Detective Comics (1937-2011) #27 – Bill Finger & Bob Kane

Bill Finger & Bob Kane - Detective Comics (1937-2011) #27  artwork

Detective Comics (1937-2011) #27

Bill Finger & Bob Kane

Genre: Graphic Novels

Publish Date: July 22, 2014

Publisher: DC Comics

Seller: DC Comics.


The very first appearance of the Bat-Man in the six-page story ""The Case of the Criminal Syndicate!"" This issue also features the first appearances of Commissioner Gordon and the revelation of Bat-Man's secret identity as Bruce Wayne. NOTE: Not all backup stories advertised on the cover will be included.

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Detective Comics #27 Special Edition (Batman 75 Day Comic 2014) (2014- ) #1 – Bob Kane, Bill Finger, Brad Meltzer, Bryan Hitch, Scott Snyder & Chip Kidd

Bob Kane, Bill Finger, Brad Meltzer, Bryan Hitch, Scott Snyder & Chip Kidd - Detective Comics #27 Special Edition (Batman 75 Day Comic 2014) (2014- ) #1  artwork

Detective Comics #27 Special Edition (Batman 75 Day Comic 2014) (2014- ) #1

Bob Kane, Bill Finger, Brad Meltzer, Bryan Hitch, Scott Snyder & Chip Kidd

Genre: Graphic Novels

Publish Date: July 23, 2014

Publisher: DC Comics

Seller: DC Comics.


In his 75 years, Batman has been the central figure at the forefront of graphic storytelling. From the printed page to the big screen, Bob Kane's creation has never been a more significant fixture in popular culture the world over. This BATMAN 75 DAY COMIC 2014, free for a limited time, features the Dark Knight's origin from DETECTIVE COMICS #27 in 1939, as well a retelling of the story by New York Times bestselling novelist Brad Meltzer and illustrator Bryan Hitch and another short story by current BATMAN scribe Scott Snyder and artist Sean Murphy. Also included is a sneak peak at the reimagining of Batman's 1939 comic book debut, designed by Chip Kidd with a script by Meltzer.  Join us as we celebrate the Dark Knight's 75th anniversary.

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Pokémon Detective Pikachu

Pokémon Detective Pikachu Opens Friday, May 10, 2019

Harry Goodman goes mysteriously missing, prompting his 21-year-old son Tim to find out what happened. Aiding in the investigation is Harry’s former Pokémon partner, Detective Pikachu.

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‘True Detective’ gets its mojo back with Mahershala Ali

If you subscribe to the opinion that the original “True Detective” was terrific and the second edition, well, wasn’t, the third marks a bracing case of going back to the future. That’s because this latest season largely mirrors the first, unspooling a mystery across three distinct time frames while receiving an enormous star-power boost courtesy of Mahershala Ali.


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Ghost Detective – Scott William Carter

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Ghost Detective

A Myron Vale Investigation

Scott William Carter

Genre: Paranormal

Publish Date: May 8, 2015

Publisher: Flying Raven Press

Seller: Scott William Carter


Everybody dies. Nobody leaves . . . Award-winning author Scott William Carter returns with a spellbinding tale of a private investigator who bridges both sides of the great divide. After narrowly surviving a near-fatal shooting, Portland detective Myron Vale wakes with a bullet still lodged in his brain, a headache to end all headaches, and a terrible side effect that radically transforms his world for the worse: He sees ghosts. Lots of them. By some estimates, a hundred billion people have lived and died before anyone alive today was even born. For Myron, they're all still here. That's not even his biggest problem. No matter how hard he tries, he can't tell the living from the dead. Despite this, Myron manages to piece together something of a life as a private investigator specializing in helping people on both sides of the great divide–until a stunning blonde beauty walks into his office needing help finding her husband. Myron wants no part of the case until he sees the man's picture … and instantly his carefully reconstructed life begins to unravel. "Carter's writing is on target." – Publishers Weekly "A sultry blonde walks into a detective's office. Big deal, seen it a million times, right? Wrong! THE GHOST DETECTIVE ranks as one of the most ingenious departures from the norm I've seen in a long time … I've always enjoyed Scott William Carter's work, but THE GHOST DETECTIVE takes my admiration to a whole new level. I loved this book. "  – David H. Hendrickson, author of  Cracking the Ice "The Sixth Sense meets Spenser For Hire in Scott William Carter's magnificent Ghost Detective."  - Michael J. Totten, author of Resurrection "Scott is one of those rare writers who can and does cross genres, and do it well. You never know what kind of story you'll get from him, but you do know that it'll be good."  - Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Hugo award-winning author of The Disappeared "Fans of police procedurals with a paranormal twist will enjoy this book. The style and tone of the book reminded me a bit of the original Night Stalker series, but not as graphic or violent." – Jana DeLeon, New York Times Bestselling author of  Trouble in Mudbug From the author of The Gray and Guilty Sea and Wooden Bones, comes this riveting novel of a man cursed with a terrible gift. In a world where everybody dies but nobody leaves, Myron Vale is the rare individual who completely straddles both sides of the great divide. His strange ability resulting from a gunshot to the head while serving as a Portland police officer, a few years later he recovers to forge a new life as private investigator catering to both the living and the dead. With its memorable characters, taut prose, and spellbinding story, Scott William Carter's Ghost Detective will haunt you long after you finish the final pages — a promising launch to what will hopefully be a long-running series. –FRP Never miss a new Myron Vale book : Sign up for the new release mailing list by going to this link (copy/paste into browser):  swcarter.com/news    The Myron Vale Investigations (in chronological order): The Haunted Breadbox (short story prequel) Ghost Detective The Ghost Who Said Goodbye

