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  • Right when the opening credits start and you hear that morbidly beautiful song 'Far From Any Road' by 'The Handsome Family', you know that this isn't going to be your usual cop show. Now, if you're more into action films, avoid this at all costs - but if you like amazing performances and dark, brooding cinema peppered with some black humour and a slight psychedelic touch, you're going to love this. The atmosphere and the southern ambiance of this show are so rich and the cinematography is so beautiful, I can hardly think of anything in recent TV-history that compares to this. To make a musical analogy: if the crazy, creative energy of 'Breaking Bad' felt like 'Led Zeppelin', this feels more like 'The Doors'. The slow, bluesy, hypnotic pulse of this show draws you in and hooks you - and then it doesn't let go. By the way, the original music is also excellent (T-Bone Burnett) and fits the mood perfectly.

    As far as the actors are concerned, there's nothing but great performances. Even the smaller parts are perfectly cast and the two leads: wow, just - wow! Harrelson (freshly returned from 'The Hunger Games'), plays the "normal", more down to earth character, while McConaughey (still marked by his own personal hunger games) nails the part of his slightly mad, highly intelligent but nihilistic and severely depressed partner. Watching them play off each other (again, after 'Edtv' and 'Surfer, Dude') while their conflicted - and conflicting - characters try to solve a ritual murder is so captivating (and so much fun) I honestly don't care that much if they are ever going to solve that crime.

    So for the moment, I'm giving this 10 stars (I can still take back a few if it all goes downhill from here), because in my opinion, there wasn't a single note out of key so far. The writing is top notch, and if the creative team behind this can keep it up, this could turn out to be HBO's next 'Wire' in terms of quality. Cary Fukunaga ('Sin Nombre','Jane Eyre'), who will hopefully one day adapt Stephen King's 'It', proves once more that he's a very accomplished director and a talent to look out for in the future.

    My verdict: if you like a well told, character driven story (that might lead you to some very dark places) and if you're not put off by a rather considerate pace, I can't recommend this show enough - this is some great television.

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  • When i first heard about the show , i thought to myself that with a premise and cast like that , what could go wrong with this show? Well there could have been a lot of things. For example the plot may have been overdone or under thought , direction may have been all over the place , but the first episode proved that it was not to be so.

    The plot looks delicious...yes it does and the neat direction just purely compliments the smooth design of the show. Even though story telling is non linear at times , but it has been managed very well with subtle dialogue and the growing suspense. It does get dark at times but handles all its complications with ease.

    The casting is clever...very clever. Both Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson are brilliant actors and at the same time have a certain mystery about them that is Perfect for the show. They have a firm grip of their respective characters and seem dissolved in them.

    This show is NOT just a regular cop drama or a clichéd murder mystery. It is much much more and has already proved so in the first episode. Much is expected from it and the future looks bright for True Detective.

    UPDATE ( Episode 2-6 ) - Now 6 episodes have gone by and i believe my views have changed a little. The richness of the show in the first couple of episodes completely PALES in comparison to the speed, smoothness and uniqueness in the latter episodes. From the 4th episode is when the show actually picked even more momentum and proved its worth as possibly the greatest thing on television at the moment. McConaughey is truly having the golden period of his career. The future (probable) Academy Award winner (For DBC) is at his freaking best as Rust Cohle. Harrelson is brilliant as the angry and flawed Marty Hart. I liked this show. But now i am addicted to it.

    With 2 more episodes of the season to go , one can only expect the best from this fast-paced , beautifully crafted show.

    So far, an obvious 10/10.

    Final update: ( Episode 7 & 8 )-- Well the series ended last night on a very thoughtful note. Up until the 7th episode, the show had picked up so much speed and given us so much to think about that i was expecting a little too much from the last couple of episodes. Who wasn't.

