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True Detective


didn't build that
HBO's series True Detective is a throwback to pulp detective novels, as well as an homage to classic Weird Fiction.

The opening theme captures the tone of the show.


If you haven't watched it, I don't want to spoil any specific plot details in the first post.

Opinions? Anyone watch this show?


Never have I so radically changed my opinion on a show in so short of a time.

I initially had the opinion that this was a regular police procedural. Since I've enjoyed the pulpy Hannibal, I didn't mind that. However, it was clear to me from the first episode that there was something special about it. Matthew McConaughey's character, Rust, had an interesting way of viewing the world that, while hardly novel, was so well-developed and sincerely expounded by Rust that it was impossible not to get roped in.

By episode four, the show's world view became clearer. It had an underlying and consistent theme that reached deeper than characters' early monologues suggested. So by then, I was convinced it was one of the finest shows I'd ever seen.

By the final episode, episode eight, my view changed again.
It seemed to have changed into yet another pulpy police procedural with a one-dimensional villain and a dumb, pseudo-creepy showdown. Its Hollywood ending betrayed the characters--it felt unearned--and none of it made much sense. I was once certain the show was committed to its surprisingly rare fatalistic course, but I felt like I wasted my time when I was done.

I wanted to see the void--the beating heart of this show. I wanted at least a glimpse of it. I didn't want cliches. I certainly didn't want to see God, a moral order, or a victory for the light side. It was a clumsy betrayal.

I marathoned the show in three days, so these really were rapid changes of opinion. Assessing it a few days after the show finished, I enjoyed the ride and the general atmosphere. I can only hope other shows follow this trend, and I will be watching season 2.
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The Good Samaritan
Mar 20, 2012
Canberra, Australia
I've heard a lot of good things about True Detective, but I've never been quite drawn to it. Part of me really wants to give it a try, but the other part of me can't be bothered to do so. If it's as good as you say it is, then I'm willing to put it on my to-watch list, but I'll be going into this with varying levels of expectations.


poog tnalp yknuhc
Jul 11, 2012
I've heard of this show a while back from a friend of mine, but I didn't have access to HBO at the time, so I got behind on the episodes, and still have yet to watch it. I really do like shows that are based around cops and detectives and I thought this one would be another cliche cop series, but i'm glad to know that it's a little different . I recently discovered that the first season was released on DVD, so I will be checking it out soon enough.

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