True Detective

I approached the latest HBO series True Detective with a great dose of scepticism. Knowing Matthew McConaughey, who plays the main character of detective Rust Cohl, mainly from B-class romantic comedies, I simply could not imagine him being convincing in the role of a serious state detective. However, after I have decided to give it a shot, only one episode was enough to get rid of my anxieties.


McConaughey was not only convincing but also his play exceeded any of my expectations. Detective Cohl, a deeply cynical, introverted insomniac who is addicted to antidepressants and sees the world only in shades of black is masterly played by McConaughey. And the story itself is no worse.

It is is presented from two perspectives. The first one is a retrospection, it encompasses the events from year 1995. Two detectives, Rust Cohl and Marty Hart (played by Woody Harrelson), are assigned to the case of a mysterious ritual murder. As they come to the crime scene, which is in the middle of nowhere in Louisiana, they see the young girl’s body, kneeling, with horns and a crown of thorns on her head, and enigmatic occult sign drawn on her back. The second one shows a police interrogation of Hart and Cohl that takes place in 2012.

HBO's "True Detective" Season 1 / Director: Cary Fukunaga

It seems to me that it is the combination of these two perspectives that makes True Detective such a fascinating show. Not only can we rack our brains trying to figure out whether detectives will manage to solve the crime, and if so who the murderer will be, but also we are left to consider why they are interrogated 17 years later, why Cohl transformed into an unshaven red-neck who sips one beer after another, and why the two detectives no longer talk to each other.


The plot is so well constructed that, even not being a great fan of detective stories, I found it extremely engrossing. I swallowed the whole series in two days, not being able to resist watching another episode after seeing a cliffhanger ending of the previous one. And I was actually grateful to myself that I had awaited the series end before starting to watch it because having to wait a week to see the next episode would be nothing else but a pure torture.


TV series like True Detective, or another recent production House of Cards, make me think that movies are the thing of the past, an outdated concept, and that the future of entertainment belongs to television shows. Being free from such time limitations as producers and directors of films, creators of TV series can pay more attention to details, develop plot, dialogues and characters much more thoroughly, therefore providing us with an extremely absorbing story that lasts not an hour and a half but eight hours.

Here is the link to an official HBO trailer:

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