‘True Detective’ Review
In just eight episodes, HBO’s True Detective will take detectives Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey back to a case they couldn’t solve in 1995 Louisiana whose killer may now be resurfacing. After the first two episodes, seemingly occult-based murders have begun to lead the two down a path of drugs, flop houses, and a burnt-out, backwoods church of ‘redemption’ looking for answers.
The ‘history’ of the case in True Detective unfolds through a series of flashbacks as the former partners retell their tale(s) to two current detectives who lost the files to storm Rita. The pace flows slower than most television crime shows as if McConaughey and Harrelson are actually reliving their partnership and a case nearly two decades old (within a slow, southern atmosphere no less). The show’s mystery and acting help carry the viewer through the proceedings at a decent pace, but the current detectives are quite distracting when you’re trying to figure out if they’re hiding something or if they’re just giving each other goofy looks whenever they can because they think it’s funny.
While Harrelson plays your typical straight-laced, straight-man cop Detective Martin Hart, it should be remembered this is nearly new territory for the actor best known as goofy stoner Tallahassee in Zombieland, goofy stoner Woody Boyd in Cheers, goofy, special needs Defendor in Defendor, and so on…
Usually, an actor’s resume wouldn’t be enough to comment positively on a fairly blank character, but Det. Hart works great next to McConaughey’s close-to-the-edge pessimist, alcoholic partner. And before you think ‘alcoholic cop…wow, original’, Det. Rust Cohle likes his alcoholism loud and proud – a simple, yet new take on the archetype. On top of that, throughout the case he occasionally hallucinates from all the stored up drugs in his system from his time on Vice, is nearly homeless, and has a world view so negative high school ‘poets’ would kiss his feet — he doesn’t even own a mirror, just a circle of glass large enough to see his own eye. #thatsdeepbro
True Detective is show carried by tension and intrigue instead of action and adventure. The show will feel more like a movie with hourly bathroom breaks than another cop drama. True Detective airs Sundays on HBO at 9 p.m. or OnDemand whenever you feel like watching it.