• Network: HBO
  • Series Premiere Date: Jan 12, 2014
Season #: 1, 2
User Score
9.2

Universal acclaim- based on 1394 Ratings

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  1. Jan 13, 2014
    10
    Just another lover of "True Detective". Yes, it does remind me of several other detective/procedural series on TV but it is so much more subtle, so much better acted. Harrelson and McConneghy are far from being among my favorite actors but on "True Detective", they simply show how it is done. Excellent!
  2. Mar 10, 2014
    10
    Hands down one of the bests overall seasons of any show I've ever watched. The acting, the characters, the gloomy/creepy story. It sucks you right in and you can't help but stay hooked all through the eight episodes. It's a shame the story ends after only eight but it never gets dull and comes to a satisfying conclusion. I can't believe anyone could give this show a proper reviewHands down one of the bests overall seasons of any show I've ever watched. The acting, the characters, the gloomy/creepy story. It sucks you right in and you can't help but stay hooked all through the eight episodes. It's a shame the story ends after only eight but it never gets dull and comes to a satisfying conclusion. I can't believe anyone could give this show a proper review before watching it all the way through. Though, I was impressed right from the first episode. Highly recommended! Expand
  3. Mar 11, 2014
    10
    I just have watched the last episode of the show and felt the strong urge to watch it over and over again - al least another 2 times. Here´s why: This show is just a superbly written, ferociously performed and incredibly directed TV-series. It´s unconditional love for detail, slow pacing and making the viewer feel for each and every one of the characters (maybe except of the killer),I just have watched the last episode of the show and felt the strong urge to watch it over and over again - al least another 2 times. Here´s why: This show is just a superbly written, ferociously performed and incredibly directed TV-series. It´s unconditional love for detail, slow pacing and making the viewer feel for each and every one of the characters (maybe except of the killer), while blurring the edges between good and evil makes it a chilling experience straight to the bone. There´s is no plot hole but always some room for letting your fantasy unravel. Finally closing the story after episode eight protects the series from dying the "Dexter-dead" (you know what i mean ... that lumberjack stuff). Good! Not to mention Harrelson and McConaughey reaching new heights... oops I just did. Hate it without any good reason or give it a serious try and get your mind blown. Expand
  4. Mar 12, 2014
    10
    Just when I thought there weren't going to be any more excellent series tv shows, here came a hurricane of great acting, plots and suspense. Matthew & Woody are both astonishingly good - what a fantastic treat for tv fans & what another coup for HBO.
  5. Mar 14, 2014
    10
    I loved this from start to finish. The writing is good throughout and has a lot of philosophical and emotional depth to it. There is also a constant mass of things you`re not really told about as a viewer, forcing you to pay attention but also to think for yourself, for all the good it`ll do you. There is no clear bad guy to focus your antipathy toward, except in the last episode, and theI loved this from start to finish. The writing is good throughout and has a lot of philosophical and emotional depth to it. There is also a constant mass of things you`re not really told about as a viewer, forcing you to pay attention but also to think for yourself, for all the good it`ll do you. There is no clear bad guy to focus your antipathy toward, except in the last episode, and the protagonists are far from easy to sympathize with in their own right. And even at the end you are left unsatisfied because most of the really bad people were not caught, just the demon Harrelson and McConaughey had been trying to find for 17 years.
    Critics think this is True Detective taking itself seriously, when it`s really just an intelligent writer not trying to pretend the world is better than it is, and choosing not to joke it away. In the end this makes it not so much depressing as simply neutral, but with a lot of emotion in it regardless. It dares to not explain important things to its viewers, perhaps expecting them to be able to figure some stuff out by themselves, while it deals with enormous subjects almost effortlessly, as if it`s the most natural thing in the world.
    Which brings me to the acting, which is some of the best I have seen from both Harrelson and McConaughey. They both look and act as if they have utterly disappeared into their well written roles. The supporting cast is also good and along with the southern setting and atmospheric sound of the series it really does transport you as if it was a novel and not a television program. My only problem was that I had to turn the volume really high to be able to make out what McConaughey was saying a lot of the time, what with his throaty way of talking.

