Monday, May 14, 2018

The Lovecraftan Thing a Day (2018) No.134: True Detectve, Season 1

Accompanied by accusations of plagiarism, and disappointment on the part of some weird fiction fans who felt that it didn’t make good in its promise of an actual, full-on, Lovecraftian/cosmic horror reveal in the finale - not to mention the toxic masculinity which runs through the entire thing - season 1 of HBO’s True Detective somehow also managed to be one of the most beautifully-shot, artfully-scripted, and well-acted televisual events of 2014 - one which remains probably one of the biggest thing to happen to weird fiction and cosmic horror in recent years: Chambers, Machen, Lovecaft and modern masters like Barron and Ligotti are all subtly (or not so subtly) referenced here; the following scene in particular (one of the one’s which led to accusations of plagiarism being levelled at lead writer Nic Pizzolatto) is pure Ligotti:

For my part, I still feel conflicted about True Detective; whilst I’m glad that it didn’t opt for an outright Lovecaftian conclusion a la Inspector Legrasse disrupting the Cthulhu cult ritual, I also felt slightly cheated that decades of weird fiction were being drawn on blithely and in a manner which sometimes felt like nothing more than fashionably noirish mood-setting - rather than an attempt to really engage with the philosophical core of the genre. And whilst I actually did like the concluding scene of the season (with reservations about how it ultimately overvalued forms of toxically-masculine bonding over other kinds of human relations), it was nonetheless something of a betrayal of the source material.

No comments:

Post a Comment