Genre: Drama
Premise: A family who owns an upscale hotel in the Florida Keys sees their world turned upside-down with the re-emergence of their oldest son, the Black Sheep of the family.
About: We got another Netflix series here, this one from Damages creators Todd A. Kessler, Daniel Zelman, and Glenn Kessler. I never watched Damages cause it wasn’t my type of show. But I repeatedly heard about how well-written it was, which is why I decided to check this out. The show will star Friday Night Lights’ Kyle Chandler, as well as Chloe Sevigny and Steven Pasquale. The creators (Glenn and Todd are brothers) reportedly worked for an entire year on their pitch, which Netflix ate up. The Kessler brothers attended Harvard as well as went to film school at NYU. Not a bad pedigree.
Writers: Todd A. Kessler, Daniel Zelman, and Glenn Kessler
Details: 88 pages – First Writer’s Draft – 11/14/13

Friday Night LightsKyle Chandler will star, presumably as Sheriff John Rayburn

Here’s the problem when a business sector starts thriving. Everyone rushes into it. The excitement accompanied by this rush has the unintended effect of loosening quality control. Everyone figures there’s so much good going on, why stop it? Look no further than the boom of Reality TV. Do you remember when all you had to do to get a reality TV show was show up with a half-baked idea? Joe Millionaire! Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire? My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance!

Okay, okay. So that’s not that far from where we are now. But you have to remember that back then there was one-tenth the number of outlets for those shows. Finally, someone realized, “Hey wait a minute. We need some quality control!”

I think there’s a little of that going on with the TV boom right now. People are so excited that TV is doing well that they’re getting kinda lazy. Take WGN’s Manhattan. What’s the point of this show??? We’re gonna diddle around with a bunch of science nerds until they blow up Japan? Do we really need 7 seasons of television to tell that story? I don’t think we do. But people are so eager to fill up these original TV slots that they say, hell, why not??

I bring this up because despite the glut of shows hitting the airwaves, we haven’t had a true breakout show in awhile. True Detective maybe? But that was more of a mini-series. The Blacklist? Ehhh… I feel like the only people who watch that are James Spader’s family. I’m wondering if that’s a result of this lack of quality control, or if we’ve just reached a point where there are more TV slots than there are good writers. Granted, I’ve read some good TV scripts this year. But writing a good TV script isn’t the same as making a good TV show.  The only thing you have to go on is, have they done it before?  And today’s writers have.

The Rayburn family pretty much owns one of the islands in the Florida Keys. They have a thriving upscale hotel business that has made them rich beyond their wildest dreams. Each member of the family has something good going for them. There’s John, who’s the town sheriff. There’s Kevin, who has a thriving business fixing boats. There’s Meg, who helps manage the hotel, and then there’s mom and dad, who own it. Each of them are beyond content with their lives.

And then there’s Danny. The black sheep. He’s the sibling who never follows through on his commitments. Who only shows up when he needs money. Who hangs out with the sketchy crew. And who always screws up even the most minor situations.

So when The Rayburn family has their annual Family/Hotel weekend-long party-thing, guess who’s the last one to show up (if you guess John you are a bad reader).  Although I can’t say I blame Danny. The Rayburns idea of fun is holding family swimming contests and taking the canoe out for a morning paddle.

Things start to unravel at the ball-sized dinner when Danny purposefully shows up with a cheap townie in order to cause a scene. It’s revealed that Meg, meanwhile, is cheating on her boyfriend. And John is pulled away from the party where he learns that a second woman this month has been burned and drowned, this right before the big tourist season.

As is the case with all seemingly perfect families, we get the sense that this one isn’t as beautiful underneath as it is above. And this will play out in the worst way, when the family collectively makes the decision to do something unfathomable, something so terrible, that it will change their family…forever.

61st+Annual+Primetime+Emmy+Awards+Arrivals+kHwlBUQHx_WlChloe Sevigny will likely play sister, Meg.

