By the title you may be scratching your head, after watching the initial episode it's guaranteed. Darkness surrounds the seemingly occult murder of a young prostitute in a rural setting where you wished the light of sun would shine is the jumping off point of this decidedly off-kilter police drama. That, normally, is enough for a crime drama, but True Detective does not stop with that. No, what immediately defines True Detective isn't a horrific ritualistic murder, but Louisiana CID detective Rustin Cohle as played by Matthew McConnaughey. C Cohle is in one episode TV's most enigmatic detective ever. The sinister perpetrator of the grisly opening murder scene likely has nothing on the snake pit inside Cohle's mind. Cohle has largely become asocial in any normal sense of the term while, apparently, being a brilliant detail obsessed madman of a law officer. He's tragic, unlikeable, and compellingly magnetic for the viewer. Like paper and fire he's oddball matched with detective Martin Hart, the paper, played by Woody Harrelson. The pairing is combustible as Hart is just as committed in a much more conventional yet still edgy way. All they need is a sadistic complicated killer to pursue which appears on cue as the series begins.
True Detective is absolutely dripping with ominous deepest mystery. Meeting detective Cohle drives it blacker with a question mark and apostrophe! Cohle is tagged "the taxman" because he keeps radical notes in a large ledger like notebook with articulate drawings he defers to in lieu of the usual photographs. The banter between Cohle and Hart not only defines their uneasy differences in working a crime, but their worlds. Cohle doesn't sleep in his self imposed hell while he sucks Hart into a place he struggles to attempt to do his job. Their partnership brings up as much uneasiness as the murder they are investigating. As a viewer one feels almost the same dread and that is what immediately sucks you in. Nothing moves fast and everything feels weird so you keep watching hoping to get a handle on anything. This has a kind of brilliance seldom seen on TV. I'm hooked!