You wouldn't compare a McDonald's Extra Value Meal to an expensive dinner at a five-star restaurant. But that's the predicament Emmy Awards voters increasingly face in such key categories as comedy and drama. (Nominations will be announced July 10; NBC airs the ceremony, hosted by Seth Meyers, on August 25.)
As primetime splinters into subgenres, shows with little in common must compete in the same races, and there's no room at all for plenty of popular shows, particularly from the broadcast networks...
Although HBO's True Detective spent the last eight weeks setting the Internet on fire with crazed fan theories about "The Yellow King," the anthology drama series ended much like it began: with two men arguing about the ways of the world while trying to catch a killer.
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Question: True Detective is by far my new favorite show! The acting, storyline, intensity (especially last week's episode on Feb. 9) is incredible!
I've heard that this is just a miniseries. However, with the good ratings and reviews as it is getting, any word on a possible renewal of a second season? - Mike
Matt Roush: Though it hasn't been officially renewed yet, that seems to be just a formality at this point, especially since HBO has signed the show's creator Nic Pizzolatto to a two-year deal. Which means more True Detective, although whatever happens, it will be a very different True Detective in seasons to come. Because this is one of those franchises that occupies the territory somewhere between miniseries and anthology, not unlike American Horror Story but potentially with less of a repertory ensemble feel. If/when True Detective returns, it will be with new stars, new characters, a new locale and new focus, so don't get too attached to Rust Cohle and Marty Hart, although I understand why you would be.
On its face, HBO's True Detective looks like a number of other dark and twisted serial killer murder mysteries. But it becomes clear very early on that the show's creator, novelist Nic Pizzolatto, has much more on his mind.
"I'm not interested in creating disgusting monsters or the most bizarre serial killer ever," Pizzolatto tells TVGuide.com. "My primary concern is always the humanism of the characters. Where the show gains its power for an audience, I think, is in things that aren't investigative at all. It's in two men talking to one another in a car. It's in a man coming over to another man's house for dinner and eating with his family. Those are the things that always interest me."
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In this case, the two men riding in a car are Martin Hart (Woody Harrelson) and Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey), two detectives in Louisiana's Criminal Investigation Division who team up for a murder case in 1995...
Made you jump. It's about time a Syfy show had that effect on us again.
Syfy's Helix (Friday, 10/9c) is a chiller in every sense of the word, a welcome return to gripping sci-fi form for a network that has lately ceded bragging rights to AMC (The Walking Dead), FX (American Horror Story) and even The CW (The Vampire Diaries) in the competitive arena of hardcore genre buzz. The spirit of Michael Crichton permeates this claustrophobic exercise in suspenseful paranoia, from Battlestar Galactica's Ronald D. Moore and series creator Cameron Porsandeh, who sets the first season almost entirely at an icy Arctic research compound that's actually a hothouse for mysteriously grisly medical experiments.