word — in the epilogue of the finale.

True Detective’s finale may have been the most memorably respectful of viewer loyalty in a long time, although as an eight-part miniseries rather than a seven-season series like The Sopranos, the pressure to deliver something artistic and intellectual was surely less. True Detective returns next season with a new cast and an all-new storyline, but it’s going to be difficult to top its premiere season.

The produces give an interesting behind-the-scenes look at the finale, which has spoilers of its own.

Update: Via commenter Eric in Hollywood, Ace has an excellent deconstruction of the finale.


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Okay, Old People Alert! I have never even heard of this. It sounds interesting though.

Cindy Munford on March 10, 2014 at 10:52 AM

True Detective returns next season with a new cast and an all-new storyline, but it’s going to be difficult to top its premiere season.

And when is this season? I have heard nothing about casting for season two let alone filming.

I liked the ending, too.

Protip: do not pull an axe or a big a$$ knife out of you. Leave it in.

Blake on March 10, 2014 at 10:54 AM

Okay, Old People Alert! I have never even heard of this. It sounds interesting though.

Cindy Munford on March 10, 2014 at 10:52 AM

In that case, Cheap People alert! I can’t afford HBO. But hopefully I can find it on Netflix in the future.

Nethicus on March 10, 2014 at 10:55 AM

Protip: do not pull an axe or a big a$$ knife out of you. Leave it in.

Blake on March 10, 2014 at 10:54 AM

I’m writing that down. Just kidding, it makes sense.

Cindy Munford on March 10, 2014 at 10:56 AM

Okay, Old People Alert! I have never even heard of this. It sounds interesting though.
Cindy Munford on March 10, 2014 at 10:52 AM

I’ve heard of it but the feedback I get falls into one of two competing camps. It’s either as boring as watching paint dry or its the greatest series evah. There seems to be no middle ground.

tommyboy on March 10, 2014 at 10:58 AM

coincidently i started binge watching it yesterday. saw the first 4 episodes. it is riveting. the mystery is ok but it’s the lives of the 2 detectives and their interactions that make the show.

gerrym51 on March 10, 2014 at 11:01 AM

There was dead silence in our house, which almost never happens. Usually there is a smart alec Mystery Science Theater type running commentary going, no matter what’s on.

My heart was in my throat and I actually had tears in my eyes, which I can’t explain. I always enjoyed Matthew McConaughey as a pretty boy in comedy, but I am beginning to see him in a different light. Woody Harrelson was very good, in his own Woody way.

I don’t know how they can top this. I only hope they can keep it on the same level in subsequent story lines.

Jomama on March 10, 2014 at 11:01 AM

I’ve heard of it but the feedback I get falls into one of two competing camps. It’s either as boring as watching paint dry or its the greatest series evah. There seems to be no middle ground.

tommyboy on March 10, 2014 at 10:58 AM

I initially thought it was boring until I watched episode 1 a second time. You have to really listen or you miss too much. It’s meant to be unclear.

Blake on March 10, 2014 at 11:02 AM

I’ve heard of it but the feedback I get falls into one of two competing camps. It’s either as boring as watching paint dry or its the greatest series evah. There seems to be no middle ground.

tommyboy on March 10, 2014 at 10:58 AM

I’m sure it will be on Netflix in a few weeks or less. Or, since it is posted all over the internet, you can watch it for free now.

Blake on March 10, 2014 at 11:07 AM

True Detective returns next season with a new cast and an all-new storyline, but it’s going to be difficult to top its premiere season.

As much as I love McConaughey’s and Harrelson’s work here, I get the distinct impression that any attempt to carry this beyond what we’ve seen here is only going to result in the abominations that were the second and subsequent seasons of Twin Peaks and Murder One.

It’s over. It was glorious, but over, it is.

Eric in Hollywood on March 10, 2014 at 11:08 AM

It sounds interesting though.

Cindy Munford on March 10, 2014 at 10:52 AM

.
Watching a mini-series will cut into your Hot Gas time, ya know?

ExpressoBold on March 10, 2014 at 11:10 AM

My husband and son have been watching it all along and absolutely love it. Downton Abbey won for me, so I haven’t seen any episodes yet but I do have them DVR’d. I’ll get around to it soon!

Naturally Curly on March 10, 2014 at 11:14 AM

I was a bit disappointed by the ending. I was hoping the writer would go full Twilight Zone, turning the story more into the detectives possible journey through hell rather than keeping it a straight detective story. Rust’s epiphany at the end was nice, however.

Thomas More on March 10, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Protip: do not pull an axe or a big a$$ knife out of you. Leave it in.

