The Western Book of the Dead

Series 2 - Episode 1 The Western Book of the Dead

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Review

All the damaged souls of Television Hell stare into existential darkness in the second series of the cult American drama. The characters and the story might be entirely new, but the all-encompassing self-loathing that marked the first outing is still there, as is the shocking disposability of the women. Apart from one, a female sheriff who drinks too much, hates men and isn’t too keen on sex. Oh dearie me.

Colin Farrell, with a Village People moustache, is Ray Velcoro, a brutal drunk of a cop in the pocket of gangster Frank Semyon (an effective Vince Vaughn, shorn of his light comedy persona) and a rotten police department. Ray does everyone’s dirty work while Frank hopes to go legit until there’s a very nasty murder.

The whole thing is so self-consciously mournful, particularly at the end, you might laugh.

Summary

Nic Pizzolatto's crime anthology series returns, relocating from Louisiana to California to introduce morally compromised detective Ray Velcoro (Colin Farrell), Ventura County sheriff Ani Bezzerides (Rachel McAdams), Highway Patrol officer Paul Woodrugh (Taylor Kitsch) and career criminal Frank Semyon (Vince Vaughn). The quartet find their paths converging as an investigation gets under way into the murder of a high-profile businessman. Crime thriller, also starring Kelly Reilly.

Cast & Crew

Ray Velcoro Colin Farrell
Ani Bezzerides Rachel McAdams
Paul Woodrugh Taylor Kitsch
Frank Semyon Vince Vaughn
Jordan Semyon Kelly Reilly
Writer Nic Pizzolatto
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Drama