    I marvel at the criticism of "feminists" regarding the female characters, when it`s a show about two men, one a single alcoholic with at least a couple of serious personal issues, and the other middle aged and cheating on his wife. And in a show in which all the men are either alcoholics, adulterers, child murderers or religious hypocrites, how does this criticism even begin developing in tiny minds? Perhaps I should complain about how True Detective treats the male characters and if anything it would have been sexist to portray women in a good light next to all these despicable men. You notice that the deranged serial killer and all his friends were men. Perhaps they should have been rewritten as female characters instead. In fact basically every single murderer, serial killer, rapist, drug lord and evil person in every TV series and movie made over the last few decades have been men. I demand reparations!
    You don`t have to like the women in the True Detective but how else was the betrayed wife supposed to have behaved? And which woman should have been artificially introduced into the life of the other man who was single by his own choice? The other female characters were all either children, prostitutes or witnesses, and all looked about right for the part. And even if they didn`t, is there some law now that all men must love and respect all women and pretend they are perfect saints, no matter how they behave? And if there is why isn`t there a corresponding one saying that all women must love and respect all men, even if they are exposing themselves in the park or are wife beaters? This hypocrisy is just enough to make my head hurt. Anyway, if this law does exist allow me to break it immediately by voting ten.

    In reality of course, True Detective is not about men and certainly not about women. It is about good and evil, life and death and a broken man finding light at the end of a very very long tunnel. Call it presumptuous, but I liked it!
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  6. Mar 11, 2014
    10
    I'm pretty sure this is the best show I've ever seen. I don't understand how after watching the last episode anyone can give this show a negative review. The setting is so spooky! It really reminds me of some of the best old x-files but with better acting, better character development, and a wicked immersive setting.
  7. Mar 15, 2014
    10
    most alluring TV series i've ever seen. Loved the way Cohle describing his philosophy of life. Mystery was never my kick to watch this show rather it was the mystifying personality of Cohle which aroused my interest right through the beginning. Quoting Cohle' "You're looking at the sky thing wrong. Once there was only dark. If you ask me the light's winning."
  8. Mar 11, 2014
    10
    The best season of television ever. The tropes of story-telling, life, death, balance, and time hit the nail right on the head. Never before has a show attempted such large scale thematic elements with such a condensed story. It speaks many truths about the lives we lead every day and how they contribute to the overall meaning of purpose. It is going to be a difficult challenge for HBO toThe best season of television ever. The tropes of story-telling, life, death, balance, and time hit the nail right on the head. Never before has a show attempted such large scale thematic elements with such a condensed story. It speaks many truths about the lives we lead every day and how they contribute to the overall meaning of purpose. It is going to be a difficult challenge for HBO to follow-up with a second season. I hope that writer Nic Pizzolatto has awesome ideas for the show’s future. Hat’s off to everyone involved for helping me get through this terrible winter with such unbelievable entertainment. Expand
  9. Oct 15, 2014
    10
    Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson steal the show, for me especially McConaughey, he shines here and shows why he received an Academy Award. And the script, the characters, pacing, the show itself is above amazing. The story keeps you glued to your seats, while you crawing for more, and the fact you'll probably need to watch this show twice to figure out everything, or if you missedMatthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson steal the show, for me especially McConaughey, he shines here and shows why he received an Academy Award. And the script, the characters, pacing, the show itself is above amazing. The story keeps you glued to your seats, while you crawing for more, and the fact you'll probably need to watch this show twice to figure out everything, or if you missed some small details. All in all the best detective show i ever watched, can't wait for season 2 to come out. For anyone who didn't yet see True Detective i'm asking you to give this show a chance and i promise you won't regret it. I would be very suprised if McConaughey or Harrelson don't get an Emmy. Expand
  10. Mar 18, 2014
    10
    One of the most effective slow burns I've witnessed in TV history. An impeccable performance by the two leads and perfectly matched music created a dark, disturbed look into the life of a serial killer.

