The Coincidental Critic

Exploring the art of storytelling.

The Long Bright Dark Beginning to True Detective


After hearing all the Emmy buzz about “True Detective,” I’d thought I’d check it out myself.  And I must say, based off the first episode, I’m not surprised as to why the critics loved it.

First off, the writing in this episode was superb.  While the script did portray deep metaphors and concepts, the writing remained true and natural.  It was complex, yet easy to follow and understand.  Nic Pizzolatto did a great job writing an episode that was intellectual and realistic.

Adding to the great writing, this show was led by amazing actors.  Both Woodey Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey were perfect in their roles as Marty and Rust respectively.  They made each character come to life with his own unique personality and mannerisms.  McConaughey’s performance in particular was riveting.  He was constantly in character, acting whenever in the camera’s frame.  Throughout the episode, McConaughey acted using only his eyes.  The way he moved them revealed so many aspects about his character.  I was completely blown away.

The icing on the cake  was the work done by the hair and make-up department.  This episode primarily took place in 1995, seventeen years prior to the show’s “present day.”  In this case, both Harrelson and McConaughey had to be much, much younger than their present selves.  The hair and make-up team made this time jump look flawless.  It was almost frightening how much younger Harrelson and McConaughey looked in the 1995 scenes compared to the 2012 scenes.  Their faces were tighter and more flushed, while their hair was fuller.  I completely believed that these men were almost twenty years younger than their actual ages.  Very impressive work done by the hair and make-up team.

Unfortunately, during this episode, I found myself getting a little bored.  I wasn’t that interested in the case Rust and Marty were trying to solve, but more interested in the characters themselves (which I think is what the production team was going for); however, this prevented the show from holding my full attention.  I thought the episode was a bit too somber and serious, and while it dealt with serious situations, I wish there were a few more scenes that lightened the mood.

I ended up leaving the episode curious as to what the rest of the season has in store, and I’m excited to keep watching.

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