    *********** If you haven't seen the series , please Don't read on*********

    The 7th episode was truly amazing as it set the stage for Rust and Marty's final adventure of the series. There was too much anticipation for the final episode, but did it deliver. Yes and No, depending entirely on how you look at it. There were no unusual shocking twists and there were no unrealistic happenings. It was quiet a daring and a brilliant end to a show that explored beyond any other show's reach. But to be very honest, as a single episode , the finale wont stand out. But as an entire series , i believe we have been treated to one of the best television series ever made. The writing and direction have been top notch. Acting has been flawless. Am gonna miss it.

  • This show is fantastic. Both Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey are stellar and the rest of the cast are amazing. Every person gives meaning to there character. The story is dark but it never gets to dark. It adds some humor every now and then which is done well. Also there is not a lot of Action so if your looking for a Action filled series this is not for you. Dialogue is well written you can tell that a lot of time was put into the shows script. Cinematography is absolutely jaw dropping they have some beautiful shots in the first 3 episodes. There is 0 shaky cam for those that hate it. I hope this show has a long run because it's fantastic and it really stands out from the rest of the crime shows out right now. Overall I recommend this show to people that are looking for a stellar story. Absolutely brilliant 10/10

    *Edit* 2/24/14: Just finished episode 6 and I like how this is all playing out. I am really looking forward to watching the rest of the season.

    *Edit* 3/10/14: Now that True Detectives first season is over. I have to say that this season will go down as one of the best achievements in Television history. The amount of emotions this season had was unbelievable. Truly some of the best Television I have watched.
  • If you want to skip this review just jump to the IMDb list of awards and nominations, and you're done.

    If you want the skinny, let me say this is one of the most perfect dramas ever to grace your flat screen.

    Harrelson, you need to understand, is no slouch. He does crazy better than crazy people. And he usually steals any scene not nailed down.

    But Matthew McConaughey operates at such a level here -- not to mention the astonishing makeup which makes him appear to be playing his own father -- that he walks off with this production. Mesmerizing.

    Everyone is pitch perfect, which I believe explains the casting awards. Even Michelle Monaghan, usually known for getting by on her amazing looks, does more acting her than anytime in her career
  • This is a show which almost bathes in success before it's begun. With it's cast and their pedigree of work i cant see many people interested in this type of television not seeing it.

    Regardless the pilot grips you with non-linear suspense driven story telling. Vaguely some kind of serial killer murders young women in a ritualistic manner and our 2 protagonists catch the case. What follows is a tantalising taste of what I'm sure will become one of the most well wrought shows of the year, as is the norm for HBO. Teased with mystery and the promise of a story worth hearing being told in a superb manner, Its hard not to fully recommend every mature adult checking this show out.

    The only demographic that wont be thoroughly satisfied with this work are people looking for lighter "easy watching" style programs. This isn't an episodic cop show, True Detective is dark and unapologetically twisted.
  • Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. This is one of the finest debuts after the end of the behemoth that was Breaking Bad. It is, however, darker, sinister and more tense than BB's first season, boasting the same level of uncanny actor performance... Mcconaughey's character is a multi layered, conflict ridden pessimistic, walking black whole with a uniform and a brilliant mind, Harrelson plays the family man cop with a bigger heart and a down to earth perspective - the clashes of both ways of life are amazing and when both actors discuss deep topics, each with his own take on life, it's as good as anything they've ever played. The story is shocking and still simple so far (only first episode has aired at the time of this review) which it makes up for in the awesomeness of the pagan thematic, it leaves plenty of hints and cliff hangers at the end of the first episode so there may still be very interesting twists to it. Directing is exemplar in shots, pace, dialogue and I even enjoy the color balance. Editing is phenomenal too. Very highly recommended!
  • Of course, I knew that HBO was putting this out there. What I didn't expect was to be hooked from the opening titles. Atmospheric, moody, moving at the laconic pace of South (not to be confused with slow). We, as viewers, are watching the story unfold just as the characters do. Harrelson and McConaughey are simply and elegantly perfect, playing off of each other to the perfect degree. The cinematography is stellar, as is the story as it begins to unfold. I had no idea what I was in for when I turned it on, but I'm hooked, and can't wait for the next and the next and the next...secrets abound, tantalizing clues are everywhere, but where do they lead. I'm can't wait to find out.
  • Season one is a beautiful thing.