I’m going to be honest here. One of the reasons I never watched Damages was because it looked like it was written by… hmm, how do I say this?  By entitled well-off, got-all-the-breaks in life Ivy League folk who write for like-minded people.  It kind of had that “You’re not invited to the adult table” exclusivity feel to it. It just looked so serious and smart.

Now I admit I don’t know if it actually played that way, but the first half of KZK definitely backs this assumption up. You can feel the writers’ pedigree slithering up the page. I felt at times like I was Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network, sneaking into a Final Club where I didn’t belong. I mean where in life do people really worry about things like what table they’re assigned to for dinner.  It’s dinner. Bring out the food and let’s eat!

For that reason, I couldn’t relate to any of these characters, which made it hard to care about anyone. Ironically, the only character I related to on any level was Danny, because he looked down on this elaborate lifestyle. The problem was, Danny was such an asshole that I still couldn’t root for the guy.

Luckily, as the script went on, it started to feel more like a story, particularly when the dead burned woman showed up. But it was really Danny who kept this pilot afloat. He was our only source of conflict. It was like dropping a piranha into a pool of goldfish. Everywhere he goes, he makes people uncomfortable, he changes the direction of the moment. Which was exciting to read.

A perfect example is the big dinner. Danny shows up at the table with some half-wit waitress from town and just lets her drink as much as possible. The family, who’s supposed to appear perfect to the crowd, now has this townie-bomb slurping up every apple-tini in sight, preparing to do who knows what to embarrass the hell out of them. And that certainly kept me reading.

I will put my foot down and say there’s a device I’m seeing a lot of in pilot writing that I don’t like. And I saw it here too. The writer writes a big flash-forward teaser, one that implies something bad will happen later, and then skates by the next 30 pages on the assumption that this has generated enough suspense that they can use those pages to set up characters in the most boring way possible.

The 30 pages after our teaser amount to people preparing for the party. The sequence was obviously inspired by 70s movies like The Godfather and The Deer Hunter, but (and I know this will drive Grendl crazy to hear) audiences don’t have the patience for that stuff anymore. Not unless you’re packing some plot into those pages, giving us other things to look forward to. If you go ten minutes without something happening, your viewer is checking their e-mail.

Now in an interview with the writers (something I went searching for when nothing happened for ten pages), they said this was going to be a show that no one had ever done before on TV. So I was looking for any elements to back this claim up. I could only find one. Danny keeps encountering some woman that he’s both terrified and intrigued by. She seems to show up and disappear at the oddest moments, and we begin to suspect (or at least I did) that she may have been someone Danny killed in the past. It was weird and definitely peaked my curiosity.

But then something beyond unexpected happened that made this development moot. And I’m going to get into major spoiler territory here so you might want to turn away. Here was this Danny guy – the only interesting thing about this pilot – some might say the key to this pilot working, and then at the end, the family fucking kills him! I read it three times to make sure I read it correctly. But yes, they actually kill off the best character in the script.

Now there are a couple of hints here that this could be one of those flashback-type shows. Where we’re jumping forward and backward in time a lot. Which means Danny may not be entirely gone. But I thought that was a pretty bold move from the writers, and it turned what was a slightly above average pilot into something ballsier. I like when shows show balls. In a world where so many writers stick on 17, it’s the guys that say “hit me” that win the big pot.

I remember the Game of Thrones pilot script doing something similar. After spending its first 60 pages doing nothing but setting up an endless list of characters, it wowed us with the incest/push the kid off the tower ending. So maybe this should be a new trend. The kill or maim a main character at the end of your pilot move?

I don’t know. But with the pedigree of these writers and the reports of how much Netflix loved this pitch, there should be a big push behind it. It’ll be interesting to see where it goes.

[ ] what the hell did I just read?
[ ] wasn’t for me
[x] worth the read
[ ] impressive
[ ] genius

What I learned: Drop a piranha into the pool. Instead of having to pull your pick axe out every time you want to dig for conflict, just create a “piranha” character, someone who IS conflict. Therefore, every scene you drop them into, the conflict writes itself. Danny was that character here.