Blake on March 10, 2014 at 10:54 AM

I said the same thing to my wife when I watched that last night. Or if you’re watching Starship Troopers, don’t pull the big alien leg out of your girlfriend’s abdomen, unless you really want to break up with her for good.

Ed Morrissey on March 10, 2014 at 11:15 AM

It’s over. It was glorious, but over, it is.

Eric in Hollywood on March 10, 2014 at 11:08 AM

Different cast and different writers. Are you saying that all detective stories are now off the table — for evah? I don’t think so.

Blake on March 10, 2014 at 11:16 AM

…I guess I have to do more…than watch the news!

KOOLAID2 on March 10, 2014 at 11:16 AM

Ed, thanks for linking back to your take on the Sopranos ending, which I think (as I thought when you wrote it) was spot on. Also, it brought back fond memories of the good ole CQ, which was a great blog then and even now in my memory.

Like the song says, “Don’t stop believin”.

TXUS on March 10, 2014 at 11:16 AM

Much like The Sopranos finale, I feel like this one I will appreciate more in time. With all the mysterious literary references and provocatively dark allusions I was hoping for something a little more sinister and esoteric than “wacky-schizo-bayou-trash”. I was a little disappointed last night, but I am already starting to appreciate it more. That “happy ending”…. totally didn’t see that coming.

underpants on March 10, 2014 at 11:18 AM

The down side to being a cheap anti pop-culture millenial: You don’t know whats airing until someone points it out.

nobar on March 10, 2014 at 11:19 AM

This series was fantastic, although a few people I know gave up on it after 2 or 3 episodes because they were turned off by how dark the plot was becoming.

I thought this was going to be a one-and-done venture, simply because McConaughey seems like to big of a star to commit to a cable-TV series.

JimLennon on March 10, 2014 at 11:25 AM

It was not a mistake that they both pulled the knife and hatchet out. They both would have known that basic first aid. Remember they both had come to the conclusion in order to find the answer they would have to die.Rust was looking forward to dying. He pulled the knife out hoping death would then come.

peterargus on March 10, 2014 at 11:25 AM

True Detective, like Breaking Bad, was beautifully filmed, in a part of the country we haven’t seen ad nauseum. I think that adds a lot to a series.

Blake on March 10, 2014 at 11:27 AM

, as has been the oh-so-predictable gratuitous sex and nudity that goes along with the genre

Except for one short scene of, perhaps, the best breasts ever on TV. The rest was totally gratuitous. On a positive note, most HBO shows are only interested in the most repulsive, twisted and demented sex scenes imaginable, so the A-1 breasts and, generally, normal sex scenes were a pleasant surprise …. though they couldn’t stop themselves from getting an anal sex reference thrown in there.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on March 10, 2014 at 11:27 AM

HBO? I cancelled HBO long ago, disgusted with their support of Bill Maher.

I’ll just have to live without this one. I’ll settle for Justified and won’t feel deprived in the least.

novaculus on March 10, 2014 at 11:28 AM

ExpressoBold on March 10, 2014 at 11:10 AM

Then forget it. I’m not here enough as it is. Although I will be missing a lot this week, my baby girl is coming to visit. Although she’ll probably have more to do at night than hang out with old mom.

Cindy Munford on March 10, 2014 at 11:33 AM

Enjoyed the series, as did our whole adult family. The work of Harrelson and, particularly, McConaughey was very, very good. The story was interesting and intriguing BUT, why was the ratio of naked and or murdered & naked women to men so high? Could the story have been told without these displays? If not, could they have at least split the nudity and victimization more evenly? AND why were two of the victims posed and displayed where they could be found by the police, while so many weren’t. Did anybody get that? We missed the significance. There was lot left undone here. I hoping for Part 2.

limmo on March 10, 2014 at 11:37 AM

Forget the Tuttle’s, Carcosa and the Yellow King. The real magic of the story has always been the interaction between Marty and Rust, with Marty being the more typically flawed man and Rust being a deeply damaged sole. McConaughey and Harrelson both gave outstanding performances. It looks like Light is winning.

Wallythedog on March 10, 2014 at 11:42 AM

Ed said Call of Cthulu.

Cindy Munford on March 10, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Different cast and different writers. Are you saying that all detective stories are now off the table — for evah? I don’t think so.

Blake on March 10, 2014 at 11:16 AM

Oh, hell no. Not by a long shot.

I’m just not going to expect much in Season 2 of this particular show.

But then again, I love being proven wrong. :-)

Eric in Hollywood on March 10, 2014 at 11:54 AM

I really enjoyed the series in a “viewing thru fingers” kinda way. Had me holding my breath on more than be occasion.