    Excited to see who and where will be included in the next season!
  11. Mar 16, 2014
    10
    Sometimes I will watch a tv show and from the beginning I will have to force myself to push through boring dialog. From the start of this show to the end I WAS GLUED! I wanted more and more and more. The characters were amazing the story was very clever and kept me thinking. I really hope if they continue with new detectives they sit down and think very hard about how they can top this.Sometimes I will watch a tv show and from the beginning I will have to force myself to push through boring dialog. From the start of this show to the end I WAS GLUED! I wanted more and more and more. The characters were amazing the story was very clever and kept me thinking. I really hope if they continue with new detectives they sit down and think very hard about how they can top this. This is one of my favorite series thank you HBObasedgod Expand
  12. Dec 20, 2014
    8
    It's dark and it's delightful. True Detective reinvigorates TV drama with a compelling story, characterization that borders on perfection and suspense that is really quite riveting. It is not a series for the weak minded nor is it for the kind of person who reads fairy tales and adores roses. True Detective is a dark series that confronts themes and events which some may find disturbing.It's dark and it's delightful. True Detective reinvigorates TV drama with a compelling story, characterization that borders on perfection and suspense that is really quite riveting. It is not a series for the weak minded nor is it for the kind of person who reads fairy tales and adores roses. True Detective is a dark series that confronts themes and events which some may find disturbing. The gloomy setting of Louisiana further emphasizes the show's dark nature and is the perfect place for such a series to be set. Rust Cohle is one of the most interesting and unique characters in TV history and if not for Breaking Bad's farewell Emmy year, Matthew McConaughey would surely have picked up best actor in a drama series. The plot progression feels assured and even when at it's slowest, the show doesn't seem to drag. True Detective manages to present two anti-heroes very convincingly. The flaws in our two protagonists lead to a show that also presents people in a realistic light. The story is told effectively by Marty and Rust 17 years after the events take place. This style is satisfying and allows further mystery to surface by making us ponder what is going on in 2012. True Detective is a refreshing crime drama that has a compelling story, immaculate characterization, and suspense that will have your hands clutching anything within reach. Expand
  13. Jul 26, 2014
    10
    Matthew McCougnaughey and Woody Harrelson are equally fantastic. Their relationship, rather than a so-so mystery plot, is what makes this one of the best TV shows in years.
  14. Mar 17, 2014
    10
    When I saw the trailer, I expected good, but what I got was magnificently amazing. The casting is superb; the chemistry between McConaughey and Harrelson is undeniably astounding. But then there's the acting. I can't begin to describe the satisfaction I got from McConaughey' s performance - to clarify: Matthew is (or at least claims to be) a "hardcore" christian, and if you saw this show,When I saw the trailer, I expected good, but what I got was magnificently amazing. The casting is superb; the chemistry between McConaughey and Harrelson is undeniably astounding. But then there's the acting. I can't begin to describe the satisfaction I got from McConaughey' s performance - to clarify: Matthew is (or at least claims to be) a "hardcore" christian, and if you saw this show, you've probably been fooled and you're not the only one.
    The brilliance of this show is definitely the writing. I've been waiting a long time, for a show that deals with ontological and other philosophical questions, and the way they delivered it, was impeccable.
    Just one more thing - the landscape. They chose landscape that fits in more than perfect with the show's mood and progress.
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  15. Mar 30, 2014
    10
    TRUE DETECTIVE is a masterpiece. It combines a cop show formula with supernatural elements and it couldn't be any better. You owe it to yourself to watch this show. It's a tour de force. Matthew McConaughey gives his greatest performance yet, better than Dallas Buyer's Club. Woody Harrelson also give an incredible performance as his partner. If I gave anything away about this show, I wouldTRUE DETECTIVE is a masterpiece. It combines a cop show formula with supernatural elements and it couldn't be any better. You owe it to yourself to watch this show. It's a tour de force. Matthew McConaughey gives his greatest performance yet, better than Dallas Buyer's Club. Woody Harrelson also give an incredible performance as his partner. If I gave anything away about this show, I would just ruin it. Just watch this incredible masterwork. Expand
  16. Mar 29, 2014
    10
    in my opinion was a fantastic tv-show! wait eagerly for next seaaon , actually.
    hope the new season do the same as last season in story , puzzles , acting i mean new actors and every thing .
  17. Mar 29, 2014
    10
    Soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo ass.
  18. Jun 9, 2014
    8
    Great acting from the two leads, better than in any other TV show I can think of, including Mad Men, including Homeland, including anything on the BBC. Great cinematography, great style. Intriguing, if somewhat familiar, story. Until episode 8, the finale of season 1. The entire plot completely unravels in the last hour leaving ten thousand hanging threads. So what you have here is a fineGreat acting from the two leads, better than in any other TV show I can think of, including Mad Men, including Homeland, including anything on the BBC. Great cinematography, great style. Intriguing, if somewhat familiar, story. Until episode 8, the finale of season 1. The entire plot completely unravels in the last hour leaving ten thousand hanging threads. So what you have here is a fine season of TV with a badly rushed last hour. I think they needed a good 14 episodes, maybe 20. But for whatever reason they shortchanged us all at the end. Expand
  19. Apr 11, 2014
    10
    Yep, great show. Cant wait to see who the main characters will be in the next season. Well done HBO!! Now if you could just bring back Luck and a few others you prematurely cancelled...
  20. Nov 10, 2014
    9
    Superb acting, excellent writing, great visuals. This is exceptionally good stuff. Matthew M is particularly striking, but the entire cast is outstanding.
  21. May 6, 2014
    10
    This review is directed towards Emily Nussbaum. These are my counterarguments; I realize she probably will never read this, I just had to respond.

