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For all the critical praise Season 1 of True Detective received back in 2014, it was hard to ignore the representation of women as faceless victims, nagging wives, and sexual playthings. An examination of masculinity doesn’t have to eschew women having agency or even a modicum of an interior life. In Season 2, creator Nic Pizzolatto attempted to address this criticism by introducing a female investigator, Detective Ani Bezzerides (Rachel McAdams). Despite an excellent performance from McAdams, this character read as another clichéd archetype; she’s just one of the guys who isn’t going to let any female weakness stand in the way of a case. There is a reason why the Kroll Show sketch “Dead Girl Town” still resonates four years after it aired; it perfectly skewers the disposable victims and the “troubled genius” men who are here to solve the crime.
Cut to True Detective Season 3, which has returned to a crowded TV landscape not as the hailing critical champion, but a show with something to prove — including if Pizzolatto can avoid the issues that have plagued this anthology series in the past. Casting has never been the issue, but nagging wives who act as an obstacle or justify the bad behavior of the central characters are unappealing, no matter who is playing the part. However, at this halfway point of Season 3, middle-school-teacher-turned-best-selling author Amelia (Carmen Ejogo) is proving to be much more than just an argumentative or supportive girlfriend/wife, and the show explores that in a few different ways.
Timeline - Format - Mirrors - Wayne - Hays
The three timeline format mirrors Wayne Hays’ (Mahershala Ali) fragmented memories; each episode reveals another piece of the puzzle while tossing up even more questions. The case of the missing Purcell kids is the thread linking 1980, 1990 and 2015. Each period plays out a part of Wayne’s...
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