True Detective

March 12, 2014 - 10:07pm
Review: A reflection on season one, and what we can hope for going forward.

With the first season of HBO’s True Detective wrapped up, and after a bevy of glowing reviews and eight weeks of almost constant gushing, I figure it’s time to take stock. What do I love so much about this unusual show? What drew me into the story, and why did I stick with it despite its difficulties and the disturbing messages about human nature and good vs. evil at its core? In fact, isn’t that the primary question of the show? Life can often be horrifying and onerous. Why do we stick with it? Is there a payoff? Does it matter?

March 2, 2014 - 2:05pm
The first season is nearing an end, but the darkness only seems to be growing deeper and thicker for detectives Rust and Cohle.

If a singular theme has emerged in the first installment of True Detective, it is that no one is perfect. We are all angry, we are all flawed, and we are all fundamentally irrational. Even in doing what we believe is right and good for one person (or ourselves), we often hurt someone else (or ourselves) in the process. There is no savior, no true hero - only true life, with all of its horrors. The sins we commit against one another are made less intolerable only by comparison to the shocking offenses of murderers and pedophiles.

February 24, 2014 - 4:34pm
As the detectives attempt to wrap up the Dora Lange investigation, the truth of the actual events begins to unravel.

For a show that I have admired for its ability to open up and explore small spaces and time periods, True Detective this week took us through almost a decade of developments.

Up to this point, we have remained in the interview room. We have relived the investigation of Dora Lange’s murder through a series of recollections and learned about our two protagonists through their interactions with each other in flashbacks and their present-day monologues.

February 16, 2014 - 1:06pm
Reaching the halfway point of the first season, the characters are progressing as usual. But in this episode, the plot thickens.

For the first time since its premiere, True Detective has given us an episode that is more plot-driven than character-driven - but that doesn’t mean it’s lost its allure.

January 31, 2014 - 10:39pm
Detectives Cohle and Hart's investigation leads them into darker territory while the show's writing dives into the existential complexities of religion and identity.

Continuing its virtuosic blend of character study and plot development, the third episode of True Detective, titled “The Locked Room,” is the series’ most riveting yet.

January 26, 2014 - 4:29pm
As the investigation into Dora Lange's ritualistic murder continues, detectives Cohle and Hart's true colors begin to reveal themselves.

In its second episode, True Detective continued to show its philosophical roots and showcase its writer’s talent for characterization.

Effective and engaging character study is not an easy feat to pull off. Constant exposition and personal narrative can make a show feel stagnant. We want action! Adventure! Escape!

January 19, 2014 - 5:18pm
HBO provides a new, star-studded and literary twist to the crime procedural genre.

True Detective, a new addition to HBO’s Sunday night lineup, is unexpectedly ponderous yet sharply assembled, showcasing the formidable acting chops of its stars, Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey.