Glenn Garvin Reviews HBO's True Detective and The Brink


"True Detective," HBO

Upon learning that her ex-husband has punished a kid who's been bullying their son by beating his father senseless in front of the boy and issuing a truly breathtaking threat involving sodomy with a headless corpse, a character in HBO's True Detective reaches a profound conclusion: "You're a bad person."

This is a verdict that could be rendered on nearly everybody in the second season of the video noir True Detective, which debuts Sunday with a completely new setting and cast of characters. The good guys are bitter, emotionally blighted, morally untracked brutes. The bad guys–well, don't ask. If the first season was about two detectives seeking redemption for bad police work and personal betrayal, the new one is about a trio of cops searching for signs that they even belong to the human race. Glenn Garvin reviews the returning anthology series, as well as the new HBO political satire The Brink.