HBO’s True Detective – Series Premiere Review

True-Detective-HBO-air-dateHBO continues its long string of compelling original programming with TRUE DETECTIVE which was one of my most anticipated shows of the midseason.  I’ll cut to the chase here, this show is outstanding.  Outstandingly dark, but very good.  I was left with more questions than answers after watching the premiere, but am totally hooked for the next seven weeks.

TRUE DETECTIVE stars MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY and WOODY HARRELSON as partners investigating an occult murder in small town Louisiana.  The narrative is told by both of them recounting events of the case to modern-day detectives investigating a new murder in the same grisly style.  McConaughey plays Rust Cohle, a self-proclaimed pessimist and Harrelson plays Martin Hart, a “regular dude, with a big ‘ol dick”.

This show is dark.  Extremely dark.  I love when actors who are primarily in the movies make a jump into television and McConaughey and Harrelson absolutely do not disappoint.  They have great on-screen chemistry and McConaughey’s existentialist pessimism perfectly offsets Harrelson’s down-home sarcasm.  As dark as the show is, it is utterly cinematic in presentation and has been described by the creator NIC PIZZOLATTO as a big 8-hour movie.  He is not wrong.

So what can we possibly expect from the remainder of the season?  I have absolutely no idea.  Because after watching the premiere, I have a feeling that this is one show where the questions are not answered until the final few seconds of the season.  For instance, what happened to Matthew McConaughey’s character and why is he supposedly no longer a detective?  And what let to the falling out between him and Harrelson?  What is going on with McConaughey’s past and why is he no longer in Texas?  Is Harrelson cheating on his wife?  What actually happened with the case?  Most importantly, who is the current killer if the other killer was caught?  How about this one:  Who is the ‘True Detective’?  Answer: me, dammit… trying to figure all of this stuff out!

This is a smart, dark, gritty drama and I wouldn’t want it any other way.  Absolute A+.