True Detective (2014)

In an era when many TV detective shows provide us with the often conclusive whodunit   after 1, or maybe at the most, 2 episodes.  Here we have a show that chooses to place all of its time and energy into solving 1 case.  A case that ends up stretching out over a period of 17 years in 8 episodes, each lasting an hour.  A similar length to a movie trilogy.  Our focus is on 2 detectives working in Louisiana.  As polar opposites, you will see plenty of physical and verbal birds flipped between them and absolutely no high fives or knuckle punches.  And yet when it comes to work, they’re perfect for each other.

Now, what original twist can be added to this buddy-cop partnership that makes it stand out from the likes of Sherlock and Watson, Castle and Beckett and Rizzoli and Isles?  Simple:  Martin “Marty” Hart and Rustin “Rusty” Cohle are both corrupt.  They’re corrupt in different ways, but still, they’re both corrupt.  Marty (played by Woody Harrelson) is an extrovert.  He is a family man with a beautiful wife (played by Michelle Monaghan) and 2 girls.  He likes watching sports, drinking beer, and hanging out in bars.  He is also an alcoholic who abuses his authority as a cop, cheats on his wife and is prone to outbursts of physical violence.  Rusty (played by Matthew McConaughey) on the other hand is an introvert.  He is single and very much alone.  His primary hobbies are reading and getting wasted, and unlike his culturally christian partner, he is a nihilist who sees no purpose in anything.  However he is also incredibly loyal and dedicated to his few friends and work.  He likes to finish anything he starts.  He will break or bend the law, and even work outside the police force in order to accomplish his goals.  If he can’t get a warrant on a suspect’s home, he’ll perform a b&e later.

From the beginning of the story, it is evident.  Marty and Rusty are searching for a cult or a cult leader or simply a delusional individual.  A young prostitute is found murdered.  She is in the nip, blindfolded, in a praying position, has a strange, spiral tattoo on her back, and has deer’s antlers on her head, designed to resemble a crown.  She is found in front of a tree, surrounded by burnt crops and twig latticeworks that look like something from the Blair Witch Project.  Sounds normal, right?  That would depend, if every murder was ritualistic in nature.  There is a concern that this isn’t the first time it has happened, and it is also clear that this is a case that will affect both Marty and Rusty on a personal level as well.  Much of the story shows the relationship between them, and considering the actors are friends in real life, the delivery flows like water.

True Detective finished up here in the UK a few weeks after it finished up in the USA.  To say the least, it is a fantastic show.  Excellent acting from everybody, movie-quality production, great soundtrack (even if some songs don’t fit into the time frame, such as “A History Of Bad Men” by The Melvins being used in 1995 when it came out in 2006, still, it worked well in the scene), excellent cinematography, and most importantly, a great story.  Perfect for those who like Detective shows (Story-wise) and Game Of Thrones (Everything that would make you a terrible parent if you showed it to the very young and impressionable).  It is dark, creepy, suspenseful, addictive, engaging, tight, philosophical, and well thought-out.  10/10 for the characters, 9/10 for the story, 9/10 for the music, 10/10 for the acting, 10/10 for the cinematography (there is a scene involving Rusty and a biker, it is 1 of the best scenes I have ever witnessed on TV in terms of cinematography), 10/ 10 for the production.  Overall: 96/100

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