I got the impression it was as much about how true detective work can really f*ck up good men in dealing what they have to during the course of their career, as much as the entire Dora Lange mystery.

For example, Rust described what he’d seen Mexican cartel members do to enemies and the discussion behind the reason Hart quit the force, after seeing what a tweaker had done to an infant. Those are only two examples, heaven knows there were many more.

tru2tx on March 10, 2014 at 12:09 PM

I’d like to see a Sunday reflection on gratuitous nudity and profanity in entertainment.

Fenris on March 10, 2014 at 12:10 PM

I’d like to see a Sunday reflection on gratuitous nudity and profanity in entertainment.

Fenris on March 10, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Oy vey.

Eric in Hollywood on March 10, 2014 at 12:14 PM

Eric in Hollywood on March 10, 2014 at 12:14 PM

I wasn’t trying to imply anything; it’s a difficult topic. Difficult topics are often more worthy of pursuit.

Fenris on March 10, 2014 at 12:23 PM

How can it be have “spoilers” when it’s about a TV show I have never heard of, let alone watched?

corona79 on March 10, 2014 at 12:34 PM

Anyone know if you can rent this on iTumes or Amazon yet?

changer1701 on March 10, 2014 at 12:37 PM

How can it be have “spoilers” when it’s about a TV show I have never heard of, let alone watched?

corona79 on March 10, 2014 at 12:34 PM

Again. Oy vey.

Eric in Hollywood on March 10, 2014 at 12:40 PM

Yet another series ends with me never seeing a single episode.

Dasher on March 10, 2014 at 12:41 PM

True Detective finale: greatest miniseries end ever?

Yes, it was.

It’s an excellent series, or was in this “First Season.” I take it there will be another Season to come; if not, there should be.

While I was quite keen on THE SOPRANOS Series — also excellently written and performed as is TRUE DETECTIVE — TRUE DETECTIVE is superb on par with THE SOPRANOS.

With THE SOPRANOS, we had David Chase and associates to thank for excellent scripts and the cast for excellent performances; TRUE DETECTIVE is superb because of writer Nic Pizzolatto and, of course, performances of the two key roles by McConaughey and Harrelson.

Both of these, the best I’ve ever seen as original series on television — I sure hope TRUE DETECTIVE returns for a second season.

In A Surprising Season Finale, HBO’s ‘True Detective’ Explores The ‘True Bromance’ Between Harrelson And McConaughey

Lourdes on March 10, 2014 at 12:53 PM

Ed said Call of Cthulu. Cindy Munford on March 10, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Look at Cindy rockin Metallica!

Akzed on March 10, 2014 at 12:53 PM

Why wouldn’t baby girl wanna hang out with a Metallica-literate mom?!

Akzed on March 10, 2014 at 12:55 PM

Yet another series ends with me never seeing a single episode. Dasher on March 10, 2014 at 12:41 PM

You’re so above-it-all. We’re impressed.

Akzed on March 10, 2014 at 12:57 PM

HBO? I cancelled HBO long ago, disgusted with their support of Bill Maher.

I’ll just have to live without this one. I’ll settle for Justified and won’t feel deprived in the least.

novaculus on March 10, 2014 at 11:28 AM

I kept HBO because of THE SOPRANOS ongoing Series — having a year to wait out it’s return a while ago, so kept HBO for that time.

And I’ve just kept it going but I agree with you about their overall programming. TRUE DETECTIVE series is what I’d call a strange exception to HBO’s deplorable programming — finally something with redeemable value amidst the ongoing HBO mess.

Lourdes on March 10, 2014 at 12:58 PM

You’re so above-it-all. We’re impressed.

Akzed on March 10, 2014 at 12:57 PM

I like the cut of your jib, sir.

Eric in Hollywood on March 10, 2014 at 12:59 PM

And what the heck did Rust see in the domed “Carcosa” throne room before Childress leapt from the shadows and stabbed him? Was it some sort of astronomical hallucination?

Rust didn’t see, literally, anything real there BUT he had one of those epitomous moments of seizing on the symbolism of the Light From Above. Likely a lot of what helped him survive the immediate onslaught afterward, that moment.

Lourdes on March 10, 2014 at 1:02 PM

In a former life, I exhausted myself negotiating crude men who thought themselves clever.

You haven’t made flowers on me in three weeks.

Some of the best writing I’ve ever seen.

Eric in Hollywood on March 10, 2014 at 1:03 PM

If the idea is to repudiate dangerous fairy tales, then the use of “spaghetti monster” seems every bit as much of a giveaway as the Tuttles’ cover as Christian school operators, especially when combined with Rust’s epiphany — and there is no better word — in the epilogue of the finale.