    1. Her biggest problem of this show as that it represented two macho cops bending the rules and getting results. She see this as typical. I will love to know her reception of Claire in homeland, and the main character in Zero Dark thirty. Why
    This review is directed towards Emily Nussbaum. These are my counterarguments; I realize she probably will never read this, I just had to respond.

    1. Her biggest problem of this show as that it represented two macho cops bending the rules and getting results. She see this as typical. I will love to know her reception of Claire in homeland, and the main character in Zero Dark thirty. Why is it when there are a character that is passionate and aggressive, he is considered macho but then it is a female it is considered heroic, or daring. I love homeland by the way, and Zero Dark Thirty was awesome. I enjoy great female characters, but it is really bothersome to see critics love strong female characters like Claire but view Rush and Marty as mucho. Obviously her review has had great influence because this type of talk is all over. Every male is not a claim, cool Saul from homeland; there are effective people like Rush and Marty, and these people are as interesting are females character like Claire. That Macho criticism is weak, and it needs stop.

    2. "Dorm talk," is what Nussbaum refers to Rush philosophically arguments and rants as. Obviously, this macho cop has nothing sustainable to say about how he views the world because he is just a macho hot head. Rush philosophy is representative of how many people feel about the world. Also, people engage in conversation of such in everyday life; it is not all about going to work and coming home for everyone in the world. It is interesting (sorry about so many Homeland references, but it is my favorite show) to see people like Carrie, who are almost robotic in their professional pursuits. Carrie rarely engage in political debate about the American government, and when she does, it is brief because Carrie knows who she is. Rush is still trying to sort through many philosophical problem himself, so to him he is not just "dorm talking," he is addressing issue in his life. Plus, Rush is the only person like that in the show, everybody else is earthly--the good and the bad. Nussbaum does not want to respect or even listen to Rush's philosophy because she does not respect the character, and judges him as a macho hothead.

    3. Nussbaum best argument is that the show is missing strong women characters. I would argue that Marty wife, as a character, makes more sense than the Hungarian Queen in Game of Thrones but that is an argument for another day. I accept Nussbaum's claim that there are know strong women characters in True Detective and I will go on to say, there are no strong supporting characters in True Detective at all. This not Game of thrones (which is a great show). True Detective spends more time on the two lead characters than any other show on TV, including Homeland season one. We know the other characters through Marty and Rush, and only through them. This is an intensive character study because we will never see these guys again, and the show is about their relationship, first and foremost. The Villain is not even a strong Character. To pull of a show like this, you need wonderful two wonderful actors, and strong character development, and you have it here. Yes, on a show like Game of Thrones, there are many people to keep track of and many ambitious minds to try to understand, but there are no two characters in Game of Thrones, or any other show this year that are more fun to track than Rush and Marty. This was the highlight of television in 2014 so far. Can't wait to see the end of Hannibal, Nashville, and the Americans.