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The Adventures of Sam Spade, Detective, Collection 1 (Unabridged) – Black Eye Entertainment

Black Eye Entertainment - The Adventures of Sam Spade, Detective, Collection 1 (Unabridged)  artwork

The Adventures of Sam Spade, Detective, Collection 1 (Unabridged)

Black Eye Entertainment

Genre: Arts & Entertainment

Price: $ 11.95

Publish Date: April 2, 2018

© ℗ © 2018 Brilliance Audio

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Mahershala Ali Stars In 3rd Season Trailer For HBO’s ‘True Detective’

mahershala ali true detective third season HBO

Source: HBO / screen cap

After a critically-acclaimed first season and second season that drew mixed reviews, HBO’s crime anthology series True Detective is set to make a return for a third go round. In the starring role, Mahershala Ali brings a steely coolness to the role of an Arkansas police detective troubled by a case.

Ali plays Wayne Hays, featuring the character at various intervals to illustrate that the investigation takes the course of decades and consumes him to the point of obsession.

“Before you ever knew me, I wasn’t scared much. That wasn’t a fear for me. Things I’ve seen, things I know, wouldn’t do anything but cause harm. My whole brain’s a bunch of missing pieces,” Ali says in a voiceover as Hays.

This season of the series looks to be as gripping as Ali goes from sure-footed to frazzled over the course of the quick trailer which, depending on limited visual information, appears to involve missing children and Hays’ hunt for answers.

Starring with Ali in the third season of True Detective are Mamie Gummer, Stephen Dorff and Carmen Ejogo. Daniel Sackheim is the director and series creator and executive producer Nic Pizzolatto will make his debut in the director’s chair as well.

True Detective will come to HBO in January 2019.

Photo: screen cap

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Richard Diamond, Private Detective, Collection 2 (Original Recording) – Black Eye Entertainment

Black Eye Entertainment - Richard Diamond, Private Detective, Collection 2 (Original Recording)  artwork

Richard Diamond, Private Detective, Collection 2 (Original Recording)

Black Eye Entertainment

Genre: Arts & Entertainment

Price: $ 11.95

Publish Date: July 23, 2018

© ℗ © 2018 Brilliance Audio

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Classic Radio’s Greatest Detective Shows, Vol. 1: Classic Radio Collection – Hollywood 360

Hollywood 360 - Classic Radio's Greatest Detective Shows, Vol. 1: Classic Radio Collection  artwork

Classic Radio’s Greatest Detective Shows, Vol. 1: Classic Radio Collection

Hollywood 360

Genre: Arts & Entertainment

Price: $ 11.95

Publish Date: October 14, 2014

© ℗ © 2014 Black Eye Entertainment

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Ace Ventura: Pet Detective – Tom Shadyac

Tom Shadyac - Ace Ventura: Pet Detective  artwork

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

Tom Shadyac

Genre: Comedy

Price: $ 7.99

Rental Price: $ 0.99

Release Date: February 4, 1994


He's the best there is, in fact, he's the only one there is! He's Ace Ventura Pet Detective, on the case to find the Miami Dolphins' missing mascot and quarterback Dan Marino. He goes eyeball to eyeball with a man-eating shark, stakes out the Miami Dolphins and woos and wows the ladies. Whether he's undercover, under fire or underwater, he always gets his man…or beast.

