One-Hitters: True Detective, House Of Cards, Orange Is The New Black, Top Boy

Those that know me well, know that I have issues with sleeping. Sleep doesn’t like me, and I’ve come to grips with it; we manage to get through most of the days alright. That means I am usually watching something late at night, and I have plowed through a bunch of stuff over the last month, because, winter. Here are a few quick reviews of what I have been watching.

Yeah, there are mad spoilers here.

True Detective

I’ll start with this since the finale is fresh in your minds. I am not going to lie, I was skeptical after the first couple of episodes and wasn’t sure if I was going to continue. The acting of Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson carried the show early on, and also, True Detective reminded me of Boardwalk Empire as a show that LOOKED like it was supposed to be good, but HBO money will do that. But it all kicked into high gear in the fourth episode, and while everyone talks about the long-take scene that closes it out (and deservedly so, because that shit was intense), the rest of the episode was excellent: the writing was concise, we knew what Rust was planning and things weren’t so ambiguous. It also didn’t go too, too far into the mystical side of things, because I feel they wouldn’t have lost a lot of people, but they gave you enough to pique your interest. But yeah, watch this. It’s a shame McConaughey (who will absolutely be nominated for an Emmy) won’t be back for season 2 of this anthology, but creator Nic Pizzolatto gets the benefit of the doubt for next season.

House Of Cards

I only heard about this when it started getting award nominations last year, but I passed over it because I didn’t think I would feel a political drama. Once the buzz for the second season started to build, I jumped in and House Of Cards grabs you from the opening scene. Kevin Spacey is brilliantly devious, as is Robin Wright, who won the Golden Globe for Best Actress last year. The first episode of the second season has something that I kind of saw coming, but it is jarring how it is executed. My only issue is how easily Frank has managed to make it to the presidency so quickly, but I assume this isn’t going to be a six or seven-season show, so it is being accelerated. But overall, it is pretty good. I like season 1 better (the way Frank slowly destroys Peter….man…..), but season 2 isn’t awful. Spacey needs to get nominated as well. (Side note: The Best Actor category for the next Emmy show could be beastly: Bryan Cranston for Breaking Bad, McConaughey, Spacey, Jon Hamm will probably get in there for Mad Men somehow…..and there are still two spots left. Good stuff).

Orange Is The New Black

I finally got around to watching this, and the one thing I gathered from it, is that Orange Is The New Black would be better served as a show you get weekly. As someone who binge-watches a lot of shows, it is easy to want everything right now and I usually do; for example, The Walking Dead is a perfect show for Netflix, or even Mad Men (DEFINITELY Breaking Bad)Orange Is The New Black isn’t something where you need to watch the next episode right, in my opinion, but it was still a good show. It took a while to get going, but for me, it didn’t take off until Piper went to solitary, which I wanted so bad, then I felt like hell when I watched it. Taylor Schilling stepped up in that episode, and her naive character made more sense afterwards. But the key to this series are all the secondary characters; it’s rare to get a show where the majority of the cast isn’t all white and male, and Orange Is The New Black features mostly women, of all colors. The men that are in the show are scumbags. I respect that. I’m in for season 2, but I won’t rush to watch it (that’s a lie, I probably will once everyone else does. I’m a TV sheep. Whatever.).

Top Boy

This was suggested to me by a couple of the homies who know how I feel about The Wire, which is, for me, the best show of all time. Imagine if The Wire had moved to London, stayed in the ‘hood and focused on the streets, and you get Top Boy. Now, the thing that made The Wire great is how it managed to make the streets its foundation, but moved into other areas, like the docks (which you appreciate more after watching the series again), politics, schools and the media. Some just wanted the street shit, and Top Boy gives you that. I’m not gon’ front, I did have to watch the first couple of episodes with subtitles, because I had no clue what they were saying. It’s London ‘hood slang; that shit could mean anything. You won’t recognize anyone from it unless you watch British shows regularly, and they got away from the storyline of Ra’Nell, the kid who was supposed to be the main character, but they switched it up and focused on the ascent of Dushane and Sully to the top of the drug game. I’m not mad at it. Like most British shows, it is short: two seasons (or series, as they call them), four episodes a piece. They don’t waste a lot of time and again, I’m not mad at that. I REALLY hope they come out with a third season, but apparently that is up in the air, sadly.

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