  • Nicholas J

    The Blacklist? Ehhh… I feel like the only people who watch that are James Spader’s family.


  • Tailmonsterfriend

    >So maybe this should be a new trend. The “kill or maim a main character at the end of your pilot” move?

    Well, cliffhangers have been a staple of TV writing for a while, but I think streaming formats (Netflix originals, HBO Go, etc.) are starting to have an impact on the how and why of cliffhangers. Used to be you only had to get viewers hooked until the commercial break was up; now, you need to get them hooked until the next season is out. So naturally there’s going to be a cliffhanger arms race.

    To me, the most interesting cliffhangers are the ones that really change everything you’ve just watched. Remember the cliffhanger of the Lost pilot? Here you were thinking these nice people are stranded on this island, and maybe this will be about survival, never giving up, the human condition and all that, when suddenly, BAM! JUNGLE MONSTER, BITCHES! With that, the pilot you just watched reveals its true face, and under the mask there’s a scary monster.

    Or the first season episode where we find out (THPOILER!) that Locke was paraplegic before the crash. All of a sudden, the past episodes take on a whole different meaning.

    GOOD cliffhangers/shock twists don’t just work forward on the arrow of time, they also work backward in time, changing the meaning of the past. Best example, The Usual Suspects. Completely changes the movie you just watched and makes you want to watch it AGAIN. (That’s also what makes the GoT pilot cliffhanger so good; hits on the character level (“That poor kid!”) and the plot level (“Oh shiiit, those blonde freaks aren’t the king’s kids!”). Dramatic irony!)

    Going solely on Carson’s description, it sounds like the Rayburn Family twist relies mostly on the shock value of killing a likable character rather than any big plot-level reveals. Not sure if that’s going to be enough to hook a large enough audience.

  • UrbaneGhoul

    Ah, Chloe Sevigny. I adore her. Sons of Anarchy has a “person appears and disappears in moments” thing going on, too. You can kill as many characters you want, but if the characters left aren’t up to snuff, then it’s all for nothing.

  • Scott Strybos

    I agree about the Teaser Flash-forward device. It is a guarantee, not a possible sign, but a guarantee, that the next twenty pages or so are going to be boring. It is why the writer placed the teaser there. To make up for a slow paced first act.

    Beware of the flash-forward teaser….

  • Poe_Serling

    “What I learned: Drop a piranha into the pool.”


    Drop some live bait into a pool of piranhas and see how ‘it’ reacts.

    • fragglewriter

      Thanks for the clip. I’ve never hard of the movie before so now I have another movie to add to my list of things to watch.

      • Poe_Serling

        Yeah, it’s a wonderfully bizarre movie. Written and Directed by William Peter Blatty. Full of knowing nods to other films, especially a great running gag involving the film The Great Escape.

    • klmn

      Can you drop a piranha while you’re jumping the shark?

      • Poe_Serling

        I bet the Fonz could. ;-)

    • davejc

      Killer Kane!

      And the brain child of Shutter Island :)

  • kent

    Sounds like Dallas. Or Days of Our Lives. Anyone have the script, I’d love to see how this got past the gatekeepers?

    • klmn

      I thought the movie Carson reviewed yesterday sounded like a soap opera. Maybe he is into daytime television?

  • Sebastian Cornet

    As the big Oz fan that I am (and spoilers for the show are coming), I can’t keep from pointing out that in 1997 Tom Fontana pulled off the whole killing the lead guy thing in the first episode of Oz. Yes, you can argue he wasn’t really the lead of the show, but as far as the pilot is concerned, that’s what we were supposed to believe. Poor Tom, he never gets all the praise he should.

    And as the self-promoting whore that I am, I want to invite you guys to check out the bullet-fast, scene-by-scene analysis of Pulp Fiction on my new blog “A Pair of Tools.” Last week was Reservoir Dogs, next week I’m thinking of doing Kill Bill. Feel free to drop by, I don’t bite (often).

    Here’s the link:

    • klmn

      Good analysis. I’m looking forward to the rest of it.