© © 1994 Morgan Creek Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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True Detective Season 3 Is Officially Official and We Even Have a Setting

Mahershala Ali, GQSeason three of True Detective is finally a go.
After months of speculation and even a time when there was a star but not yet an official show, another installment of True Detective is…


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Liquid Cool (The Cyberpunk Detective Series) – Austin Dragon

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Liquid Cool (The Cyberpunk Detective Series)

Austin Dragon

Genre: Adventure

Publish Date: February 14, 2016

Publisher: Well-Tailored Books

Seller: Draft2Digital, LLC


Liquid Cool is the action-packed and funny, debut cyberpunk detective series!  It’s cyberpunk reimagined—science fiction meets the detective thriller in an ever-rainy world of colossal skyscrapers. Hovercars fly above in the dark, bustling skies and gray people walk below on the grimy, flashy streets of this “neon jungle.” Metropolis isn’t a bad place, but it isn’t a good one either. Uber-governments and megacorporations fight for control of the super-city, but so does crime. We were introduced to Liquid Cool, in the prequel short, These Mean Streets, Darkly . We met an average woman, Carol—hardworking and decent in every way—only to have her daughter kidnapped by the psycho cyborg Red Rabbit. Can Police Central find the girl in time—alive? And is it really another senseless act of random violence in the fifty-million-plus supercity?  This story continues…and there are so many more. For the first time, we meet Cruz, our private eye (and unlikely hero), in a supercity with a million victims and perpetrators. Welcome to the high-tech, low-life world of Liquid Cool .  But watch out for tech-tricksters, analog hustlers, and digital gangsters—psychos, samurais, and cyborgs aplenty—they may want your money, or your life, more than you do. Get Your Copy of LIQUID COOL  Right Now and Prepare to be Thrilled with Mystery, Action, and Laughs! And don’t get shot by a laser-pistol-packing cyber-punk on your way to the digital store. FIVE STAR REVIEWS “Lots of shooting, lots of crazy maniacs, lots of action and fun!” “I loved this book. It takes place in the future, and what a weird future.” “A funny, intelligent (and sometimes crazy) main character…playing detective” “Cool and Smooth.” “I had a hard time putting this book down to do things like sleeping and eating.” Enjoy!

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Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (Dramatised) – Douglas Adams

Douglas Adams - Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dramatised)  artwork

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (Dramatised)

Douglas Adams

Genre: Comedy

Price: $ 11.95

Publish Date: November 8, 2007

© ℗ © 2007 BBC Worldwide Limited

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Detective Comics #27 Special Edition (Batman 75 Day Comic 2014) (2014- ) #1 – Bob Kane, Bill Finger, Brad Meltzer, Bryan Hitch, Scott Snyder & Chip Kidd

Bob Kane, Bill Finger, Brad Meltzer, Bryan Hitch, Scott Snyder & Chip Kidd - Detective Comics #27 Special Edition (Batman 75 Day Comic 2014) (2014- ) #1  artwork

Detective Comics #27 Special Edition (Batman 75 Day Comic 2014) (2014- ) #1

Bob Kane, Bill Finger, Brad Meltzer, Bryan Hitch, Scott Snyder & Chip Kidd

Genre: Graphic Novels

Publish Date: July 23, 2014

Publisher: DC Comics

Seller: DC Comics


In his 75 years, Batman has been the central figure at the forefront of graphic storytelling. From the printed page to the big screen, Bob Kane's creation has never been a more significant fixture in popular culture the world over. This BATMAN 75 DAY COMIC 2014, free for a limited time, features the Dark Knight's origin from DETECTIVE COMICS #27 in 1939, as well a retelling of the story by New York Times bestselling novelist Brad Meltzer and illustrator Bryan Hitch and another short story by current BATMAN scribe Scott Snyder and artist Sean Murphy. Also included is a sneak peak at the reimagining of Batman's 1939 comic book debut, designed by Chip Kidd with a script by Meltzer.  Join us as we celebrate the Dark Knight's 75th anniversary.

