True Detective Season 2: Cheer up you 2! A True fan rant.

cheer up you two!

cheer up you two!

I have one episode left to finish watching season 2 of True Detective and I have now lost almost all hope the show will take an interesting turn to vaguely produce the spine chilling effect of season one. The motel sex scene took place and it was as sexy as witnessing an AA meeting. I for once did not see it coming and how could I? There had been no sexual tension building up in the Velcoro-Bezzerides relationship so far, and neither had there been any real chemistry between them. The two main characters have been too-superficially- preoccupied with being hopeless, weak and frustrated to blossom. Kinda like two caterpillars who fail to become butterflies. Sorry, correction, I meant three caterpillars. Vince Vaughn is another promising actor of this season that was doomed by the comatose dialogues and strange facial expressions.

Why did the directors feel they had to express this darkness so literally is beyond me. Take Colin Farrell for example, an actor which is naturally very intense in expression. You cannot go wrong with Colin Farrell, he can be intense. If however you put him to express a character so monotonously and persistently gloomy and desperate you burn him out. This way Velcorro becomes way too weak to the point that he almost becomes a parody of himself. Velcoro-Farrell’s misery should have been significantly toned down to allow the character to develop, just like Matthew McConaughey’s character in season one. I mean how can you make a boring sex scene with Colin Farrell?? Hellooooo??????

Rachel MacAdams also. I read somewhere that her character looks like it was meant initially to be a man and there was a last minute change to female. i couldn’t agree more. Ani is tough in an awkward way. She drinks like a man, talks like a man, acts like a man… Only that she is is a woman. Shame not to give her a chance to be tough-as a woman. She would probably have a better chance having some chemistry with Velcorro if she did not constantly look like she is ready to burp in his face.

And finally the storyline. The complexity of it makes it hard to follow. And then you simply give up trying to follow -there is no reason after all since many elements are not relevant- and you are just pondering how you could alter the storyline, had you had the chance. Like I did last night.

Here are randomly some of my quick “alterations”:
a) Velcoro’s personal drama is not the rape of his wife and the ambiguity of his son’s paternity (too complex and the actions of his wife do not fully make sense and come across as an attempt to victimise him and make her look ridiculously mean). He rather has a daughter that his wife has decided to keep away from men after her daughter’s school molestation case triggered her paranoia against men. She has divorced Velcoro to live with her girlfriend and gradually finds ways to push him out of his daughter’s life. This way Velcoro has some common ground to connect with Ani, apart from the fact that they are together on X case. And perhaps this way Velcoro’s depression can be explained in terms of feelings of failure as a husband and the traditional male that he is supposed to be. Velcoro has attacked and killed the molestation suspect only to find out afterwards that charges against him have been dropped by the student who faced psychological problems.

b) Ani’s character has dark long very curly hair. She is tough as a woman who has tried hard to get somewhere in her life. She emotionally connects with Velcoro after hearing stories about his personal drama (explained above). The conflict in his personal life becomes the ground on which they connect in a non romantic way (non romantic just like the show clearly intends with the stiff dialogues and naff energy between them.) The man who had assaulted her still works with her father as a respectable lifestyle mentor (she has until now repressed all memories of the event) but is illegally involved in human trafficking. Things work out this way that Velcoro gets to face and kill Ani’s molester.

c)Taylor Kitch character would be out. (why is he a main character anyway?)

d) Obviously some drastic changes on Frank’s character that are the equivalent of brain surgery. Still working on it.

Shame for all the great talent in the season. Nevertheless I still look forward to the third season of True Detective. Who knows, next time we might be pleasantly surprised.

A newfound appreciation for Sex and the City 2

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When Sex and the City 2 was released a few years ago it was a huge letdown to the SATC fans around the world. Those who, like me, grew up watching the popular 90’s show had high expectations that the second movie (and the first one too as a matter of fact) would measure up to the original epic series with similar wit and spirit.

But the outcome was disappointing, to say the least. In the second movie the characters come across as extremely shallow and selfish, even though none of them any longer has to deal with the single New York gal drama. The scenario is lazy and does not do any favours to the weak storyline maimed by constant bitching and navel gazing. For all I know, It could have been an episode of “the Real Housewives of New York”. I remember watching the film in a London theater thinking it cannot get any worse than that.

I won’t get into more details about how bad an impression it made. I have read some pretty aggressive reviews, including some really angry bloggers taking it out on the web. SJP gets a lot of the slamming (as she did anyway during the series) and if you ask me she does not deserve it. If anything it is her solid acting that makes Carrie look exactly as she is supposed to: self centred, childish and selfish.

And then last night when I put my-tired- feet on the sofa and watched it for a second time it finally dawned on me. You see, the real SATC finished in Paris on that very well made last season finale. There is nothing else to say after that, because the whole point for the existence of the show was the single girls’ game and the (dis)enchantment. Once that problem is settled, you get Real Housewives. So what was the film about? The film (no doubt made for profit by the producers) was what we could call Carrie’s Dream: A dream or a fantasy single girl Carrie has one particularly hot Summer afternoon in her tiny New York apartment: a dream of lavish apartments , glamorous parties and designer clothes, as well as luxurious jets awaiting to fly her and her chums to exotic faraway places, and the only worry in sight the struggle to keep the sparkle alive between her and the man of her dreams. And mostly the very challenged idea throughout the original series that you can afford a collection of Manolos (among other designer names) on a columnist stipend.(A day’s work typically including lunch out with the girls, popping to Gucci to treat yourself with a pair of shoes or a bag, and lots of strolling around town with a cappuccino in hand). Those who have read the original book by Candace Bushnell may snort ironically right now. You see, there was little doubt how Carrie could afford her Manolos and it surely wasn’t because she was paid generously for her writing.

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So therefore Carrie’s dream starts way before the film Sex and the City 2 was made: Her life as a writer in NYC already belongs to an imaginary realm. Which makes SATC 2, as a romantic poet would say “A Dream within a Dream”.

The cues pointing to my dream theory are numerous. The most obvious of course the fact that the film does not take itself seriously. It does not even try to become more real or inclusive but proudly displays its over the top aesthetic. Garish gay wedding with bonus Lisa Minelli performance? Check. Handsome butlers in $22,000 a night suites? Check. Last minute Christian Dior shopping to ride a camel?Check. At the end of the day it becomes 146 minute trip to Wonderland where you are requested to leave your brain at the door (you won’t need it anyway) and indulge in this purely eye candy experience.

In the beginning of the film Big and Carrie snuggle up in the hotel bed and watch black and white movies on the tv. Here we are also reminded not to get too stressed or too eager to identify with either of them. (Not that it is possible for any human being to identify with Big, I mean the guy does not even have a name during the series). Carrie and Big are just another version of old movies’ characters: Cary Grant and the Hitchcock blonde. You are allowed to escape to that New York city with them, avoiding comparisons, expectations and disappointments. You are allowed to leave your lousy day at the door: that colleague that treated you badly,your money problems, your tired thoughts about life. You are allowed to indulge, two feet on the sofa and a glass of wine on the side. You are allowed to sneer and snort ironically and with delight. And go to bed at night to dream of faraway places too.

And that’s what happened to me after a physically and mentally strenuous day, I put my feet up and I let go. I ended up enjoying watching Sex and the City 2, and in my mind, I finally got it.

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