      You haven’t got to the gimp scene yet, but I wonder if Tarentino got the idea for the mask from Russ Meyer’s Up. In that film, the mask is worn by a woman in the opening sequence, abusing a Hitleresque character. Unfortunately the rest of that movie doesn’t live up to that sequence.

      You can see the whole movie – or as much as you care to – on YouTube.

      • Sebastian Cornet

        Probably, I have yet to meet somebody who knows so many B-class (and below) movies and can turn some of their better moments into gold. I think I just realized something for which I’ll have to give you a shout-out in my next entry.

        All of Butch’s sequence will be up tomorrow. Fair warning, I’m not the biggest fan of that part of the movie, but the pawnshop scene more than makes up for some of the weaker stuff.

        Always glad to hear from a fan!

  • Storymark

    “The Blacklist? Ehhh… I feel like the only people who watch that are James Spader’s family.”

    Comments like that make it hard to even finish. I don’t watch the show either – but Im not so naive as to think a huge hit show has no audience. It saps credibility out of the gate.

    • jw

      I have to admit that comment confused me a bit. Unless Spader has 12.5 million people in his family, this is the number the premiere of The Blacklist opened to last night. I’m not about to defend the show or the premiere episode because it was about as focused as a five-year old on speed in the middle of a Jerry Bruckheimer production, but it was the #1 most DVRed show last season and clearly has a semi-decent following. I’d be interested to see what those numbers would look like without the lead-in from The Voice, but overall it’s a show that seems to draw a decent crowd.

      • charliesb

        You know, I find it curious that the demographic 18-49 exists. It should be more like 18-25, 26-39 and 40-49. Much like another extremely high rated show on TV (NCIS) I feel like the bulk of the people watching are in the older bracket.

        Now I only bring this up, because it seems older people (who watch shows like this) love procedurals. They want in and out. They’ll enjoy a season long story arc, like Red John or Gormogon, but they don’t need the kind of unpredictable plot lines and challenging character arcs that you’ll find on lower rated cable shows. These shows aren’t pushing any envelopes. They don’t take advantage of their long format styles to really draw us into a story or their characters. They repeat TV tropes and recycle plot lines. They pull in 12.5 million viewers a week, inspire spin offs, and rip offs, eventually fall off and are forgotten.

        It’s not necessarily a bad thing, there is a place for shows like this, and the 15 incarnations of NCIS and CSI. But the scale is feeling unbalanced. If there was one intelligent and entertaining drama for every one of these type of shows, I’d be a lot happier.

    • JakeMLB

      Jokes, how do they work?

  • Scott Strybos

    OT: Does anyone have Aaron Sorkin’s unproduced screenplay, The Farnsworth Invention? (Not the stageplay, the screenplay.) I had a copy of the screenplay years ago and just now remembered that it was one of the many scripts I lost it in a computer crash a couple years ago. I am a fan of the play, I flew down to San Diego for the first showing at La Jolla, and would like to have the screenplay-adaptation back.

  • Andrew Parker

    “I like when shows show balls. In a world where so many writers stick on 17, it’s the guys that say “hit me” that win the big pot.”

    I don’t watch Scandal, but I think that’s what happened in the pilot when it’s revealed Kerry Washington’s character is having an affair with the President. Or to an even lesser degree, at the end of the Mad Men pilot when it’s revealed that Don Draper goes home to a wife and kids at night.

    IMDB has Danny played by Ben Mendelsohn (solid actor) and appearing in at least six episodes. The hook for this isn’t as sharp as House of Cards or Orange is the New Black, so it faces an uphill battle. Though speaking of hitting on 17, you gotta love in the House of Cards pilot when they do a reverse “Save the Cat” when Spacey kills the dog, albeit to put it out of its misery.

    • drifting in space

      That show was amaze balls. Favorite show along with Breaking Bad and GoT.

  • Midnight Luck

    Happy 20th Anniversary to SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION!

    It’s my favorite movie of all time (along with WHEN HARRY MET SALLY, they have to share the distinction).