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Ace Ventura: Pet Detective – Tom Shadyac

Tom Shadyac - Ace Ventura: Pet Detective  artwork

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

Tom Shadyac

Genre: Comedy

Price: $ 14.99

Release Date: February 4, 1994


He's the best there is, in fact, he's the only one there is! He's Ace Ventura Pet Detective. Jim Carrey (The Truman Show, The Mask, Liar Liar) is on the case to find the Miami Dolphins' missing mascot and quarterback Dan Marino. He goes eyeball to eyeball with a man-eating shark, stakes out the Miami Dolphins and woos and wows the ladies. Whether he's undercover, under fire or underwater, he always gets his man…or beast.

© 1997 ACE VENTURA, ACE VENTURA PET DETECTIVE, DESIGN and CATCHPHRASES are trademarks of Morgan Creek Productions, Inc. Program content, Artwork & Photography © 1994 Morgan Creek Productions, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Everybody Exhale, Because the Fargo Season 2 Premiere Was Amazing (No True Detective Curse Here!)

Everyone, you can let out the collective breaths you’ve been holding as you waited to see if Fargo season two was going to be just as amazing as season one of the FX drama. Congratulations,…


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Biggie Smalls Detective — Dies While Interviewing Cop for Explosive Book

The LAPD detective who investigated the death of Biggie Smalls died of an apparent heart attack while interviewing an L.A. County Sheriff’s captain about Biggie’s murder … TMZ has learned.  Russell Poole was at the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau…

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Russell Poole, LAPD Detective Who Investigated Biggie’s Murder, Dies

Russell Poole, the former Los Angeles Police Department detective who alleged The Notorious B.I.G. was killed through a conspiracy, has suddenly died.

Via Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies at the Homicide Bureau reported that Russell Poole collapsed Wednesday morning, according to a sheriff’s department official. He was meeting with detectives about a cold case when he collapsed and was unresponsive. He was rushed to a local hospital, where he died, the coroner’s office said.

Poole worked on Smalls’ murder case for about a year, according to Times archives.

The 24-year-old rapper, born Christopher Wallace and known also as Notorious B.I.G., was shot to death while sitting in a car at a red light in Mid-Wilshire on March 9, 1997.

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The New York rapper’s death spawned countless conspiracy theories, among them that it was somehow connected to the Las Vegas slaying of rapper Tupac Shakur six months earlier because they and their respective record companies were seen as rivals.

Poole advanced the theory that Wallace’s death came from a plot involving a corrupt LAPD detective and Marion “Suge” Knight, who headed Shakur’s company when Shakur was killed. Wallace’s killing was retaliation, Poole suggested.

Knight is now in jail awaiting a possible murder trial in a separate incident and was never implicated in Wallace’s killing.

Poole was heavily featured in the 2003 book, LAbyrinth: A Detective Investigates the Murders of Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G., the Implication of Death Row Records’ Suge Knight, and the Origins of the Los Angeles Police Scandal, written by Randall Sullivan.


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There May Be A Larger Reason For All The ‘True Detective’ Hate

When discussing his masterful 1968 neo-noir Le Samourai, writer/director Jean-Pierre Melville said, “I’m not interested in realism. All my films hinge on the fantastic […] A film is first and foremost a dream.”

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.




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True Detective Finally Gets Busy, Bloody, and Downright Nuts As Someone Actually Dies

Well, we can’t say we saw that coming. We also can’t say we didn’t see it coming. 

To be honest, we haven’t known what to think or see or feel about this show all…


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‘True Detective’ Hits the Restart Button in Episode 5


The case finally moves forward, but everyone’s lives are still a mess.

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Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency – Douglas Adams

Douglas Adams - Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency  artwork

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency

Douglas Adams

Genre: Sci Fi & Fantasy

Price: $ 9.95

Publish Date: December 1, 2004

© ℗ © 2004 Simon & Schuster Audio

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‘True Detective’: Fatal(?) Gunshots and More Reveals From Episode 2


The actual case of Caspere’s death, and the competing interests working on it, come more to light, giving it some forward momentum that the premiere lacked.

