It's barely past the first week of January and already television is slapping you around with so many new shows that your face is probably getting pretty sore. But you're going to have to rub some dirt on it or put an ice pack on your cheek because the new TV will not stop! Case in point: the latest offering from HBO, a highly touted drama called True Detective. But is it worth another smack on your money-maker? I've seen the first episode, and I'll help you figure that out in another edition of Help! My TV Is Hitting Me, Make it Stop, TV.com!
True Detective, so this is a True Blood spin-off about vampire detectives?
Well, Matthew McConaughey's gaunt face may make him look like he's an undead bloodsucker, but no. This limited series follows a pair of Louisiana detectives called upon when their old murder case that was closed some 17 years ago is reopened. The narrative bounces around between the two timelines, checking in on the cops today and following the original investigation.
Whose show is this, and who's in it?
The series was created by author Nick Pizzolatto, who wrote every episode; Cary Fukunaga directed every episode. But the names in lights belong to Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, two movie-star buddies who co-star. Michelle Monaghan and Kevin Dunn also star.
When does True Detective get to detecting?
True Detective premieres Sunday, January 12 at 9pm on HBO. It's a miniseries, but it also has a chance to live on, American Horror Story-style. If it gets picked up for another season, it will feature a new case and new actors. (It will get picked up for another season.)
Who might enjoy True Detective?
Fans of slow-moving psychological crime dramas, for sure. Think Top of the Lake, Broadchurch, and to some extent, Hannibal.
What's to like about True Detective?
Almost all of it, really. The acting is top-notch, with McConaughey excelling and making us forget what a boyish and goofy Texas boy he is in real life. And Fukunaga's direction boasts a very keen eye; True Detective is beautiful, and the shots are well-thought-out. The case is secondary to the characters—this isn't so much a mystery as it is an examination of the tolls of violence and those who investigate The series is sharp all around. Also, a Game of Thrones trailer is debuting right before it. That counts, right?
What isn't so great about True Detective?
It's slow. And I mean really slow. Especially the first hour. Brew a gallon of coffee, mainline some 5-Hour Energy, snort some Pixie Stix. You'll need a bit of help to get over that initial hump. Maybe eat that giant turkey burrito after watching the premiere? Also, it's not exactly light. "Entertaining" isn't the word I'd use to describe the series... maybe "gripping" is a better choice.
So, should I watch it?
If all of the above sounds good to you, then definitely. True Detective will be on many critics' Top 10 lists by the end of 2014
Let's take a look at a trailer!
You got it!
True Detective premieres Sunday, January 12 at 9pm on HBO.
TONIGHT AT 9PM
Season 2 : Episode 3