    It is playing in town on the big screen, I’ll definitely be going to see it that way again. The movie is one of the only true Classic movies of the last 20 years (along with PULP FICTION).

    I still cannot believe FORREST GUMP beat Shawshank and Pulp for best Picture in 1995. Yes it was the most successful money wise, but ticket sales almost never equate to quality level.

    • Scott Strybos

      I could see why some of the boys took him for snobby. He had a quiet way about him, a walk and a talk that just wasn’t normal around here. He strolled, like a man in a park without a care or a worry in the world, like he had on an invisible coat that would shield him from this place. Yeah, I think it would be fair to say… I liked Andy from the start.

    • Acarl

      Re -watch factor:
      1.) Shawshank
      2.) Pulp Fiction
      3.) Forrest Gump

      • Kirk Diggler

        1a) Shawshank
        1b) Pulp Fiction
        33) Forrest Gump

        • Nicholas J

          1) Fargo

          • Midnight Luck

            Fargo was a phenomenal film, but different time, different year(’96).

          • Nicholas J

            Oh, we’re limited to 94? Fine. I’ll change my vote to the film that is quite possibly John Hughes’s best. You know which one I’m talking about.

            1) Baby’s Day Out

        • Midnight Luck

          1) Shawshank
          2) Pulp Fiction
          103) Forrest Gump

          (that year)

      • Acarl

        My list is only accounting for these three films

    • andyjaxfl

      My brother, who sees a new movie maybe once a year, pressured me to sit down and watch Shawshank with him in the summer of 1995 when I was 16. I thought it was going to be horrifically boring, but ten minutes in and I was hooked. The five minutes of Red’s “The longest night” speech where everyone on the cell block thinks Andy killed himself remains the most intense five minutes of my cinematic viewing life.

      • Midnight Luck

        I think the opening scene is, if not the greatest opening scene ever, at least one of the top two. Nothing boring in the movie, nothing.

        I thank your brother for getting you to go.
        I saw it opening day ( I am so thankful for having made that choice, and went back again and again).
        Some of the best and most memorable 142 minutes I have ever spent.

        • Magga

          What’s the other one!

    • Casper Chris

      The movie is one of the only true Classic movies of the last 20 years (along with PULP FICTION).

      I’d add City of God. Probably also The Lord of The Rings. And maybe American Beauty.

      • Midnight Luck

        Yes, City of God was an absolutely phenomenal film. It is a favorite of mine as well (but I have oh so many).

      • Sebastian Cornet

        Not only do you know “City of God” but you put it on the same level as “Shawshank”?

        I’m off to mine enough granite to build you a statue!

      • kenglo

        CITY OF GOD….. I watched this (again) a couple of months ago….’twas a great film!

    • Magga

      Zodiac, Munich, Social Network, American Movie, Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch-Drunk Love, There Will Be Blood, The Master, Eternal Sunshine, The Impostor, The Fog of War, Seven, Eyes Wide Shut, The Insider, You The Living, A Serious Man, No Country For Old Men, Wolf of Wall Street, The Departed, The Usual Suspects, The Sixth Sense, Waking Life, The Before Trilogy, The Secret In Their Eyes, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Ratatoille, on and on. We live in the worst era of cinema except possibly the eighties, but there are still probably a hundred films I’d compare to the historic greats

  • fragglewriter

    Piranha characters are do great is because it just takes one person to upset the tone of the room.


    I was just signing in to say that. Well, the first part anyway; I loved Damages except season 3 if I recall correctly.

    But yeah, the flash forward is sort of their thing.

  • peisley

    Harvard and/or NYU seems to have cornered the pedigree market.

  • jw

    And, let’s just say it now… RIP True Detective. Pay attention to this, as it will later be added to the long list of “HOW TO KILL A GREAT SHOW IN ONLY ITS SECOND SEASON.” Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn. Wow. A huge THANK YOU to HBO for freeing up an additional hour in my day. I definitely need it to write. Well done kids, well done.

