Tweet Detective: Guessing the Plot of 'True Detective' Through Other People's Tweets

True Detective
Rachel McAdams and Colin Farrell on HBO's 'True Detective' Season 2. Lacey Terrell

In our darkest, most depraved moments, we know that we lie to ourselves. This is True Detective showrunner Nic Pizzolatto's truth. But what is "truth" to Nic Pizzolatto but a construct? Our entire lives are based on projecting the half-decomposed forms of so-called thoughts, our opinions just castles made of so much psychic sand. My inner Rustin Cohle asked myself: Was my disdain for True Detective one such shadow?

I watched a bit of the first season of the critically acclaimed drama and couldn't bring myself to finish it. I found it somewhat visually interesting and full of good performances, but something was off, something that Rust might call a deeper, far more pernicious rot at the center of our collective being. The writing of women was off, to say the least. The dead, cop-show cliches were wrapped and rewrapped so many times they could have filled a whole Law & Order spinoff. I could feel writerly semen shooting onto my face. Basically, it was bad. But, because opinions about art are subjective and lots of other people liked the show, I questioned myself.

How could I tell if True Detective was worth watching? How could I solve the mystery? I had to become a...True Detective. And when you become a... True Detective, there is only one acceptable type of evidence: tweets. I set off into the void to understand what happened during the Season Two premiere, which I did not watch but do plan to interpret for you in lieu of another review.

Things had changed from True Detective's first season, and change is the only constant in life. So, really, nothing had changed at all. I thought Nic Pizzolatto would approve of that observation, and it gave me strength to carry on, on into the darkness. I tried to understand who these characters were, what made them tick in their bones.

A pretty remarkable collection of people, all in all, if buffeted about by the chaos of life to the point where I couldn't trust them to tell my ass from their noses. Colin Farrell seemed to be appropriately cast as this Irish detective, and I hoped Vince Vaughn would find a good woman so she could fulfill her purpose by making him less of a dick. It felt important to know that Rachel McAdams surfs in True Detective—not only can I safely bet that she will murder a man in cold blood with the surfboard, it is good to understand that she was probably originally written as a man. After all, she is into knives, which are important phallic symbols.

What else was happening on True Detective?

So from what I can tell so far, Colin Farrell's character runs a Velcro factory, which Vince Vaughn, an FBI agent with a speech impediment, is trying to take down. Fascinating stuff. But there was, of course, one more member of the True Detective cast—Taylor Kitsch, playing what I was led to believe was a slightly older version of Tim Riggins, his Friday Night Lights character. An older version accustomed to succumbing to the female gaze in the form of sweet, sweet, double-cheeked ass-nudity.

The many, many people on Twitter explaining how great Taylor Kitsch's butt is—something I deeply and truly believe, if such a thing is possible, though I have not been granted the opportunity to gaze gloriously into said ass—helped me understand the real theme of True Detective. It's a show about sex. And not just sex. Sex Nic Pizzolatto is definitely, truly having.

But it seemed that True Detective Season Two had taken a turn—where Season One, at least on my cursory examination, appeared only to engage in the same level of basic homoerotic subtext as most buddy-cop shows, particularly overwrought ones about manly Southern men, this one actually went the extra mile:

So there was a real, bona fide dick-waving contest. Things were getting hairy—hairier than Vince Vaughn's back on a hot summer's day while his assistant was promising him an Emmy for doing True Detective as long as he would just try to make the dialogue sound like something a normal person would say. From all available evidence, Colin Farrell seemed to be doing a much better job of this, expressing his ire at the thought of losing his Velcro factory.

So True Detective Season Two: actually necrophiliac erotica about men getting off on the threat of violence, setting up an orgy sequence that will presumably involve several headless corpses serving as a metaphor for male sexuality in 2015, because nothing else is important other than the Velcro straps one uses to secure someone into the comforting, masculine embrace of a sex swing.

And this apparently happens to a 12-year-old! It's very impressive of Nic Pizzolatto to push the boundaries of what you can show on television this far. He may have proved himself the truest D of all. Especially when his boundary-pushing forces Colin Farrell to engage in lots of violent sexual conduct.

Could it be that that's the real subtext of True Detective Season Two? Could it be that the True Detective isn't to be found in tweets, but in one another? Could their homosocial, possibly homoerotic bond be the thing that ties them together?

The pain of not being able to engage in childbirth, and its attendant urge to explain fertility procedures to women. This, this is what explains their connection, and provides a gaping void into which Nic Pizzolatto can stare in awe. Accordingly, the show is really not even about the mystery, but about the deep, passionate relationship between these two men.

This seems about right. Still, this direction doesn't bode well for the rest of the season, at least if some of my fellow detective's predictions prove right.

Could this be where we're headed? Could Nic Pizzolatto succeed in figuring out the nature of humanity, once and for all? It seems unlikely. To put it another way—

Tweet Detective: Guessing the Plot of 'True Detective' Through Other People's Tweets | Culture