    Then Vince Vaughan happened and the less said about that the better.
  • I intensely dislike series that tidy up all the loose ends of a mystery in the last 30 minutes of a series that lasted 8+ hours and that had little to do with almost all of episodes leading up to the grand finale. In most mysteries the cast of characters are identified early on in the series so we the audience can wonder about their guilt or innocence. No such luck here. We are left instead with a drama involving a troubled relationship between one of the lead detectives and his wife which dragged on too long and involved way too many flashbacks which often left the viewer mystified about the timeline of events taking place.
  • Last spring (2014) while surfing IMDb for a new show to watch I came across True Detective, a show that had received rave reviews across the board. I'm not a particular fan of crime mysteries, but I figured I'd give the show a shot. After all, IMDb ratings had been pretty reliable in giving me an idea of good a show would be. I thoroughly enjoyed Season 1. In fact, I'd say it's one of the best pieces of television I've ever seen. Yes, one of those rare masterpieces that stick out from the usual assembly of cheesy sitcoms and thrillers.

    Season 1 verdict: If I had to give only season 1 a rating, I would give it a 9/10 with no hesitation, and possibly even a 10/10. The show was everything I had hoped for and more.

    Needless to say, I was excited for season 2. I waited for the entire show to air so that I could binge watch it without having to wait a week between episodes. I eagerly turned on the first episode of season 2, but as the episode dragged on it became apparent that this episode was a real let down. It was a series of of plots that all seemed to have no relation to each other. It was hard to even follow what was going on. "Hey, that's okay" I said to myself. I figured it was just a necessary lackluster episode that would set the stage for all of the glory of True Detective that I knew and loved. Instead, I continued to be disappointed by episode after episode. Sadly, it became very clear that Season 2 sucks. I don't use that word too often, unless it's warranted, but in this case it surely is. During the middle of episode 4 of Season 2 I just turned it off. It was so poor that I couldn't even watch it anymore. I came back the next morning hoping to try again and got the same result. Season 2 is basically unwatchable.

    Most of Season 2 involves a few seriously depressed brooding alcoholics staring at each other with sad serious faces uttering dark cheesy lines like "Those moments, they stare back at you, you don't remember them, they remember you". I mean, come on, really? The whole thing is just cheesy and I lost all interest in the problems of these people. I want to give Vince Vaughn some credit here, because he did some fantastic acting, but that couldn't come close to redeeming this season.

    Season 2 verdict: Don't even bother with season 2 unless you like being disappointed. It sucks, plain and simple.
  • logyman1312 January 2014
    After just watching tonight's series premiere episode of "True Detective" on HBO, I can already tell this is going to be a fantastic show. It kept me interested and almost forced my attention the entire hour. It is already beginning to build a complex plot so make sure to pay attention to the details. All the elements of a brilliant show are at hand here. The writing, the acting, the scenery, the plot. Everything, from what I have seen so far, is amazing. The show has this dark, eerie feel to it which I love. McConaughey and Harrelson deliver great performances. Do not watch if you aren't into complex plots. But otherwise, I strongly suggest giving this one a go.
  • So hard to give this a rating. The first year it was a 10/10. The second year it is a 1/10. I kept thinking I was missing something. I started out by recording the series and after 1 1/2 episodes, I had to cancel.

    I realize the cast and the story line are different, but surly there is some cohesion among the developers.

    This season is dull and slow moving beyond words. The characters are lifeless, the plot dry, the pace, sleep inducing.