    • Kirk Diggler

      Ehhh… c’mon. Farrel was great in In Bruges. Vaughn was great in… okay, it’s been awhile since Swingers. But great writing can inspire actors to great things. It wasn’t that long ago that Matthew McConaughey was a bit of a joke (Fool’s Gold, Failure to Launch) and now look at him. Just a couple good roles in a row and he’s back on top of the A list.

      • jw

        That’s not true at all. First, Vaughn is a straight-up commercial comedic actor. Period. The Watch, The Internship, Delivery Man & Anchorman 2. For years McConaughey had gone “underground” and started doing A LOT of dramatic indies – The Lincoln Lawyer, Killer Joe, The Paperboy, Dallas Buyers and the like, which made his transition to True Detective quite organic. Harrelson was really the same story, changing to more serious roles, especially in stuff like Out of the Furnace. With something this dark I just don’t exactly get it. Farrell is OKAY, and could make it work, but I’ve never been a huge fan and casting Vaughn just seems like he knew someone who could get him work after a series of flops. #keepitreal

        • Kirk Diggler

          The films you mention (The Lincoln Lawyer, Killer Joe, The Paperboy, Dallas Buyers) are all from the last couple of years. I said it wasn’t that long ago that MM’s films were cheap and cheesy, and gave two examples. My point being, that if McC kept making films like Failure to Launch that you’d be griping about how they ruined the show by casting Matt McC.

          I don’t know if Vaughn is capable of handling the dramatic aspects of True Detective. He’s doesn’t have a good track record in that department. And yes it was an easier transition for McC to do True after he had already done the roles you mention above. Maybe VV will surprise you? Either way, you can’t claim your viewing experience is ruined before they’ve even shot an episode of the 2nd season. I’m willing to keep an open mind.

        • Acarl

          You’ll very surprised when Vaughn pulls this off – watch Clay Pigeons or Return to Paradise. He can do drama quite well.

          • Acarl

            Farrel is the weak link in Season 2.

    • Linkthis83

      They should’ve had Vince for season one playing Reggie Ledoux. Maybe a scene of backstory where Reggie (Vaughn) is trying to convince Errol to kidnap and murder people (Favreu):

      REGGIE: C’mon baby, listen to me. You and me, we’re gonna take that place your grandfather left you and turn it into our den. We’ll get some honeys, bring’em home. We’ll treat’em real nice. Are you in, baby? I know you’re in.

      ERROL: Oh…I don’t know, Reggie. I’ve been out of the game a long time now. I’m just not in the right place, you know. With my half-sister breaking up with me, I’m just not sure I could be the guy a girl needs…

      REGGIE: Baby, what are you saying right now. Daddy doesn’t want to hear this. You got what all these girls need, you just don’t remember. Daddy’s going to show you. C’mon baby. We turn that place around, we kidnap some girls, they call us Daddy, they might be screaming for their actual daddies, but baby, this is our gig. We get some twigs, stitch’em together, we make feel all special and holy, we call the place Carcosa. It’s so money, it’s so money you don’t even know it.

      ERROL: Are you listening to me, I can’t do this. The timing just isn’t right for me…

      REGGING: Timing, baby? You’re worried about timing. Timing is a flat circle that the Daddies and Honeys have already traveled and infinite number of circuits. Baby, it’s your place, I understand if you don’t want it getting too crazy. However, I got one on the hook already. Her name’s Marie, I’m sure she’s got a nice friend for you. Or I can take the nice friend and you, baby, can have Marie. Daddy doesn’t care. These girls want to party. We’ll get you gold suit, you’ll look like Elvis, they’ll call you the King. C’mon, Daddy knows you want this. CARCOSA, BABY! CARCOSA!

