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A version of this story first appeared in the July 31 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
Despite True Detective‘s healthy ratings, averaging 2.8 million live-plus-same-day viewers, online chatter has hit a critical consensus over the show’s second season and its puzzling narrative.
That sentiment was captured by an Instagram of a handmade sign taped to a telephone poll: “Lost: Interest,” it says, with pictures of the series’ two stars, Vince Vaughn and Colin Farrell. “If you have any info as to WTF is happening this season, please call: 910-337-2369.”
The gag, which went viral, was the handiwork of New York-based comedian Jason Saenz. “This definitely hit a chord,” Saenz tells THR. “I think a lot of people are disappointed with this season.”
The sign, part of a bigger Instagram project called #SaenzSigns, was affixed to a lamp post at 13th Street and Eighth Avenue in New York’s Chelsea. As for the number, it “goes to a dead line, which is symbolic of the current state of the show.”
There has been no reaction to the meme from cast- or crewmembers of the HBO drama, Saenz says.
“I was such a fan of the first season,” he adds. “I want this season to be just as good, too. I created this sign to voice my frustration in a silly way. I had no idea people would latch on to it so quickly.”
There are just two more episodes before the Aug. 9 season finale.
A photo posted by #saenzsigns (@saenzsigns) on
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