Thursday, August 14, 2014

Something Wicked This Way Comes

As the Emmy awards grow closer, I figured it was time to talk about one of the best shows that aired this year. True Detective, like a good number of cable programs, cast movie stars in the lead roles and got epic performances out both Woody Harrelson and Mathew McConaughey. 

The show follows the crime drama format established by Twin Peaks, and followed more recently by The Killing and The Bridge, of taking one case and stretching it out over the entire season. Because the show is on HBO, there was no sanitation of the darkness surrounding the murder plot which incorporated a good deal of cult imagery and satanic elements. But it is the style of storytelling that really sets the show apart from the competition.

True Detective uses a technique where it tells three timelines simultaneously. There is the story of the actual investigation which took place 20 years ago, the fallout between the character set a decade in the past, and the story of the present. All three unravel slowly, and each carefully influences the other. This is difficult way to tell a story and can often lead to problems, but when it's effective, as it is here, the results are hard to argue with. 

This is not a show for the squeamish, but for those who think they can brave the dark subject matter, I highly recommend it. Mathew McConaughey is absolutely wonderful, and should win the Best Actor trophy, putting him just two awards shy of an EGOT. The show itself faces tough competition from the likes of Game of Thrones and a last hurrah for Breaking Bad, but it stands a fair chance.

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