    • James Michael

      I totally disagree with this.
      People love harping on about how the casting of certain actors kills the role before it’s even been filmed. I remember when Heath Ledger was cast as Joker and the internet blew up with negativity. Or when Daniel Craig was cast as James Bond…lets go back further to Michael Keaton (then being known as a comdic actor) was cast as Batman. I still maintain that Ben Affleck is going to be awesome in the new Batman too.
      My point being is that we can’t predict how an actor will affect a role until we actually see or even read the material. Im pro choice for Vaughn and Farrell. Call me old fashioned but i still have faith in the casting agents of Hollywood (particualry those at HBO)

      • jw

        Here’s what’s strange about your comment, you’re saying “I still have faith in casting agents,” yet effectively your argument is that anyone can get cast in any role at any time and we should be cool with it, completely negating the profession. Ahahahahah! I just don’t see your comparisons really working here. I’m really confused as to why people would even say this is legit when Vaughn has played NOTHING but a man-child for the last… how many years? And, then randomly he’s cast in one of the DARKEST shows on TV. I mean, realistically, when you really, truly look at that, you’re telling me “that makes total sense?” I don’t get that, but to each is own. HBO will see what happens when this goes live. I won’t be there to find out, so I’ll be reliant on others… let me know how it goes…

        • Eric

          “effectively your argument is that anyone can get cast in any role at any time and we should be cool with it, completely negating the profession.”

          That’s not what he’s saying. You seem to be speaking on the assumption that we and the casting director have access to the same info, but we don’t. We don’t know what character Vaughn is playing, nor the second season’s story, nor that particular character’s arc. We haven’t seen Vaughn audition for the role and read lines either. But the casting director and show runner have and this is what they’ve gone with.

          I haven’t been a fan of much of Vaughn’s work either, but some actors just need the right role and I’m always willing to look at an actor with fresh eyes. I think True Detective and Fargo are both going to be interesting experiments. How long can a TV series really survive when each season is basically a reboot?

    • charliesb

      I think the new season is going to show just how integral McConaughey, Harrelson and Fukunaga were to the success of the first season.

      However, I’m not worried about Vaughan at all. It’s possible that season two is going in different direction and might not be as dark as the first, and I think Vaughan can pull off “not funny”. Plus he hasn’t starred in anything memorable (in my opinion ever) in a long time.

      Good writing and the right director can pull a great performance out of almost anyone. I’m more worried that Pizzolatto is one trick pony.

      • drifting in space

        One trick pony. Amen.

        I, for one, did not really enjoy True Detective. I watched it because everyone else did. I liked it because everyone told me to.

        Yes, it had great acting. Pretty good writing, even if some was lifted from a book. But overall, I left feeling empty handed.

  • ThomasBrownen

    “I’m going to be honest here. One of the reasons I never watched Damages was because it looked like it was written by… hmm, how do I say this? By entitled well-off, got-all-the-breaks in life Ivy League folk who write for like-minded people. It kind of had that “You’re not invited to the adult table” exclusivity feel to it.”

    I get what you’re saying, but I’m not sure the writers made a mistake here. We often watch shows as escapism so that we can imagine ourselves living in unattainable wealth and status that we’ll never encounter in our real lives. E.g., Downton Abbey, which owes a large chunk of its popularity to people casually fantasizing about living like royalty. Maybe the writers aren’t going for “relatable” as much as they are “admit it, you really, really, secretly want to live here.”

  • Randy Williams

    I know someone who’s been working on this show this summer. The production staff from top to bottom, he says, is very very nice and understandably sympathetic to those working in 90 degree summer heat in Key Largo.
    So, I hope it’s a big hit for that, and to the poster who said Florida was ugly. There is only one other place in the U.S. that matches the atmosphere of a New Orleans and that’s the Florida Keys. Both great places for background.

  • Scott Chamberlain

    I think Game of Thrones shows that killing off awesome characters works… provided you’re awesome at creating awesome characters. Steven Erikson (Malazan Book of the Fallen) is the only other writer I know who so effortlessly creates and then destroys great characters.

  • Dimitri

    “The sequence was obviously inspired by 70s movies like The Godfather and The Deer Hunter, but (and I know this will drive Grendl crazy to hear) audiences don’t have the patience for that stuff anymore.”

    Didn’t True Detecive prove viewers still have a lot of patience?