    I Looked forward to second season, but I am so disappointed. I don't even consider it watchable. I see by other comments, it isn't me. So sad.
  • I don't know why but I can't enter my how many stars review, so I'll just write it here as 10

    From the opening credits, which seemed like a combo of the credits of 'Six Feet Under" and "The Killing" with a little James Bond" look all with this ominous song, to the end I think this is going to be something great. It will not be for everyone, I already have seen reviews of people hating on it for not having action and being slow, well this show like many others is going to be a "Slow Boil" type of show. For those of you who don't know this story arc and actors/characters will not be continuing after this season, i just read that it will be a total of 8 epiodes with a solid conclusion and than will move on to another story in season 2 making it an anthology season series like American Horror Story. I'm really glad another show has decided to do that format and hope that there will be others in the future
  • Ever since the Sopranos raised the bar, we have been treated to some great TV shows this past 10-15 years, & with True Detective, the latest offering from HBO, i think we might just have another beauty. When you have Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson playing the leads, the hope & expectation rises & judging by first viewing, they look like they wont disappoint. They are both very different characters, we get to know how they were in the 90s, and how they have changed into the present day, and how they both have individual issues. The overall feel of the show is a little dark, but the mood seems perfect for the show & the cast compliment this brilliantly so far. The bar as been set by a number of shows in recent times, but initial impressions, and with this duo leading the line, True Detective could well be right up there in the future.
  • ericnottelling13 January 2014
    Wow. That is seriously all I can say after watching the first episode. The episode is amazing. Will definitely be tuning in again and so will you. Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey do a great job. The script is very well written and drives the story hard. This show is all about the story. It has the feel of a mini series not a TV show so it will be interesting to see where it goes. But it is one powerful script that is acted out great. This is the first 10/10 I think I have given on IMDb. Once you watch it you will know why. I will be shocked it this show does not win awards. It may be the best show on HBO now and I would say it's up there with orphan black with it's ability to grab your attention and keep you glued.
  • For starters, IMDB should have separate these into seasons. First deserved 10, second 2, and third barely 4 stars. I've reviewed first two so let's say something about this, third one. Some mild spoilers but no big deal. There's been some kind of trend going on for TV-shows in past few months: all talk, nothing happens. This one is truly in line with that. I've noticed that in Punisher, Star Trek Discovery and now here. Everybody is just leading endless idle conversations about nothing with nothing really happening. This season of TD really deserves TD. The whole season, all eight episodes could fit into an average yawning 100 minute movie. If it wasn't for a brief Rambo episode with "the revenge of the war veteran (Mr. Woodard) molested by idiots" , it would be completely empty. It's hard to comprehend this. Excellent actors and performances of nothing. All idling. Talks, thoughts, more talks, slow pace, them slower pace and some talks and thoughts. In slow pace. After this third season it becomes obvious that the creator and author is colossally overrated. This is not story telling, this is graphomania. Please, don't waste everybody's time and/or money and/or talent on more filming such stuff for television. Go find something else to play with. OR, rename the show to Conversations and Thoughts. This one has nothing to do with a detective. Or true.
  • The first season was critically acclaimed, and with good reason... It had great acting, fascinating characters, and an intriguing storyline that drew you in and kept you interested. Admittedly, Season 2 had some big shoes to fill, but instead of continuing with their winning formula, the creators decided to make things exaggerated and overdone. The Season 2 characters are insincere, unlikeable and overdeveloped, with every possible problem, obsession and kink to make them appear edgy and dangerous. Instead they come off as silly and contrived. The acting is also atrocious, which is surprising coming from solid performers like Farrell and McAdams. Vince Vaughn is especially bad, and always appears as though he is doing a parody on SNL and will drop the punch line at any moment. Perhaps some of the bad acting can be blamed on the ridiculous script, particularly evident during the scene between Farrell's character and his attorney ("I welcome judgement."), and the one between McAdams and her father. You almost get the feeling that you are watching a B-movie worthy of Tom Sizemore and Steven Bauer, it's that bad. Even without high expectations, the second season is a big fail on all counts and will disappoint all but the undiscerning viewer.
  • This is even worse than the second season, but HBO at least tried something new back than. Well, what you get here is strictly back to the roots. Because the producers be fooled into believing that the former trick was the kind of narration-style, ...telling the story by those questioners. Therefore the same ingredients, the very similar music, the exact same brand overall - like presenting an old story on a used bowl. (The same mistake that Westworld made)

    But even if every detail seems to be back on track, nothing matches any more. Particularly the interaction between the new guys in relation to Rust and Marty. They drove a blazing touch of buddymovie despite the tragedy around - that was the truth in that detective-story. Now it goes the wrong way round...tragic of course, kids are missing, but no humor inside.