I took pause with this series in the two episodes back, when the focus of the detectives’ chase was on the Christian schools element, pausing due to possible denigration of Christianity as is wont all Leftwing “entertainment” ultimately in one aspect or another. It’s a predictable aspect of the Left to knock Christ, Christians, to seize on any abnormality among humans associated with either as indicative of “all of them” or worse, of Christ Himself. So I sorta held my breath with the Series at that point.

It really took insight and maturity — and personal character — for writer Nic Pizzolatto to then clarify the whole situation: it wasn’t Christ, it was the Enemy of Christ responsible.

I admire the Series for this — and for the closing line by Rust, that they “didn’t get them all.” It’s still a fallen world.

Lourdes on March 10, 2014 at 1:07 PM

It really took insight and maturity — and personal character — for writer Nic Pizzolatto to then clarify the whole situation: it wasn’t Christ, it was the Enemy of Christ responsible.

I admire the Series for this — and for the closing line by Rust, that they “didn’t get them all.” It’s still a fallen world.

Lourdes on March 10, 2014 at 1:07 PM

Lourdes, check out this recap from AoSHQ.

Utterly nails the narcissism of the left with regard to this show.

Eric in Hollywood on March 10, 2014 at 1:10 PM

…Rust being a deeply damaged sole.

Wallythedog on March 10, 2014 at 11:42 AM

Rust is only “deeply damaged” when viewed FROM the deeply damaged world. Meaning, otherwise, he’s seeing things quite clearly amidst a wordly environment that is deeply damaged itself.

I loved Rust’s sensory declarations, how he knew he and Marty were at the right, the Damned, place when he, Rust, perceived a metallic taste in his mouth. Marty gave him one of his “you’re so screwy” looks but Rust maintained his surety of focus.

A remarkably astute work of writing by Pizzolatto.

Lourdes on March 10, 2014 at 1:13 PM

I like the cut of your jib, sir.
Eric in Hollywood on March 10, 2014 at 12:59 PM

And you appear to be ship shape and Bristol fashion yourself, matey.

Akzed on March 10, 2014 at 1:13 PM

Lourdes on March 10, 2014 at 1:02 PM

The whole in the roof evoked the Pantheon, no? Rust’s “hallucination” was heaven storming in, as I took it.

Akzed on March 10, 2014 at 1:15 PM

Lourdes on March 10, 2014 at 1:07 PM

Lourdes, check out this recap from AoSHQ.

Utterly nails the narcissism of the left with regard to this show.

Eric in Hollywood on March 10, 2014 at 1:10 PM

OK, thanks, I will. But I’m guessing before reading it that I already know what it says (no denigration of AoSHQ, just that I can guess I’ll agree with it based upon my own experiences).

Lourdes on March 10, 2014 at 1:16 PM

Lourdes on March 10, 2014 at 1:02 PM

The whole in the roof evoked the Pantheon, no? Rust’s “hallucination” was heaven storming in, as I took it.

Akzed on March 10, 2014 at 1:15 PM

Well, yes and no. No, because Rust didn’t hallucinate the opening in the roof or ceiling of that structure — there was an actual hole there as per what I viewed (then and later). Yes, because, yes, Rust viewed The Light From Above, heaven, as I wrote earlier. Whether or not one believes in Christianity, most do maintain at least an acknowledgement of Heaven, of Good and Evil.

I’ve yet to ever read anything by anyone who doesn’t believe in God — Good, Evil, Heaven and Hell or God’s eternal gift of rejection of Man’s actions — without referencing God. So I don’t impart any particular faith ideology to Rust’s character but to him as Man surviving in a fallen world.

Lourdes on March 10, 2014 at 1:19 PM

Lourdes on March 10, 2014 at 1:19 PM

Sorry ^^, formatting genie.

Lourdes on March 10, 2014 at 1:19 PM

Lourdes, check out this recap from AoSHQ.

Utterly nails the narcissism of the left with regard to this show.

Eric in Hollywood on March 10, 2014 at 1:10 PM

OK, read it, agree with it, well done, you’re right.

INTERESTING aspect to the directorial talent involved in this last Episode was: when we finally, eventually, view Rust recovering in the hospital, it’s a distant shot of him propped up in a hospital bed with his long hair hanging down, him “pinned” there — the initial distance composes him as Christ on the Cross.

The camera slowly advances in on Rust in bed and we see him “still a Man.” But alive.

The ending dialogue, later, from Marty, that Marty says to Rust, “and I’m thinking you are not going to die” (or “can’t die” or similar).

