Being a “true believer” in the talent of both Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey or, if there’s a credit problem between them, of Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, I’ve been looking forward to the arrival of this new series in January of 2014.

Well, actually, let’s make that “I had been looking forward to it.

Because HBO has released its first trailer, and every time I watch it I find myself shaking my head.

Not out of bewilderment.

Nor anger.

Not even disappointment.

Out of boredom.

Hey, writers Nic Pizzolatto and Cary Fukunago, what have you done here? More importantly, what are you trying to do? Becuase what HBO is showing us in an attempt to set the hook is…well let’s get to the Good/Not So Good thing and see:

The Good:

TRUE BELIEVER stars those two guys I mentioned above, in whatever order they’re supposed to be listed in, and I’ve always found them both very interesting. (Even if Woody did drive my friend Herb Solow nuts while negotiating to buy his house in Malibu a bunch of years ago.) Oh, and it’s on HBO, which used to mean it had to be good. (When my friend/hero/former agent Chris Albrecht ran it anyway.)

The Not-So-Good:

The trailer is dark, dreary, and pompous as hell. Filled with portentious and self-consciously meaningful dialog and shot in a way that makes the Swedish version of WALLANDER (which I encourage everyone to watch) look like an old-timey Saturday morning cartoon. In itself, the tone- which seems to be all they’ve got to sell here – isn’t terrible. It’s just that it’s…boring. Totally been there/done that. Seen it and seen it and seen it. What’s with all this imitation, people?! Damn.

Some Words of Hope:

Um…okay, here: This is only one short trailer. It could be misleading. Trailers usually are, aren’t they? I mean, some people might say that’s their whole point. More importantly, this thing was so full of creative caca that I’m wondering now, especially considering Woody’s sense of humor (see my reference to Herb Solow above) if either the trailer or the whole series is simply a joke. A jape. A parody.

At least I sure as hell hope so…for the sake of everyone involved. Especially us viewers.

 Oh here, enjoy the trailer…if you can:

Author: LB

A legendary figure in the television writing and production world with a career going back to the late ’60s, Larry Brody has written and produced hundreds of hours of American and worldwide television and is a consultant to production companies and networks in the U.S. and abroad . Shows written or produced by Brody have won several awards including - yes, it's true - Emmys, Writers Guild Awards, and the Humanitas Award.

One thought on “LB Sees HBO’s TRUE BELIEVER Trailer”

  1. Agreed. My initial concern was that it would be overly “stylized” with needless shallow depth of field shots and the narrative engine would be Matthew recounting the story in a deposition until — SURPRISE — you’ve been watching the video of his deposition, not his real deposition, and he’s actually dead. The kind of stuff I hate.

    But when I watched it a second time, it grew on me. I think it’s got potential.

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