She's writing about "True Detective," in a New Yorker piece titled "Cool Story, Bro/The shallow deep talk of 'True Detective.'" That's from March 3rd, before the season finale, which she writes about a week later in "The Disappointing Finale of 'True Detective.'"
I was reading those 2 things this morning after getting halfway through the second episode last night. I'd watched episode 1 in it's entirety a few days before. I'd noticed the critical attention the show was getting, and Matthew McConaughey had just won the Oscar, so I gave it a chance. Why did I stop midway through episode 2? It wasn't the sex. It was the mumbling. Between McConaughey and the other guy who looks too much like him (Woody Harrelson), it was way too much 2 guys mumbling. This show could not fill the aching gap left by "Breaking Bad," which we watched, all 60 episodes in just about exactly 60 days. In "Breaking Bad," not only was it easy to tell Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston apart, but the 2 actors frequently spoke quite clearly.
And don't tell me I'm getting old and my hearing must be going. I had high-level testing on my hearing quite recently (in connection with a problem with vertigo). There's just something too dull about the endless mumbling of the 2 men, as if we're continually prodded to take their problems seriously. But why? So there are some murders going on. And some clues. There are millions of stories about murders and clues. Why pick this one? Because the atmospherics are arty? Those were my questions. I don't get Nussbaum's concern about sex and nudity. I guess I didn't watch far enough into the series to get what I was supposed to be "cool" about. It wasn't the mistreatment of women that undercut my enjoyment. It was the dullness of men.
I googled "actors who mumble," thinking I'd add some detail about the history of acting, which I assumed would get me right to Marlon Brando. I found this A.V. Club piece from 2012: "Mumblecore: 20 memorably inarticulate movie performances." Wikipedia has an entry for "Mumblecore," defining it as "a subgenre of American independent film characterized by low budget production values and amateur actors, heavily focused on naturalistic dialogue."
The genre can trace its roots back to the French new wave of the 1960's, especially the films of Eric Rohmer, whose films focused on the romantic intrigues of characters and depicted lengthy conversations....Hmm. Is that really a thing or are people just funning with the "-core" suffix these days? For the record, "Slacker" is one of my all-time favorite films. So is "Manhattan," and so is the John Cassavetes film "Husbands" (which used to be called cinéma verité).
Woody Allen's "Manhattan" was a high-budget Hollywood predecessor of mumblecore, as it was shot in black and white in natural locations and focused on a single protagonist....
The directors of the films are sometimes referred to collectively as the "mumblecorps", as in press corps. Film journalists have also used the terms "bedhead cinema", and "Slackavetes", a portmanteau derived from the title of Richard Linklater's dialogue heavy, lo-fi 1990s film Slacker and the name of independent film director John Cassavetes.