It’s remarkable work by all involved, actors, writer and director. The pictorial work alone is enough to support a variety of themes of interpretation of this creative statement but undoubtedly, it does make the statement that Man is alive through the Divine and only through the Divine. With “alive” being something far more than the material life.

Lourdes on March 10, 2014 at 1:26 PM

And notice the Crazy Guy — Green Spaghetti Monster crazy entity — is first viewed, revealed, to audience in last Episode (in that context, though we’ve seen the human before but not yet revealed as the Monster he is until last night’s Episode) — the Crazy Guy is first viewed standing over a fallen “dad” or father who is laid out in crucifixion style, covered with “all the flies”…

Then we close later with heroic Rust surviving as human being but alive by Divine inspiration, propped up as resurrected.

Lourdes on March 10, 2014 at 1:29 PM

It’s remarkable work by all involved, actors, writer and director. The pictorial work alone is enough to support a variety of themes of interpretation of this creative statement but undoubtedly, it does make the statement that Man is alive through the Divine and only through the Divine. With “alive” being something far more than the material life.

Lourdes on March 10, 2014 at 1:26 PM

Factor all of that in with McConaughey’s Oscar speech, and I think I have a new bromance.

Eric in Hollywood on March 10, 2014 at 1:31 PM

And notice the Crazy Guy — Green Spaghetti Monster crazy entity — is first viewed, revealed, to audience in last Episode (in that context, though we’ve seen the human before but not yet revealed as the Monster he is until last night’s Episode) — the Crazy Guy is first viewed standing over a fallen “dad” or father who is laid out in crucifixion style, covered with “all the flies”…

Then we close later with heroic Rust surviving as human being but alive by Divine inspiration, propped up as resurrected.

Lourdes on March 10, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Nah, we’ve seen him a couple times before riding a lawn mower.

I realize that the hole in the domed roof was really there.

Akzed on March 10, 2014 at 1:41 PM

Protip: do not pull an axe or a big a$$ knife out of you. Leave it in.

Blake on March 10, 2014 at 10:54 AM

You do when it’s in the script.

ghostwalker1 on March 10, 2014 at 2:09 PM

In that case, Cheap People alert! I can’t afford HBO. But hopefully I can find it on Netflix in the future.

Nethicus on March 10, 2014 at 10:55 AM

There are other ways…

DarkCurrent on March 10, 2014 at 2:41 PM

Yet another series ends with me never seeing a single episode.

Dasher on March 10, 2014 at 12:41 PM

“Yeah, but, you are aware that there’s an invention called television, and on this invention they show shows, right?”

- Jules

Ditkaca on March 10, 2014 at 2:48 PM

Greatest miniseries–beginning to end–with second place far in the distance: Lonesome Dove.

thejackal on March 10, 2014 at 3:34 PM

“Yeah, but, you are aware that there’s an invention called television, and on this invention they show shows, right?”

- Jules

Ditkaca on March 10, 2014 at 2:48 PM

Maybe Rust goes on to walk the earth …

Ed Morrissey on March 10, 2014 at 3:48 PM

Maybe Rust goes on to walk the earth …

Ed Morrissey on March 10, 2014 at 3:48 PM

How would you know? Did you even bother to try and get access to the press junket?

Or were you perhaps too afraid of being outed as a conservative?

I love your articles, Ed. I just despise your cowardice; your Monday-morning-quarterbacking of the entertainment industry, all because your organization lacks the intestinal fortitude to identify as conservatives -with a legitimate audience- worthy of an inside look at the very product you report on.

Eric in Hollywood on March 10, 2014 at 4:03 PM

Okay, Old People Alert! I have never even heard of this. It sounds interesting though.
Cindy Munford on March 10, 2014 at 10:52 AM

I’ve heard of it but the feedback I get falls into one of two competing camps. It’s either as boring as watching paint dry or its the greatest series evah. There seems to be no middle ground.

tommyboy on March 10, 2014 at 10:58 AM

@Cindy – I thought it was quite interesting and well worth watching, but at least for me, the first few episodes were dark enough, and sort of slow, that I wasn’t sure if I’d keep watching or not – but I was hooked and it just got better and better.

@tommyboy – There’s definitely middle ground for some of us. I was on the fence the first few episodes as described above, but it was addictive and keeps you wondering what’s going on, and how these two detectives are going to act and what they’ll say, both about the case, and towards each other. It’s certainly not the greatest evah – that may be Firefly and The Wire – but it’s very very good.

