True Detective. Everyone is talking about it. And I am just as hooked as the rest of y’all, but I am also fascinated by all the reviews that are going around out there, particularly after last night’s episode.
Basically, the question remains as to why, oh why, are we always seeing women exploited in this show? Some people are angry about it. Some people like it. Some people joke that just like SNL’s sketch about a 13 year old boy sitting in as one of the writers of Game of Thrones, so too on True Detective.
It is most definitely the case that the show has a whole Madonna-Whore complex, and I think that it stems from the characters of Rust and Marty. But more importantly—and few people are talking about this—the nudity, the sex scenes, the female characters themselves are viewed as sexual beings who either make decisions themselves about who to sleep with, or that decision is made for them. Passive and active. Active and passive.
The character of Beth—prostitute to whom Marty showed some “kindness” (and which Rust asked if his kindness in the form of cash was a “down payment”)—her character goes after Marty: it is her choice. She chooses to send Marty nasty photos of herself on her cell phone. She chooses to call him up and talk to him about anal sex. Her desires are complex, of course, but that’s interesting. And everyone’s reactions against her are very telling of our society. People are bemoaning the ‘porn’ quality of the sex scene (scuse the pun). They are asking why she is shown naked for so long. They are using her as a means to roll their eyes at Marty’s character for his BAD choices.
Guess what, folks? This is a show about human darkness, particularly male darkness. The show has women in it because that male darkness rears its ugly head in many different ways, sometimes due to male-female relationships. But the women in the show—while not as three dimensional as I would have liked—make their own choices too. And that is something pretty awesome.