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'True Detective': KPCC’s new podcast 'Welcome to Vinci' covers season 2

by John Horn and Kevin Ferguson | The Frame

The water tower in the City of Vernon Laurie Avocado/Flickr Creative Commons

The first season of HBO’s hit series “True Detective” was set mostly in Louisiana, but for season 2, series creator Nic Pizzolatto decided to set the noir-ish detective story right in our own backyard: a fictional SoCal city by the name of "Vinci."

"The Frame’s" John Horn sat down with "Off-Ramp" producer Kevin Ferguson, who’s the host of “Welcome to Vinci,” KPCC’s new podcast about the second season of HBO’s “True Detective,”  subscribe to it in iTunes and Stitcher.

 

Interview Highlights

The inspiration for this podcast:

“So, we know the first season of ‘True Detective’ did a really good job of showing us parts of Louisiana that aren’t New Orleans... We got shots of Louisiana that don’t make it onto TV before, and you really felt like you were getting a tour of Nic Pizzolatto’s home town, from someone with really intimate knowledge. Well when we heard about the second season, they’re coming to our hometown. And there’s gonna be a lot that we can explore really deeply: where plotlines come from, who characters are based off of, what some fictional places are in real life.”

The podcast is called “Welcome to Vinci." What is "Vinci"?

“Vinci is the fictional town that Ray Velcoro is a detective in. Ray Velcoro is played by Colin Farrell. There’s about 95 people living there, it’s just south of downtown L.A., and it’s pretty obviously the city of Vernon, which is a real city in Los Angeles, [which also has] 95 people. There’s a shot of a water tower at the beginning of the episode that says 'City of Vinci.' That water tower’s a real thing too — it says 'City of Vernon.'”

What is it about Vernon that lends itself to great fictional storytelling about crime and corruption?

“Vernon is a super opaque city... There’s a lot going on behind closed doors. Actually, if you look into L.A. Times articles from about three, four years ago, city administrators were making enormous salaries, sometimes comparable to what Robert Rizzo in Bell were making. And it’s a really unique city. It had the same mayor for 50 years. Which tells you right away he was doing a great job.”

Does it have a stylistic feel that is noir-ish?

“There’s detectives... so you’re getting a noir feel right there. There’s a plot that’s convoluted, but easy enough to find who’s killing who and why are they dying. The main characters are really troubled, but they’re also likable. They all have troubled pasts — there’s that noir element. Are there giant overarching shadows? Not yet. I’ve only seen the first two episodes, but not yet.”

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