Rational Db8 on March 10, 2014 at 4:33 PM

The down side to being a cheap anti pop-culture millenial: You don’t know whats airing until someone points it out.

nobar on March 10, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Take a look at http://www.imdb.com/search/title?count=100&num_votes=5000,&sort=user_rating,desc&title_type=tv_series,mini_series&ref_=gnr_tv_hr

And you can get some really good ideas for shows that are worth watching. Those aren’t based on what is necessarily playing now, however, but overall ratings by IMDb users – or you can break it down by genre too. Really hot new or currently playing series tend to wind up higher on the list, at least initially. Ones that aren’t playing anymore you can find with netflix (or similar) or online on one of the sites that provides links to tv and movie episodes (strongly recommend you use something like adblock plus if you’re going to use one of those sites, though – but they can be awfully handy.).

Rational Db8 on March 10, 2014 at 5:01 PM

Good show, but nowhere near as good as Lonesome Dove or Shogun.

warren1816 on March 10, 2014 at 5:27 PM

Thoroughly enjoyed the show…..although for a brief moment right before the climatic confrontation I had a fear it was going to go all “Fight Club” on me, thankfully nothing of the sort occurred and it ended well.

Koa on March 10, 2014 at 5:55 PM

How would you know? Did you even bother to try and get access to the press junket?

Or were you perhaps too afraid of being outed as a conservative?

I love your articles, Ed. I just despise your cowardice; your Monday-morning-quarterbacking of the entertainment industry, all because your organization lacks the intestinal fortitude to identify as conservatives -with a legitimate audience- worthy of an inside look at the very product you report on.

Eric in Hollywood on March 10, 2014 at 4:03 PM

Um … WTF? I was making a Pulp Fiction joke based on an earlier Pulp Fiction joke, not speculating on Season 2. No, I didn’t seek out a “press junket,” as if that would make my credibility for criticism somehow stronger. I write about entertainment as a consumer, not an insider, which is how I experience it. What’s the problem with that? Would it be better for me to suck up to the studios first?

As far as my organization goes, we are very clearly identifying as conservatives — we were one the major sponsors of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) for the last few years, and Salem Communications has been a Christian conservative broadcast company for longer than you’ve been commenting on blogs, Eric. I’d advise you to do a little research before shooting from the lip.

Ed Morrissey on March 10, 2014 at 5:59 PM

Eric. I’d advise you to do a little research before shooting from the lip.

Ed Morrissey on March 10, 2014 at 5:59 PM

Ed, you were included in the email regarding the Benghazi project. Twice.

We asked for your input as to the narrative. Twice.

To date, your aforementioned comment is the only response we’ve received.

I’d say I’ve done my research.

Eric in Hollywood on March 10, 2014 at 6:07 PM

Ed, you were included in the email regarding the Benghazi project. Twice.

We asked for your input as to the narrative. Twice.

To date, your aforementioned comment is the only response we’ve received.

I’d say I’ve done my research.

Eric in Hollywood on March 10, 2014 at 6:07 PM

Ah. You’re sore that I didn’t answer an unsolicited distribution-blast e-mail (to the Tips line, not me) from February 27th that I just found in my Gmail spam filter. Did you think about, oh, following up with a personal note to see if I actually got it? You follow me on Twitter, after all. Instead, you just assumed you knew it all.

I was actually enjoying your comments in this thread until you got personal about a comment that you didn’t even bother to understand. Too bad.

Ed Morrissey on March 10, 2014 at 6:13 PM

Ah. You’re sore that I didn’t answer an unsolicited distribution-blast e-mail (to the Tips line, not me) from February 27th that I just found in my Gmail spam filter.

Ed, that an email sent from a registered HA user to the address posted at the top of every page here ends up in your spam folder is sad enough. That you were only moved to look at it after being called out on a comment thread is even worse.

Did you think about, oh, following up with a personal note to see if I actually got it? You follow me on Twitter, after all. Instead, you just assumed you knew it all.

No, I didn’t. Primarily because I’m not stupid (and have some modicum of pride), and am thusly not going to bombard your already cluttered Twitter feed with pleas to read an exceptionally sensitive movie development.

I was actually enjoying your comments in this thread until you got personal about a comment that you didn’t even bother to understand. Too bad.

Ed Morrissey on March 10, 2014 at 6:13 PM

Ed, just read the Goddamned thing. Please. We need your heft. But most of all, we need your respect.

Say what you will about my particular tantrum, but don;t you dare, for a moment, use that as a reason to ignore what the hell it is we’re trying to do.

Eric in Hollywood on March 10, 2014 at 6:26 PM

Ed, just read the Goddamned thing. Please. We need your heft. But most of all, we need your respect.

Say what you will about my particular tantrum, but don;t you dare, for a moment, use that as a reason to ignore what the hell it is we’re trying to do.

