True Detective: Harrelson the Straight Edge, McConaughey the Drug Addict.

Hello everybody! Today we have one of the most ground-breaking HBO series in recent history, True Detective.


STARRING: Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Monaghan, Michael Potts, Tory Kittles

DIRECTOR: Cary Joji Fukunaga

GENRE: Southern Gothic, Drama, Neo-noir, Crime, Mystery

YEAR: 2014

COUNTRY: United States

Alright, so True Detective /Silicon Valley/ Fargo are all the result of my most recent HBO binge. This is hilarious since I don’t even know anyone who has HBO GO, but why pay premium service when you can just stream it for free?

HBO’s True Detective is truly unsettling, not because it’s about the search for a Louisiana serial killer, but because soon enough the search seems almost incidental: a pretext for testing limits and acting out and debating what makes people tick. Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey), the lead detective on the case, treats the investigation as both a justice-seeking mission and a means of philosophical inquiry. He mutters about faith, doubt, the illusion of morality, and the nature of the human heart, often in Socratic sentences that turn his easygoing partner, Marty Hart (Woody Harrelson), into an irrelevant audience of one.

Cohle is a loner who lost his wife and daughter during the years when he worked as an undercover drug agent. He has no social life and couldn’t care less if other cops (including Hart) like him. He takes crime-scene notes in a big sketchbook, lives in an unfurnished apartment, and meditates under a crucifix even though he’s a professed nonbeliever. “We are things that labor under the illusion of having a self,” says Cohle, who blasts the devout as dupes who are intellectually “so goddamn frail they’d rather put a coin in a wishing well than buy dinner.” Hart, who’s cheating on his wife but still takes offense at Cohle’s heresy, warns his partner that he’s made a religion of rationality, treats his notebooks like “stone tablets,” and is “incapable of admitting doubt — and that sounds like denial to me.”


I heard many glaring reviews about True Detective, so I went into the first episode with the bar set high. After the first episode, I was hooked. While I am not a huge McConaughey fan, I admire his strengths as an actor. He definitely works well across from Harrelson, their characters are written very well to contrast each other, making this some good premium television.

I know this is where I am supposed to tear apart whatever I am reviewing, but I am just going to barely knit pick on this one. My main issue with True Detective is that I feel Harrelson and McConaughey play the wrong roles. While McConaughey has played some “out of character” roles in recent year (Dallas Buyers Club) it still doesn’t make sense for Harrelson being the more “straight-edged” of the two characters. Also parts of the episodes are very slow as it is obviously leading up to some catastrophic and awesome.


  • Main cast performances.
  • Story/plot points.
  • Well-written characters.


  • Mcchonohey and Harrelson in wrong roles.
  • Pacing.

SCORE: 9.0 / 10

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Brandon Stuhr

Who am I? Just some guy who decided to start writing on the Internet years ago and now operates his own brand and site. Owner/Operator of Modern Neon Media, I make all kinds of niche content to suit my interests at the time. DIY Enthusiast, Brewmaster extraordinaire, and avid freak for geek culture. Follow on my socials for a more "on" version of me.

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