    Lastly, Walter White can kill children, and people can cut heads and hands off but a naked human being is too racy, please stop with that criticism.
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  22. Mar 15, 2014
    8
    One of the better shows this year. Really good acting and good story line. Perhaps a bit slow during the first three episodes, but after that it picks up great!
  23. Apr 30, 2014
    10
    A detective show like no other, True Detective is haunting in every regard and because of this the characters are refreshing and tormented, and so is the show's universe; after all, the show's tagline is "touch darkness and darkness touches you back". Thanks to a great script, this show thrives on being unflinchingly realistic with its mature content because they acknowledge to everyA detective show like no other, True Detective is haunting in every regard and because of this the characters are refreshing and tormented, and so is the show's universe; after all, the show's tagline is "touch darkness and darkness touches you back". Thanks to a great script, this show thrives on being unflinchingly realistic with its mature content because they acknowledge to every extent that this is a detective show that shows you the terrifying truth that hides in the darkest, unexplored corners of our world. The show is easily rewatchable though. even with its sometimes disturbing content, as clues will often linger throughout the layered dialogue and visuals alike, clearly understanding that, in reality, not every stone can be truly unturned. Rust Cohle and Marty Hart (Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson) are the two investigating detectives and the show spans 17 years through their lives as they investigate the satanic murder of a woman, aiming to find her killer by any means necessary, both detectives bring something useful to the table and their back-and-forth banter is both charismatic and thought-provoking. This is a true detective show in every regard, tragic and compelling from the mysterious opening to the cathartic ending, this show will stay with you. Expand
  24. Jun 23, 2014
    9
    Compelling viewing - a superb and finely woven tale of crime, retribution and self loathing. Full of despair and sometimes hopelessness, the scenes and settings are stuffed with great, great acting. it is fitting that there is no follow up, such a good story could not (should not) have one. I took a mark off for the bad wigs :-)
  25. Jan 13, 2014
    9
    True Detective may just be the best pilot episode that has aired in recent memory. Like the Dexter's pilot, I was completely absorbed with the show's dark nature. It absolutely had me hooked for an amazing (commercial free!) hour of television.

    Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson put on breathtaking performances as Louisiana Police detectives hunting down a serial murder with a
    True Detective may just be the best pilot episode that has aired in recent memory. Like the Dexter's pilot, I was completely absorbed with the show's dark nature. It absolutely had me hooked for an amazing (commercial free!) hour of television.

    Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson put on breathtaking performances as Louisiana Police detectives hunting down a serial murder with a disturbing MO. McConaughey has the more interesting role as Rust Cohle, whose ideals in life make him an oddball with possible psychopathic-like tendencies. Harrelson plays Martin Hart, who would be the good cop, if this show played to its genre's clichés. No, Hart doesn't seem dirty, but he's far from one dimensional.

    A bold direction style shows us Rust and Martin 17 years later, getting interviewed by the current Louisiana Police. The investigation we see is actually a flashback from the duo's interview. We also learn that Rust and Martin have been out of contact for years thanks to some sort of non-specified dispute. This gives the show not one, but two great unanswered questions that I can't wait to see unravelled in the future.

