The UK Falls for an Ephemeral 'True Detective'

While U.S audiences enjoyed episode 6 of HBO’s True Detective last night, Sky Atlantic aired the first on Saturday (Feb 22) as British viewers got a taste of Rust’s enigmatic ponderings as opposed to Martin’s traditional sensibilities. And then there’s the mysterious, ritualistic murder and constant sense of underlying danger. Needless to say, UK critics were enthralled.

True DetectiveWoody Harrelson [L] and Matthew McConuaghey [R] as Hart and Cohle in 'True Detective'

“True Detective is as cinematic as television gets and, in many ways, is superior to its more prestigious cousin. It’s not just the movie-star cast, or that it was shot on 35mm, or the soundtrack by T Bone Burnett. It’s not even the unusual amount of creative control given to writer Nic Pizzolatto and director Cary Joji Fukunaga,” writes Ellen E. Jones for The Independent.

“On one level, it's a cracking murder mystery. A woman's body is found next to a burning sugar cane field, under a big old tree, surrounded by (and also wearing) weird stuff that points to some kind of dark symbolic significance – a crown of leaves, deer antlers, a twig pyramid that may or may not be a devil trap. It's unlikely to be the first time this killer has struck. Won't be the last either, unless they get him,” wrote Sam Wollaston for The Guardian.

“If you don’t like serial-killer dramas – and I don’t – or police procedurals – and I don’t – then ordinarily this might have been the point you’d have checked out, but in those first five minutes there had already been enough writerly depth (all eight episodes were written by novelist Nic Pizzolatto), cinematic flair (the series has been directed by Sin Nombre and Jane Eyre director Cary Fukunaga) and acting brilliance from McConaughey and Harrelson to justify staying with it,” writes Chris Harvey for The Telegraph.

Matthew McConaughey Woody Harrelson True DetectiveThe mystery unravels as Cohle and Hart follow the trail

As you can see, the show has been brilliantly received by the critics, and one look at the comment boards on those reviews suggests the viewing were equally delighted with the U.S export. The show marks a triumphant turn-around for Matthew McConaughey, who has been at the right end of numerous superlatives for his performance as Rustin Cohle. This resurgence is set to continue with an Oscar win, if the bookmakers – who have installed him as favourite – are to be believed.


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Tags: Matthew Mcconaughey - Woody Harrelson - HBO

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