Eric in Hollywood on March 10, 2014 at 6:26 PM

You have a funny way of demanding respect, Eric, by crapping all over me in a totally unrelated post. But I’ll take a look at it, now that I know it exists at all. Don’t think that this has no impact on my estimation of your credibility, though.

Ed Morrissey on March 10, 2014 at 6:32 PM

ou have a funny way of demanding respect, Eric, by crapping all over me in a totally unrelated post. But I’ll take a look at it, now that I know it exists at all. Don’t think that this has no impact on my estimation of your credibility, though.

Ed Morrissey on March 10, 2014 at 6:32 PM

I’m a producer, Ed. It isn’t my credibility that I care about. It’s the film. Given the stakes, I will say or do whatever is necessary to bring it to the screen. It is my hope you’ll understand.

I offer no opprobrium for being an a$hole. I only ask that we on the right begin to do what the left has been doing for almost five decades.

That we demonstrate the courage of our convictions.

Eric in Hollywood on March 10, 2014 at 6:43 PM

Well, at least we know why crap happens on this blog and is never addressed or moderated, and that’s because when we click

*CONTACT* (prominent link by site designers, who still have the site described on the home page tags as “2012″),

Actual source code on home page, I am not not kidding:

HotAir — Politics, Culture, Media, 2012, Breaking News from a conservative viewpoint

I reported this back in January, very politely, to the tips email in Contact.

Apparently my messages are interpreted “unsolicited distribution-blast e-mail” to the Tips line, not to our proud individual OPs, and are subject to landing in their spam filter.

Just gotta laugh. These are the people who criticize healthcare.gov.

hypocrites

RushBaby on March 10, 2014 at 7:17 PM

RushBaby on March 10, 2014 at 7:17 PM

I dunno… maybe we should ban Ed?

How do we get that ball rolling? Do we go through Allah?

Allah?

Akzed on March 10, 2014 at 7:29 PM

Ed, I owe you an apology…

I understand that those of us with high passions may find ourselves inflamed with self-righteousness, and in so doing, may mistake our friends for enemies.

I have done this, and I am sorry.

Eric in Hollywood on March 10, 2014 at 7:30 PM

Eric, if ever you need an adviser on Christianity, call my girl and we’ll get lunch.

Akzed on March 10, 2014 at 7:30 PM

RushBaby on March 10, 2014 at 7:17 PM

Actually, I passed that one along. Since the code in question is (a) not visible to readers and (b) doesn’t impact the operation of the page, it was probably decided that it was something they could fix later. The problem with Healthcare.gov is not comments in the code.

The problem with Eric’s email is that I use Gmail to handle my e-mail. Gmail tends to treat messages with large attachments sent to multiple addresses from an account not already in my e-mail address book as spam.

Thanks, Eric, for the apology. Hope you find my comments (on reply e-mail) helpful, although I’m not sure how valuable they’ll be.

Note: This comment has been edited since first posted.

Ed Morrissey on March 10, 2014 at 7:34 PM

Thanks, Eric, for the apology. Hope you find my comments helpful, although I’m not sure how valuable they’ll be.

Ed Morrissey on March 10, 2014 at 7:34 PM

Ed, the greatest thing about getting older is that while it takes me a bit longer than some, I eventually learn when to shut the hell up and listen.

I have done so here, and your comments are incredibly valuable.

Eric in Hollywood on March 10, 2014 at 7:40 PM

Since the code in question is (a) not visible to readers

Ed. Open a new window in the browser of your choice and open HA’s home page. Look at the very Tippy Top of the browser window.

This code is the very TITLE of the page, which showed up every single day of 2013 and is still showing up three months into 2014. It is very amateurish. And it can be fixed in 15 seconds by a competent, stewardly website tech..

/off grumble

I AM gratified that you received my tip and that you passed it along.

RushBaby on March 10, 2014 at 7:47 PM

We’re having a real moment here folks.

Akzed on March 10, 2014 at 8:14 PM

Ed, that an email sent from a registered HA user to the address posted at the top of every page here ends up in your spam folder is sad enough. That you were only moved to look at it after being called out on a comment thread is even worse.

You’ve GOT to be kidding. Emails from my FATHER (who sends me several emails a day on average) get periodically sent to my spam box, and I’ve found no way to keep that from happening. So when you figure out how to make gmail and other email providers fix their coding to avoid that, let us all know, would you?

No, I didn’t. Primarily because I’m not stupid (and have some modicum of pride), and am thusly not going to bombard your already cluttered Twitter feed with pleas to read an exceptionally sensitive movie development…

Ed, just read the Goddamned thing. Please. We need your heft. But most of all, we need your respect.

