Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Review of HBO's True Detective

Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey

in HBO's True Detective



Set in Lousiana, the action switches back and forth from present day to 17 years in the past. 

17 yrs ago a ritualistic serial killer was at large. The victims, all women, primarily prostitutes and/or runaways. Detectives Martin Hart and Rust Cohle solved the case. Or so they thought. In present day new victims are surfacing. In present day Cohle and Hart are working with detectives Maynard Gilbough [Michael Potts] and Thomas Papania [Tory Kittles].

Detective Rust [Matthew McConaughey] aka the taxman, because of his ever present notebook, is a divorced, taciturn, insomniac, alcoholic, nihilist, grieving the loss of his daughter---killed at age 2 after being hit by a car. His methods are unorthodox but he is a gifted crime solver who infuriates and frustrates his partner Detective Hart [Woody Harrleson] and his boss, Major Quesada [Kevin Dunn].

Detective Hart is a married father with 2 young daughters. Ostensibly a model family man. He is a good dad, but he's cheating on his wife Maggie [Michelle Monaghan], stalks and is jealous of his mistress, and is a binge drinking violent drunk. But like his partner is a good detective.

This show is fantastic. Creator Nic Pizzolatto's scripts and Cary Fukunaga's directing are flawless. The cinematography is beautiful even when showing gruesome crime scenes. Harrelson and McConaughey mesh perfectly despite their characters' fundamental differences. The give and take between the detectives and others in the squad room has a very natural feel. Particularly the harmless flirtation between Hart and the receptionist Cathleen [Dana Gourrier].

True Detective is True Blood without the vampires and with more bite. If you are not watching True Detective you should be. Do not watch other detective series after watching True Detective---you will only be disappointed.

Sundays at 9PM on HBO also available on HBOGO and HBO on Demand. Don't miss it.

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