The whole “troubled cop” thing is overdone and, frankly, oversaturated on television these days, right?
Wrong. HBO’s done it again, folks.
“True Detective” is a show that’s giving a fresh breath of life to a tired, dead story line. It is one of the greatest things cable television has put out since “The Wire” or “The Sopranos.” The beauty of a show like this being released on cable is that it doesn’t just take us through a regular “CSI”-esque sitcom; instead, HBO can deliver a cinematic release every Sunday night.
And “True Detective” is no exception to that.
With Nic Pizzolatto’s script and Cary Fukunaga’s directing ,a new dark, twisted path emerges. The show follows along detectives Rustin Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) and Martin Hart (Woody Harrelson). The two Louisiana detectives are called in by the sheriff’s department to investigate a brutal and unusual murder.
The story sounds simple, but it is executed almost flawlessly. McConaughey has been on a sincere roll over the past few years. Long gone are his romantic comedy days, and it seems Oscar-nominating performances like “Dallas Buyers Club” are here to stay. Harrelson is also among some of the best talent Hollywood has to offer.
“True Dectective” is between two 17-year gap narratives. Basically, it’s Cohle and Hart on the case in the ‘90s to retired 2012 Cohle and Hart being interrogated on how they solved this specific murder.
The interrogators (Michael Potts and Tory Kittles) are two police officers that have reopened the case. These two serve as the instigators that poke to unravel the story before the viewer’s eyes.
The story line’s concern isn’t so much with the serial murders they are investigating, but more with the story of two men plagued with the twisted realities of life.
Hart is the social, lovable family guy who clearly seems to be running from his own demons. These demons come out to play on the small screen when he gets a couple whiskey shots in him.
Cohle is honest, in a rather terrifying and sexy manner. His constant questioning of human purpose and his blatant existence is haunting and real. Seemingly opposite to Hart, Cohle’s soft side comes out when he’s drinking.
These two characters play on a whole spectrum of the deep thoughts we never want to bring to regular conversation at the dinner table. This is where Pizzolatto’s writing can be considered brilliance.
As the series goes, on it’s hard not to draw on the underlying tones of a Shakespearean Sherlock and Watson relationship.
But imagine a world where Sherlock is a drunken cop with a darker philosophical mind of a psychopath, and Watson is a twangy southern cop who is coping with the horrors of his job and turning it off to be a family man when he clocks out. That combination is bound to butt heads in a relationship.
This is the “True Detective” world, and it couldn’t be anymore captivating to watch.
The series is almost halfway through. When the show is picked up for another season, it will have a whole new round of cast members and new story line. Much like “The Wire” saw, it is very hard to restart a story line season to season.
But if this season is any indication to the talent HBO is seeking out, there is no possible way we can be disappointed in the direction the show will take to follow.