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True, it did have a lot to live up to; Bevan on the box.


NOT since Coco the Clown's understudy got his first taste of the spotlight have there been such big shoes to fill.

Nevertheless True Detective returned to Sky Atlantic last week faced with the near impossible task of matching the utterly addictive first series from 2014, in which Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson's beleaguered, mismatched coppers stalked an almost supernatural serial killer across the Louisiana bayou over a 20-year period.

Colin |as Ray True It had been a long time since a show caught people's imagination, the internet damn near bursting with anoraks poring over the show's quasi-religious gothic symbolism, the lead characters' pseudophilosophical banter - "Time is a flat circle" etc - and, most importantly, McConaughey's funky facial hair and worryingly skeletal frame.

Indeed, it arguably changed the face of TV police shows forever.

Driving a flaming squad car off the top of a skyscraper into a helicopter full of bad guys? Pah, we'd rather some more of the emaciated Southern gent with the Zappata moustache spouting angsty, determinist dogma before headbutting some perp's nose through the back of his head.

It was only to be expected then that the mass jubilation that the show was to be granted a second season was muted somewhat by the news it would tell a completely different story featuring an entirely new cast.

|SAs a result the second series was always doomed to fail our expectations, purely by dint of the fact it wouldn't be some sort of season one redux.

Viv And, fearing this, the producers seem to have over compensated somewhat, filling the series with not two big acting names, but four - Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams and Taylor Kitsch. Well, ok, three big names then.

Also, in order to make up for the lack of sinister swampiness, the new setting of Los Angeles was painted as a florescent strip-lit Sodom populated with people who grunt, stare into the middle distance to Leonard Cohen records and drink heavily.

No one smiled - not even once.

Farrell Velcoro in Detective Hell, even the McConaughey/ Harrelson tag-team got to crowbar in a couple of funnies - McConaughey: "People are just sentient meat." Harrelson (mishearing): "What the hell's scented meat?" The only time I got close to laughing here was when Colin Farrell's damaged alcoholic cop decided to teach Aspen, his son's 12-year-old bully, a lesson by beating his father half to death on his own front lawn. "Happy now, Ass-pen?" he growled, wiping clean his knuckle duster afterwards.

That said, I'm still going to stick with it as it's way better than the majority of show currently doing the rounds. I'd just rather they'd called it something other than True Detective, that way we wouldn't expect so much.

NO OFFENCE finally came to an end last week, and what an ending it was. The serial killer who'd been preying on young girls with Down's syndrome had been as revealed as none other than DI Viv Deering's hitherto avuncular husband, leading to an almighty set-to in the couple's basement.

Joanna canlan as DI Deering Long story short, he ended up being knocked unconscious and his mouth and airways filled with a can of expanding foam - which duly proceeded to do exactly what it says on the tin. Not pretty.

And there's me thinking the time I mistook my pile cream for the toothpaste was bad.


Colin Farrell |as Ray Velcoro in True Detective

Joanna |Scanlan as DI Viv Deering
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jun 28, 2015
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