I saw the first season of True Detective recently. I can see why everyone was raving about it. I think it’s undeniable that most of Rust Cohle’s best lines are cribbed from Thomas Ligotti, although at least one was taken from Alan Moore. It was interesting that the villain was into Chamber’s King in Yellow mythos, but I feel like there were a lot of missed opportunities. Rust Cohle has synethesia and sometimes gets acid flashbacks, which could have made this a pretty trippy series, but these aspects of his character don’t really get explored. I did like the scene in which an old man talks about the good old days and his son-in-law says, if the good old days were so perfect, they never would have changed. (I wonder who that line was cribbed from.)
One big problem I had with True Detective is the way Detective Hart’s daughter Audrey was portrayed. There’s a scene in which she’s playing with dolls as a little girl, but arranges them in a way suggestive of gang rape. She also draws sexually explicit pictures as a child. When she’s a teenager, she’s caught having sex with two boys at the same time. We’re meant to think she behaves this way because she witnessed a murder or was a victim of sexual abuse herself, but at the end of the series, we’re never told the reason she’s been obsessed with sex since she was little.
Fans have speculated that she may have known about her father’s infidelity or seen files from the case he was working on, but the show itself never gives an explanation for her behavior. This lack of an explanation implies she was simply a born slut. To add to this, one character remarks that girls who dress all in black are obsessed with sex and later on, Audrey has a goth look as a teenager. Also, when her mother learns about the sexually explicit drawings, she shrugs it off and says something like girls learn about sex when they’re young these days because they have to.
Is that the explanation? Kids have to grow up faster nowadays? Never mind that this isn’t actually true. Teens today are actually more responsible when it comes to sex than their parents or grandparents were. The teen birthrate has been steadily declining in recent decades and teens are waiting until they’re older to have sex for the first time. And why does the show pick on goths? I’m pretty sure they’re not more likely to be promiscuous than other subcultures. I liked the show overall, but Audrey’s subplot seemed to be nothing more than a cranky old man complaining about “kids these days” and getting all the facts wrong.