Monday, March 10, 2014


True Detective, an ambitious 8 part series on HBO, where the word Detective is singular not plural. Always wondered if the title gave that designation to Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) who obsessively continued "detecting/searching" for 17 years after a serial killer case in the backwoods and swamps of Louisiana was "solved" with lots of unanswered questions left in the dank and steamy air. His partner - Marty Hart ( Woody Harrelson), a mercurial, womanizing, down-to-earth antithesis to Cohle saw the conclusion of the case, and the end of their relationship as the finale to a tormented, life-altering period.

We meet them again in 2012- a plot device which had many "red herrings" -the two former Louisiana detectives being interrogated - a flashback technique - addressing issues of hindsight, marriage, prevarication and the attempt to bring some clarity to the intervening time period.

Basically this series was about the relationship between these two men; their different approaches to investigation - the ups and downs of their personal connection - interspersed with mysticism, philosophical gibberish, religion, hard drugs, drinking, rough sex, shootouts, and most importantly deeply ingrained familial tragedies that slowly leak - drip by drip down to the next generation. We can not escape the "darkness' of our forebearers, at least that is what creator Nic Pizzolatto would have us believe.

What held my interest, despite the convoluted plot and Rust Cohle's pretentious monologuing, was the strong acting performances by McConaughey and Harrelson. The chemistry between them was strong, their human failings and the burdens of life's heavy lifting were etched in their body language as well as their oftentimes passionate and eloquent features. Each stayed in character - one mask like and inscrutable, the other engaging with a seductive grin - the tongue peeking out with delight out of the corner of Harrelson's lips.

I believe the last episode left an opening for a sequel. I hope so.

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