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Time is a Flat Circle: Examining True Detective, Season One

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When it premiered in 2014, the first season of HBO’s True Detective immediately became a pop-culture phenomenon. Created by Nic Pizzolatto and starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, the show reinvigorated the detective genre on television, infusing it with philosophy, metaphysics, and macabre mystery. With this unique mix of elements, True Detective is more than When it premiered in 2014, the first season of HBO’s True Detective immediately became a pop-culture phenomenon. Created by Nic Pizzolatto and starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, the show reinvigorated the detective genre on television, infusing it with philosophy, metaphysics, and macabre mystery. With this unique mix of elements, True Detective is more than a crime drama – it’s an examination of the illusory nature of self, the corruption of society, the malleable nature of reality, and the meaning (or lack thereof) of life. In Time is a Flat Circle, Melissa Milazzo examines cross-genre storytelling in the first season of True Detective, while also exploring the season’s literary, cinematic, musical, and comic-book influences. It is a must-have for any True Detective fan. From Sequart Organization. More info at http://sequart.org


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When it premiered in 2014, the first season of HBO’s True Detective immediately became a pop-culture phenomenon. Created by Nic Pizzolatto and starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, the show reinvigorated the detective genre on television, infusing it with philosophy, metaphysics, and macabre mystery. With this unique mix of elements, True Detective is more than When it premiered in 2014, the first season of HBO’s True Detective immediately became a pop-culture phenomenon. Created by Nic Pizzolatto and starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, the show reinvigorated the detective genre on television, infusing it with philosophy, metaphysics, and macabre mystery. With this unique mix of elements, True Detective is more than a crime drama – it’s an examination of the illusory nature of self, the corruption of society, the malleable nature of reality, and the meaning (or lack thereof) of life. In Time is a Flat Circle, Melissa Milazzo examines cross-genre storytelling in the first season of True Detective, while also exploring the season’s literary, cinematic, musical, and comic-book influences. It is a must-have for any True Detective fan. From Sequart Organization. More info at http://sequart.org

42 review for Time is a Flat Circle: Examining True Detective, Season One

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tone

    Deep dive into what made season one special. What started as a blog post about True Detective as Hard Boiled Detective Fiction has been filled out into almost 200 pages of analysis. Covering such subjects as "True Detective as Noir", "True Detective as Southern Gothic", "True Detective as Cosmic Horror" and more. Including an appendix on the music and how T Bone Burnett carefully picked each song for the series, and a chapter on the influence of graphic novels on True Detective. Deep dive into what made season one special. What started as a blog post about True Detective as Hard Boiled Detective Fiction has been filled out into almost 200 pages of analysis. Covering such subjects as "True Detective as Noir", "True Detective as Southern Gothic", "True Detective as Cosmic Horror" and more. Including an appendix on the music and how T Bone Burnett carefully picked each song for the series, and a chapter on the influence of graphic novels on True Detective.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Julian Darius

    Fascinating!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Will

    The first half, consisting of Milazzo's academic writing on the show, is generally strong, though its insights rarely transcend the conventional academic analysis posited by someone without a background in creative art or fiction: simply a well-researched and passionate collection of essays much of the time. The chapter on the Ligotti controversy, however, is written with an ardent point of view, bravely critical of those who attacked Pizzolatto and attempted to rescind his nomination at the Emm The first half, consisting of Milazzo's academic writing on the show, is generally strong, though its insights rarely transcend the conventional academic analysis posited by someone without a background in creative art or fiction: simply a well-researched and passionate collection of essays much of the time. The chapter on the Ligotti controversy, however, is written with an ardent point of view, bravely critical of those who attacked Pizzolatto and attempted to rescind his nomination at the Emmys for Writing. It's an infectious argument, and this chapter is the only I would consider to be of five-star quality. The chapter on labyrinths, furthermore, is a shining moment in the book, and it's an effective opening for readers hoping for dense academia like I was. It not only draws upon impressive theory and mythology for analysis, but it explains a lot of Pizzolatto's intentions in doing so, demonstrating that his controversial ending of Season One is more satisfying than most might notice. I suppose it, too, is of five-star quality to my eyes. The second half (though it is where the above-mentioned Ligotti chapter is located) is far weaker, as Adam and Mark Stewart are sloppier academics than Milazzo, and the shortest chapters here feel rushed and blunt. The recommended reading, for example, is line after line citing titles: films, comics, and prose works. Ideally, stills, reviews, and quotes from the mentioned works would be included to provide a satisfying recommendation, rather than a disappointing block of text. But, with that said, my compulsion to indulge in comic fiction is newly piqued; Alan Moore's work appears provocative and enjoyable. A lot of the content in this book deals with topics I already was aware of and largely understood, and only occasionally does its writing elevate it into something superior to what you'd get from Wikipedia. It's at its finest when truly academic and theoretical. Still, it's a good purchase if you're a True Detective fan -- specifically if you've watched Season One multiple times over at this point, like I have -- because the good stuff here is worthwhile, and the weak stuff can be skipped. It understands, also, the spirit of the show, indulging in the idiosyncratic dialogue. Milazzo's essays average out to about four stars, but the book as a whole averages out to somewhere between three and three-point-five. Recommended.

  4. 4 out of 5

    a.z. terry

    Melissa Milazzo takes a deep dive into the psyche that inspires the show's most complex themes, and looks at them through a historical and philosophical lens. She deconstructs the shows allegories in a way that reveals the true potential of True Detective S1. Not only is her writing charming and brilliant, but her poetic analysis made me want to rewatch the season with the book in one hand and the remote in the other. Melissa Milazzo takes a deep dive into the psyche that inspires the show's most complex themes, and looks at them through a historical and philosophical lens. She deconstructs the shows allegories in a way that reveals the true potential of True Detective S1. Not only is her writing charming and brilliant, but her poetic analysis made me want to rewatch the season with the book in one hand and the remote in the other.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

  6. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

  7. 4 out of 5

    Steve Taylor-bryant

  8. 4 out of 5

    Elaine Smith

  9. 4 out of 5

    Owen Klein

  10. 4 out of 5

    Paul Grimsley

  11. 4 out of 5

    Bernard

  12. 5 out of 5

    John Hornbeck

  13. 5 out of 5

    Oftenevil

  14. 5 out of 5

    Victoria Atkins

  15. 5 out of 5

    Janet Dubrasky

  16. 4 out of 5

    Pakane2000

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Bellinsky

  18. 4 out of 5

    Riley Greenwood

  19. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Rader

  20. 5 out of 5

    Val Delane

  21. 4 out of 5

    Antonio HOC

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

  23. 5 out of 5

    João

  24. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Milazzo

  25. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Miller

  26. 5 out of 5

    Matt

  27. 4 out of 5

    Philipp Richard

  28. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

  29. 5 out of 5

    Adam Wisnewski

  30. 5 out of 5

    Christina

  31. 5 out of 5

    Kirstin DeGeer

  32. 5 out of 5

    Mica

  33. 4 out of 5

    Tara

  34. 4 out of 5

    Smara

  35. 5 out of 5

    Rechielle

  36. 5 out of 5

    Tina

  37. 4 out of 5

    Julian Stark

  38. 4 out of 5

    Nicolas Amortegui Marulanda

  39. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Clifton

  40. 5 out of 5

    Dan

  41. 4 out of 5

    Mike Ritchie

  42. 4 out of 5

    Mohab Elsheikh

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