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Everything Is Papier-Mâché On ‘True Detective’ Episode 2

The season premiere of “True Detective” proved divisive last week, but entertainment editors Erin Whitney and Matthew Jacobs are sticking to their promise to discuss the show every Sunday. This week’s episode dove slightly deeper into the mystery of Ben Caspare’s death. The city manager’s grizzly autopsy report prompted Ray (Colin Farrell) and Ani (Rachel McAdams) to question whether a penchant for prostitutes led to his demise. Meanwhile, we got an unsettling look at Paul’s (Taylor Kitsch) family life, more of the series’ noirish driving scenes, Frank (Vince Vaughn) worrying about his riches and a cliffhanger that could (rightfully) take the show in a whole other direction. Let’s discuss.

Spoiler alert for “True Detective” Season 2, Episode 2, “Night Finds You.”

Matthew Jacobs: Hi, Erin! We were pretty cruel toward last week’s premiere, and the comments on our review seem to indicate a good number of people agreed with us. Then again, we were graced with a slew of ad hominem attacks on Twitter and via email, so clearly some of you took the episode as seriously as it took itself. Sadly, I don’t think I’ll be able to please the latter crop, so prep your aggression now, gracious readers.

I will say that Episode 2 was marginally better than the first. But hold on while I nod off as Frank moans about his self-made wealth (“Everything is papier-mâché” is an actual line uttered — twice) and while Ray, Ani and Paul exchange vacant side glares as they examine Ben Caspere’s body. On the other side lies the season’s first intriguing scene: Paul’s mother stroking his back and using what I assume is some sort of creepy euphemism when she tells him twice that he can have his “old room” if he spends the night. What is happening there? Give me more of that — it actually feels like there is a character with layers on the screen and not hollow bodies who shepherd the vague plot from one phase to the next.

taylor kitsch

Erin Whitney: Before I jump into this and thus throw myself into the gladiator pit against “True Detective” defenders, let me at least say that I’m not simply comparing this week’s new episode to Season 1. I will reference the initial season, though, because it’s difficult not to mourn something great in the midst of watching the melodramatic scenes from this week’s episode.

That opening sequence where Frank recalls his childhood with his drunk father is painful to watch, but in the wrong way. What should play as a poignant emotional moment is instead drenched in cheap desperation. Way longer than necessary, the scene feels like it’s ripped straight out of an actor’s guidebook to auditioning: the hardened criminal shows his vulnerability by recounting memories of his abusive daddy locking him in the basement. Pizzolatto has somehow lost all sense of subtlety in his writing to the point that I can’t help but wonder if he’s playing a joke on us.

Jump ahead to the car scenes between Ray and Ani and the group meeting between all three detectives. Each of these plays like a parody of Season 1 and, in general, much of quality television. Their conversations seem superfluous, or at least insignificant to the plot at hand. They don’t reveal any distinct or deeper qualities about the characters. Part of me thinks Pizzolatto has completely flipped his writing style to subvert our expectations of what TV should be, which is what Matt Johnston claimed in his Business Insider review. Even so, that’s not remotely engaging or serving any storytelling or symbolic purpose (at least not yet). I pray my mind will be changed by the end of the season — I desperately want to be in awe of this show. But so far, I’m simply not convinced.

Matt: I can’t say I buy that there is that much self-awareness at play, but I’ve seen others make arguments about its meta relationship to prestige programming, too. The show doesn’t seem to realize what it’s lacking, which is a sense of identity within the world it depicts. Every location featured is a grubby, nondescript part of this fictional LA-adjacent town, and without color from local denizens drifting through the background, it is rendered culture-less. That’s why I griped about the freeway shots last week — they reflect the web of plots the show has weaved, but do little to immerse us in what makes this town tick and why Caspere’s disappearance is worth eight talky hours of television. The same goes for the car scenes, where Ray and Ani carry on meaningless conversations that don’t unearth much about their worldviews or the communities they defend. And that green screen? HBO, please tell me the screeners you provided to press still needed color-correction work, because damn. If we thought the aerial shots do nothing for the season’s world-building, just look at the streets these characters drive down.

I thought the scene with Paul’s mother accomplished what most of the others did not in hinting at a mysterious backstory that we actually want to take the time to understand. I criticized his suicidal bender last week, but could Paul actually be the season’s best character? Not that he has much competition: I still don’t understand much about Ani and it seems like the show thinks we know more about Frank than we actually do, while Ray is so on the nose that I understand far too much about him. But wait! Maybe he’s dead? Those final few moments were pretty gripping, and it could point to interesting things to come. But I find it hard to believe he’s actually a goner.

vince vaughn colin farrell

Erin: I enjoyed the scene between Paul and his mother as well and finally began to feel a sense of discomfort, which is something this season has lacked so far. But I also really loved the final scene with Ray in Caspere’s secret home. The animal masks and vintage radio amped up the (possible) presence of the occult, and things were just starting to get interesting. Like you said, I can’t imagine the season killing off its lead character just yet. Still, it feels a bit cheap to tease audiences with such a big cliffhanger so early on.

