Sunday, 2 March 2014

That You Criticise

As you know, I love everything in the world, with the exception of three things. One of those things that I love is HBO's True Detective.

What I don't love is the stuff that's being written about it. Not since NBC's Hannibal have critics fallen over themselves in such a hyperbolic frenzy. Here are three things people need to stop saying about True Detective.


The oft-repeated un-opinion that True Detective is "like a movie" is, to use a technical term, donkey bollocks. The crime-drama is protracted and slow to an extent that no movie would ever get away with. If a film was paced like True Detective, you'd turn it off. When people compare it to cinema, all they mean is it looks nice and has film stars in it. As a piece of criticism it's superficial, hacky and lazy. You can't just say a TV show is like a film because it's good, TV has been better than film for ages now. With the amount of money and talent that's moved to TV over the last few years, TV has overtaken film to the point that we should really start saying that a good film is "like a TV show." Twin Peaks and Breaking Bad aren't like films. Films are crap. With it's drawn-out, unravelling mystery, True Detective is nothing like a film, it's very much like a TV show.


No, the real star of True Detective could not be Louisiana. Because it's a place. The real stars of True Detective are, get this, its stars. The clue is in the name. I see what The Guardian man is trying to say, but calling the show's setting its "star" seems to undermine the work of the director and cinematographer and everyone involved in putting it on screen. Louisiana contributes relatively little towards True Detective's success, because, and I can't stress this enough, it's a place. This is the sort of pretentious thing people say to sound clever, which is actually completely meaningless. It's the sort of thing I might say. 


I've written about these ridiculous claims made by critics, that make you question their motives. Clearly these nonsensical headlines are just hit-generators. Maybe True Detective will be the best show of the year. But it's fucking February. No opinion you currently hold on the subject has any worth at all. The level of disingenuous non-discussion by professional critics seems to be reaching staggering new heights, with reviewers mindlessly saying anything to get traffic or a retweet from Lena Dunham. You have the best job in the world, all I ask is that you think about what you say. 

Thanks for reading, here's Who Are You by the brilliant Skindred.