We have been living in the golden age of television over the past decade or so.  Ever since the days of The Wire and The Sopranos, networks like AMC, HBO, and FX have consistently produced high quality content and entertaining television


The latest in this string of great shows is HBO’s True Detective. Set in rural Alabama, True Detective is a cop drama/mystery that follows detectives Rustin Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) and Marty Hart (Woody Harrelson) as they recount the events of a murder investigation that took place 17 years prior.


True Detective is primarily as a mystery/thriller. Scenes of police investigations take up the majority of the show, and after four episodes the plot is proving to be totally engaging.  The producers have just been laying the ground work so far, but even that has been thoroughly entertaining.  With each episode fans are fed scraps of information that by the end will surely make for a feast.


But True Detective is much more than just a cop show. It’s also an enthralling and credible piece of character driven dramatic television. The characters and relationships are well developed and expertly executed, such that, when the show moves towards those moments of drama, it can be easy to forget about the mystery that’s going on in the background.


The writing in True Detective has generally been impressive. Not only has the dialogue and plot been sharp, the structure of the show allows for some interesting storytelling. In telling the story through interviews, the writing team can really play with the distribution of information both to the characters and the audience. It isn’t a completely original technique, but it has worked marvelously in this particular case.


The two lead actors are played by Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. These are two very talented actors and their performance on the show has been fantastic.  McConaughey is strong  and has you fully buying into his role as a strange, introverted, pessimist cop genius. Both of these actors have found a voice for their characters and the fact that we get to see them work together on screen for a season of television is something to celebrate.


Behind the camera is director Cary Fukunaga, who has made it clear that we are in very capable hands. The world he has created feels tactile and has a certain grit to it that fits perfectly with the narrative. You’re never left without a sense of place and every scene is handled deftly. It’s clear that he is a talented filmmaker and I can’t wait to see what he does next.


The season for True Detective just started so it should not be hard to catch up if you are not yet a fan. Make a point to watch this one, it’s solid.

True Detective airs Sunday nights on HBO.


Have you seen this show? Tell me what you think in the comment section below.