The lack of identity you mention is my main criticism of the first two episodes overall. This season has no sense of place, which is surprising for a plot so grounded in a distinct locale. The corruption and grimy immorality of last season hung over every episode, reminding viewers of the horrors of world Rust and Marty were immersed in. It’s fine that Season 2 isn’t trying to recreate that feeling, but it makes the atmosphere that much less intriguing. Why care about a kidnapped official from a city no one cares for in the first place? Even after two episodes, I still don’t feel like we’ve witnessed enough of the idiosyncrasies of the fictional Vinci — I’m longing to see more of it, but the low-quality crushing car scenes and brief shots of factories do little to characterize it. Whatever happens moving forward, I hope that final scene pays off in a major way.

Matt: It gave me the sense that Ray knew more than the audience did. There was a certain comfort on his face as he lurked through Caspere’s home, implying his power-abusing corruption might extend to the expired city manager. That would give his need to retain custody over his possibly illegitimate son — the part of his life that he sees as a saving grace — a sense of purpose that stretches beyond clichéd daddy issues. Conversely, maybe he’s working to crush Frank’s entire operation after spending so much time indebted to him. That’s a script-flipping I’d sign on for. Either would ground the mystery by contouring the good-or-evil debate the show hasn’t convinced us to invest in regarding these characters. Maybe this is Season 2’s turning point. Here’s to hoping for a more immersive discussion next week.

Erin: The possibility of Ray withholding information and/or conning Frank all along is the most exciting theory yet, and one that could quickly turn me into a fan of this season. I’ve wondered whether scrutinizing this show episode by episode may hurt our perception of it. Last season I fell so deeply down the rabbit hole of uncovering the Yellow King’s identity that I nearly lost sight of the overall story at hand. While I’m still skeptical, I am going to try to pull back a bit and let the next few episodes wash over me, and hopefully they will surprise us both.

“True Detective” airs on Sundays at 9:00 p.m. ET on HBO.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



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‘True Detective’ Season 2 Premiere Falls As Flat As A Circle

After more than a year of casting rumors, memes and hashtag wish lists and confusion over the plot, “True Detective” Season 2 finally premiered on Sunday night. The first episode of the new season, which is completely separate from Season 1, introduced audiences to a new round of characters, a fictional city and an entirely new mystery. Each week, The Huffington Post Entertainment editors Matthew Jacobs and Erin Whitney will gab about their thoughts on the season. First up, a bit of a bummer with Sunday’s premiere:

Spoiler alert for “True Detective” Season 2, Episode 1, “The Western Book of the Dead.”

Erin Whitney: So, Matt, after all the hype building up to “True Detective” Season 2 — and there was a lot of it — the first episode has arrived and we can finally start to discuss it. I will say, I was doubtful about the casting at first, primarily with Vince Vaughn in a darker role, but the first trailer sold me. Dark, brooding, moody — everything I loved about Season 1, and was excited to find in Season 2. But alas, after watching Sunday’s premiere, I’m sad to say I was incredibly underwhelmed, not to mention pretty confused. It was one thing to simply feel underread, but enjoyably mystified by Rust Cohle’s existential musings last year, but I had little idea what was going on during this season’s premiere. Even after rewinding a few scenes to try and figure out who’s who and what’s what, frankly, I didn’t feel much incentive to care. What was your reaction?

true detective colin farrell

Matthew Jacobs: Oh, how I long to disagree with you. The only thing I knew before watching “True Detective” last year was that Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson were at the center. When I finished the first episode, I was stunned. I wanted more, and I wanted it right then and there. I loved it so much that I was very forgiving of the contentious finale. I was expecting at least a tinge of that in Season 2. But if I weren’t paid to write about pop culture, I would have little impetus to keep watching. The episode felt cobbled together from Season 1 tropes — how many sweeping overhead shots of a California freeway can a person stand? — with characters who talked like Shakespearean outtakes but offered little in the way of intriguing plot. A brooding Colin Farrell beating up the parent of a child who bullied his son? Snooze. Taylor Kitsch on some sort of windblown suicide bender? No thanks. It seems like the absence of Cary Fukunaga, who directed every episode last year, may be more detrimental than I’d anticipated.