    As much as I devoured the first season, I can not swallow this. Yes, good filmed, well plottet and all homework done:

    Anxious and intense kind of boredom
  • Season 1 was fantastic, season 2 was okay but season 3 is just the same episode shown every week, literally no progression of story, it is so painfully slow with endless mumbling, I can't imagine what they were thinking, clearly a case of style over content. I strongly urge you to get involved with another show, this one does not deserve your precious time
  • I can't take it anymore. I was patient with Season 3, very, very patient, too patient. That, because: since Season 1, I cannot look at a lawnmower without imagining some creepy murderer driving it - that's how powerfull the cinematic universe was there, like the issue with the shower-curtain in Psycho.

    I gave Mr Pizzolatto the space to unravel his talent, over 4 episodes, not counting the farse that was unwatchable (Season 2). I complied with and tolerated him doing the pastiche of season 1 in season 3 - the same ritualistic child abductors/creepy manufactured toys similar to the twigs-traps in season 1/tormented detectives. But while watching episode 5 (which was announced as a huge revelation beforehand) I mean WHILE, DURING THE EPISODE- instead of following the darn story, I found myself surfing the net searching for opinions. Because my esteem for the show was fastly dropping under the tolerable line.

    There are lots of ways of telling the story of two detectives. Even when using a pastiche. I believe that Mr. Pizzolatto exhausted every drop of creativity and this masquerade should end here - no more True detective failed attempts, please.
  • (Series 3) Irritating switching of timelines (which was ok in series 1) became difficult in this series. Mahershala Ali's acting is laughable, especially when portraying his older self. He does a cringing caricature of an old person what with his bent leg walk and wandering gaze and, quite frankly, no more than 50% of his dialogue is understandable. None of the characters are at all likeable apart from perhaps Stephen Dorf's. A ridiculous plot relating to Ali's wife made no sense at all and added zip to the overall story. Is it really likely that the wife of a detective would be permitted to write a book on the case her husband is working. Really?? Made it all so difficult to watch and then the sucker punch of an abysmal Deus Ex Machina ending. Uuuurrrggghh!
  • I have just finished season 3 and I write this only to warn against it. It is a complete waste of time. 8 boring hours that you will never get back. And all the time you want so much to believe that the season will be more exciting just around the bend. But it won't. Forget season 3. I wish someone had warned me.
  • Slow paced but well acted, True Detective season 3 returns to its roots. Incorporating a plot point touched on in season 1, the series becomes familiar in its surroundings as two back country detectives attempt to locate missing children in a town where truth lies below the surface. The Cinematography and Score are fantastic, making for and eagerly anticipated re-do that erases the inadequacy of season 2.
  • Please. The first season indeed was excellent, but come on.. it has seriously gone WAY down hill since. The actors/acting is -for the most part- grade A spot on.. its the damn story lines that leave much to be desired, if not plain suck.

    This latest season has its moments but for the most part is flat out snooze boring.. with all of the constant scene by scene jumping back and forth between 3 different time periods is exhausting to keep up with.. especially when the story isnt all that interesting to begin with! Add to that 2018 PC racial stereotyped fictional crap and ... well, it doesnt make for that great of a show. At most this deserves a 5. Sheesh.

    HBO sure knows how to ruin a good thing. They've cancelled the best and ruined much of the rest.
  • Seasons 1 and 2, brilliant, season 3, should be called True, stop, rewind, play, what, Detective. Between the bouncing back and forth, and the mumbling, half the time I don't know what is going on. Don't care who took her, where she went, what happened to her, etc. Better luck in season 4.
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