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What Matters in a TV Premiere? How ‘True Detective’ and ‘Sense8’ Hooked Viewers

What Matters in a TV Premiere? How 'True Detective' and 'Sense8' Hooked Viewers

Over the past few weeks, a lot has been written about two very different television premieres. First came “Sense8,” the new Netflix original series from the Wachowskis. Most of the discussion centered around whether or not audiences understood what was going on in the multi-continent sci-fi show, and those who only watched the first episode seemed as lost as they were drawn to watch more. 

LAST WEEK’S EPISODE: Indiewire’s Emmy Wishlist: 7 Dream Nominations from Tatiana Maslany to ‘The Leftovers’


Then came “True Detective” Season 2. While technically a sequel season, the new edition of Nic Pizzolatto’s landmark HBO drama got a brand new cast, story and director for its sophomore year. Reaction has been largely mixed so far, with some harshly condemning the premiere episode for its lack of a through narrative and others eagerly climbing the mountain of character backstory (while admitting some of that exposition was a bit much). No matter the response, most people are willing to stick with “True Detective” just as they were willing to keep bingeing “Sense8.”

Why? That’s the question explored on this special bonus episode of Very Good TV Podcast. With special guest — and Screen Talk co-hostAnne Thompson, Indiewire TV Editor Liz Shannon Miller and TV Critic Ben Travers try to get to the bottom of what makes a successful first episode of television. The trio sifts through the criticisms (though ignores the insane idea “True Detective” would be better if it was bingeable, as if having more of a bad thing makes it go down easier) and puts forth various theories as to why each show connected or didn’t, as well as providing their own reasons for wanting more of both series.


Don’t forget to subscribe to Very Good TV Podcast via Soundcloud or iTunes. Follow Indiewire on Twitter and Facebook for all your pertinent TV news — and Anne Thompson at her blog, Thompson on Hollywood, via Twitter and Facebook  — plus check out Liz and Ben’s Twitter feeds for more, more, more. 

Related Articles and News:
– Read Ben’s Episode 1 review of “True Detective,” in which he makes the controversial decision the Season 2 opening credits are better than Season 1’s.

– Then check out Liz’s take on “Sense8,” in which she makes the controversial decision to give it a “B” grade.

– Get to know the Wachowski’s career in the Thompson on Hollywood write-up on “Sense8.” 

– Miss some of the “True Detective” buzz? Catch up on early word with ToH’s review roundup. 

– Remember our last podcast? About the Emmys? Yeah, that’s still happening, so read some great interviews with Lisa Kudrow, Jane Krakowski, Clive Owen, Anne Dowd and Carrie Coon right here.

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