Erin: You hit all of the points perfectly. I’m still mourning Fukunaga’s departure, and not just his style as a director specifically, but the harmony of his eye with Nic Pizzolatto’s writing. Together, those two created a dark and eerie atmosphere that hooked me in regardless of the central mystery. With this first episode, it feels like director Justin Lin is struggling to capture the depths of the script and the inhumanity of the California crime world the season seeks to explore. Instead we’re left with repetitive, stylized overhead shots that make me as sleepy and bored as I’d feel in the passenger seat on the 405 freeway.

And, of course, I realize we’re both finding disappointment through comparison to Season 1, which in itself is a bit unfair. But even distancing this season from Pizzolatto’s previous achievement, I at least expected to meet characters that defied the general stereotypes of the distraught, rage-fueled alcoholic cop. Farrell’s Ray Velcoro seems to be a tragically misunderstood father until he proves he’s actually an awful one with a drinking problem. Kitsch’s Paul Woodrugh rides his motorcycle as some sort of anger-management therapy. Rachel McAdams’ Ani Bezzerides seems pretty cold and pissed off. I love that each of these characters are lost souls struggling to find purpose, but it’s difficult to actually feel anything while watching them. They felt less palpable and dimensional than Rust’s Lone Star can cutouts from last year. But this is just the first episode, so there’s still hope.

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Matt: There is hope, but my biggest gripe is how unfocused and overcrowded the opener felt. You and I don’t mind spending time in gloomy, grisly worlds — we both love “The Leftovers,” after all — but if I were to judge Season 2 based on the premiere, it doesn’t seem like the show has much of a hook. It’s self-serious in all sorts of uninteresting ways. “City manager disappears right before a major transportation deal” isn’t an alluring logline, but at least give us characters with identities instead of flat descriptors like “angry cop” and “destructive loner.” As of now, it feels like the logline is more like “Watch while tough folks with ambiguously bad pasts and rough family situations wallow about.” And that final shot, where the central quartet comes together for the first time? That should have marked a bold culmination, or something remotely resembling a cliffhanger, and instead the camera panning across their faces felt like a parody.

Erin: I couldn’t have put it better myself. That final panning shot of all three characters meeting was in the initial trailer HBO released and was one of the things that got me excited for the season. Unlikely detectives uniting to solve a disturbing crime by pulling from the dark remnants of their past is exactly what Pizzolatto was all about. Yet, like I wrote above, none of the characters so far feel a fraction as original as Rust Cohle or Marty Hart. And when they finally met in Sunday’s episode, you could almost feel their own lack of enthusiasm for what’s to come.

Overall, the writing, the direction and even the slow-brewing plot, so far, feel unfinished and just as lost as Ray, Ani and Paul each appear to be. While watching the premiere, I couldn’t help but think Pizzolatto was rushed into piecing together this season, and with the intention of distancing it as far as possible from Season 1. While I appreciate the anthology aspect of this series and that Season 2 is embracing a whole new story, it’s still missing the awe-inspiring confidence of its predecessor. We were all wowed by Rust and Marty’s story because it was so richly embedded in literature, philosophy and the psychology behind the season’s crimes, and it felt certain of it’s direction from the start. Now, though, these three lost detectives, and the truth behind the dead city manager, fall as flat as Rust’s metaphorical circle.

Matt: And yet, I’ll cut the show some slack because, after all, it is only the first episode. I haven’t watched the other two episodes that HBO provided to press because last year’s red herring-laden season felt better suited for weekly marination. Clearing the bar set by an Emmy-winning mega-hit is tough, but here’s hoping the next installment is focused and provides a more lucid window into the macabre Los Angeles area the show is attempting to depict. It’s obvious from the incessant aerial shots that the whole “the city is a character” mantra applies, but without the otherworldliness — and specificity — of the Louisiana bayous, that come across as vacant. Paint a better picture of why the location matters, and convince us to care for the suicidal (Kitsch), irascible (Farrell), weary (McAdams) characters at the center, and we’ll be in business. If not, the new season’s consciousness will be a tragic misstep in the “True Detective” evolution.

“True Detective” airs on Sundays at 9:00 p.m ET on HBO.

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