Say what you will about my particular tantrum, but don;t you dare, for a moment, use that as a reason to ignore what the hell it is we’re trying to do…

With a sh*tty attitude and treatment of others like that, it’s a miracle you get any respect or supporters, no matter what you are trying to do.

I’m a producer, Ed. It isn’t my credibility that I care about. It’s the film. Given the stakes, I will say or do whatever is necessary to bring it to the screen…

Apparently that’s not even true, because often “what’s necessary” is a reasonably polite approach and a bit of humility, and clearly NOT lambasting others unfairly only to turn around and imperiously demand their respect and support – hypocritically claiming you’ll say or do anything necessary.

I offer no opprobrium for being an a$hole….That we demonstrate the courage of our convictions.

Well you darned well ought to – and, having read further I do give you kudos for FINALLY apologizing and acting like a decent human being – but there’s no excuse for your initial ranting, arrogance, and name calling. Frankly I associate that sort of behavior with the left far more than the right – and it’s certainly not a part of “living up to our convictions.” And it’s sure no good sales or teambuilding technique that I’ve ever heard of either.

I can’t speak for others here, but regardless of how Ed feels about it, you sure managed to offend me and I’d suspect a number of others who read your uncalled for attacks too.

Didn’t your Momma ever teach you that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar? Long overdue for you to learn that one, especially if you are trying to act as a spokesman for conservatism.

Eric in Hollywood on March 10, 2014 at 6:43 PM

Rational Db8 on March 10, 2014 at 8:16 PM

I’ve apologized to Ed, and we’ve worked it out.

Eric in Hollywood on March 10, 2014 at 8:23 PM

Didn’t your Momma ever teach you that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar? Long overdue for you to learn that one, especially if you are trying to act as a spokesman for conservatism.

Eric in Hollywood on March 10, 2014 at 6:43 PM

Rational Db8 on March 10, 2014 at 8:16 PM

She did, and I apologize to everyone here for my infantile tantrum.

Especially my mom.

Eric in Hollywood on March 10, 2014 at 8:26 PM

Eric in Hollywood on March 10, 2014 at 8:26 PM

Nice recovery and I mean that completely snark free.

Cindy Munford on March 10, 2014 at 9:54 PM

Nice recovery and I mean that completely snark free.

Cindy Munford on March 10, 2014 at 9:54 PM

He offered me an equally gracious apology outside of this forum, too. So … we hugged it out, in the virtual sense. :-) We’re good. Happy to help him, and the project definitely looks interesting.

Ed Morrissey on March 10, 2014 at 10:49 PM

She did, and I apologize to everyone here for my infantile tantrum.

Especially my mom.

Eric in Hollywood on March 10, 2014 at 8:26 PM

Eric, now you’ve done it – you’ve gone and made me grin. How’s a girl supposed to keep her rant on when you go and do that? :0)

Seriously, thank you for the gracious apology – accepted, and appreciated.

Also very glad to have heard from Ed directly that the two of you have worked it out.

Eric, I’m not sure just what you are looking for, and apologies in advance if I’m mentioning stuff you’re already well aware of — but in terms of funding I wonder if any of the internet crowd sourcing sites might not be useful? Especially if you could get some of the well known conservative talk shows to mention it on their programs (even if in an interview with you on air or something that way). There are a number of crowd sourcing sites now, along the lines of kickstarter, etc.

Also, for whatever it’s worth, Bill Whittle is (or was) associated with putting together some “conservative” full length theater type movies – I wonder if talking with him a bit might not be of some use… regardless, some of his shorts, like his “Afterburner” series for example, are really great and I’d recommend them to anyone. http://www.pjtv.com/page/Afterburner_with_Bill_Whittle/127/ Or his “virtual president” bits… Ed has even posted some Bill Whittle bits here, like the one I’ve copied below.

Regardless, I hope your project goes well – we can use all the decent conservative media out there possible.

Video: Health care and Your Government
posted at 1:04 pm on November 22, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

The latest installment in Bill Whittle’s “Your Government” virtual presidency tackles the real driver of increasing health-care costs, which is the third-party payer model of insurance. One of the many problems with ObamaCare is that it makes the pricing signals to consumers even less transparent than what it purports to reform. Instead of increasing the complexity between consumers and providers, Bill proposes a plan to simplify it and unleash the power of the private sector and competition to really lower costs:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=a-TccVX5BBo

Rational Db8 on March 11, 2014 at 4:00 AM

The Light is winning!

rob verdi on March 11, 2014 at 6:23 AM