The Same Mother
by DICK CHENEY
creator Nic Pizzolatto
So it now seems obvious that Rachel McAdams is deeply intent on torpedoing whatever is left of her career. "Lost in the light..." she murmurs to her sister. "Lost on the water." Then she went on about memories for about twenty-five minutes before executing a bunch of Mexicans who had offended her in some way. Being a police officer comes with a lot of strange duties.
I guess her mom and the daughter of the mayor's mom were probably the same woman, given that they both knew Dr. Pitler. Or did Pitler just have a harem of spiritually accessible women he could turn to in difficult times? In any case, most reviewers haven't noticed we already suffered through a long scene with Pitler. He seemed awesome.
McAdams can revel in the fact that her scenes are the strangely-compelling sort of bad, like watching two attractive people whisper poems to each other. Her boss explains that the department's investigation of her is not gender-motivated, even as she whines, "Would this be happening to a male detective?" Pizzolatto does his best to make Ani Bezzerides extremely unsympathetic: his writing for her is outright unsalvageable at times.
I am just waiting for the actual flashbacks to begin. This happened on Netflix's Bloodline. Flashbacks are awful; they just remind us of how terrible child actors are. Chad basically ruined this episode by just sitting in his backyard like a sack of shit, accepting a trophy from his not-father Ray Velcoro (Colin Farrell).
True Detective is basically the not-so-believable Olympics. Each scene competes wildly to be less realistic than the next. When Taylor Kitsch hopped into a diner to offer a proposal to the woman "pregnant" with his child, and he was still wearing that leather jacket... I really wish this show would spring for some costume changes — or did HBO reduce their budget that much? In any case, his dialogue was as rough around the edges as his gay sex.
Actually, I thought last night's episode was going to push us over the line into full The Spoils Before Dying territory. If you were not aware of this Will Ferrell-Kristen Wiig project, consider yourselves lucky. It is a parody of old movies airing on IFC for some reason. None of the jokes are funny, and most of them occur in the title sequence.
Michael Kenneth Williams has sacrificed his own career for the project, in what is now called a McAdams. The weirdest thing about The Spoils Before Dying is that The Onion A/V Club ran completely serious reviews of the show, recapping the plot details and mystery in intricate detail. I have no words. Do they plan to recap The Big Bang Theory next? The show's humor rests in the narrative space between Leonard's sexual repression and his wife's lack of the same. I mean, read a book.
I also watched that Will Ferrell Lifetime movie with Wiig, A Deadly Adoption. He played the author of a series of successful financial books named Robert Benson. The only joke I could find in the entire movie is when he skypes with his editor, he got off the call by saying, "Love you."
Wiig as a blonde had a lot of potential, though. She seemed fitter, happier and more productive.
I did judge both of those things as amusing, but the rest of the plot was relatively straightforward: he and his wife Sarah (Wiig) connect with surrogate mother (a gorgeous Jessica Lowndes) who is actually a fan of Robert's books. She means to kill his wife and take over his family. You have to be really familiar with the Lifetime movie genre to find this a laugh riot.
If comedy is so much more difficult than drama, why do I have such a hot laugh every time Vince Vaughn asks his wife to get some more tests. "It might have been the operation," she explains, as if they wouldn't have gone over every step of her medical history once it became clear they were struggling to conceive a baby. Her infertility is going to be resolved in the five minutes after he yells at his gardener because his avocado trees are dying.
Vaughn hasn't been all bad on this show, but Pizzolatto gave him almost nothing to work with this time out. His threats are all vague and not very scary. He never gets angry, he just chokes the anger back. This seems like a good idea in theory, except what he does is never very monstrous. I mean he knocked some guy's teeth out, but the teeth were fake to begin with. He probably lost them originally to nonpareils, which are about as threatening as Vince's low whisper.
The story of a gangster trying to reclaim what is his would be compelling, except who throws away their empire and invests it in public transportation in the first place?
The final twenty minutes of last night's True Detective were a callback to the show's triumphant midnight raid of an African-American housing project in Beaumont, Texas. Watching cops get murdered by a bunch of vigilantes who were looking to pawn some jewelry seemed a little excessive, but who am I to judge someone for using overwhelming force? Hopefully this gets this police triumvirate off the streets and into a safer profession, like security at the American Girl store. They are terrible cops.
Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording.
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