    If the pilot is any indication, we're in for one hell of a ride. Suburb acting, scripting, and directing give True Detective a real shot at becoming one of HBO's best shows of all time.
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  26. Feb 17, 2014
    10
    This is an amazing show. The acting and direction are absolutely stellar. Everything from the cinematography to the music is done perfectly. It manages to be creepy, philosophical, funny, viscerally exciting and supremely unsettling within the span of each episode. Lock down all of the acting awards for McConaughey now.
  27. Jan 13, 2014
    10
    Woody Harrelson and Matthew Mcconaughey are superb as cop duo in this great crime drama that is well acted and well written. I don't like Matthew Mcconaughey very much but in this he and Harrelson are flawless i don't want to give away any spoilers but this is TV at its a great opening for 2014 can't wait to see more of this show.
  28. Mar 2, 2014
    10
    The first two episodes have been simply sublime - the writing is so good it sometimes takes your breath away. The acting from Woody Hartelson & Matthew McConaughey is rich, subtle and suggesting so much more beneath the surface. It moves at a slower pace than many other noir series, giving it time for the themes to be explored and developed, and it stays in your head long after you'veThe first two episodes have been simply sublime - the writing is so good it sometimes takes your breath away. The acting from Woody Hartelson & Matthew McConaughey is rich, subtle and suggesting so much more beneath the surface. It moves at a slower pace than many other noir series, giving it time for the themes to be explored and developed, and it stays in your head long after you've stopped watching it. The wonderful music and photography are integral in building up the atmosphere which is both disturbing and hopeful at the same time. Expand
  29. Jan 13, 2014
    10
    In one word: riveting. More so than any other premiere I've seen. It will be difficult to carry that throughout a season, but I'm excited to see it try.
  30. Feb 18, 2014
    10
    True Detective is a show that I wish I didn't start until the season was over. This is the type of show that would be perfect for binge watching over a Sunday or rainy weekend.
  31. Mar 9, 2014
    10
    Yes, serial killer with trademark ritualistic style is not new. Detective genre surely is not either. But this just isn't some series that rely upon the stimulation that this premise provide. Not only does it qualify as one of the best made crime drama, it also depicts relationship, philosophical meaning in general, even better than those deal with relationship directly. It is hard toYes, serial killer with trademark ritualistic style is not new. Detective genre surely is not either. But this just isn't some series that rely upon the stimulation that this premise provide. Not only does it qualify as one of the best made crime drama, it also depicts relationship, philosophical meaning in general, even better than those deal with relationship directly. It is hard to believe that in less than a year, a series that arguably better even than Breaking Bad has been shown. It's just unbelievable. Expand
  32. Mar 10, 2014
    10
    What a pleasure to watch McConaughey's sublime performance as Det. Rustin "Rust" Cohle. He's a law man with a past, which at times haunts him, and at others plunge him to so deeply into an investigation we as viewers begin to question what the driving force of such a peculiar character is. It's a testament to McConaughey's skill as an actor that his portrayal of an eminently disagreeableWhat a pleasure to watch McConaughey's sublime performance as Det. Rustin "Rust" Cohle. He's a law man with a past, which at times haunts him, and at others plunge him to so deeply into an investigation we as viewers begin to question what the driving force of such a peculiar character is. It's a testament to McConaughey's skill as an actor that his portrayal of an eminently disagreeable character comes across as so nuanced, so richly textured that we're drawn into the gravitational pull of his on screen persona.

    The two detectives discovery of one another plays like the tale of two totally committed actors. In many ways the same old story: the sleepy incumbent and his brilliant, new upstart partner "shaking things up." We've all seen it before, and seen it done badly. Where True Detectives shines is in the script letting us get to know Cohle and Hart intimately, while creating a story which fits their characters personalities, their strengths, their weakness, their motivation; perfectly. The pacing is spot on, and keeps gathering momentum with every revelation of the characters and plot.

    True Detectives has every right to the great Meta score it has garnered. McConaughey and Harrelson breathe life into Nick Pizzolatto's script in a way that every director and producer in television should take note of: more of this please.
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  33. Jan 13, 2014
    10
    Oh please let the rest of the season be as great as the first episode! This doesn't feel like a TV show. It has the production value and acting quality of an Oscar film. Love the concept & execution of going back and forth between 1995 and 2012. Time really does change people, and that was superbly displayed with our two main detectives in this story thanks to the writers and acting ofOh please let the rest of the season be as great as the first episode! This doesn't feel like a TV show. It has the production value and acting quality of an Oscar film. Love the concept & execution of going back and forth between 1995 and 2012. Time really does change people, and that was superbly displayed with our two main detectives in this story thanks to the writers and acting of Harrelson and McConaughey. This show instantly has me hooked, and I can't wait for next week's episode. Expand
  34. Feb 17, 2014
    10
    I very rarely watch dramas, especially crime dramas. I watched the first 10 minutes of the first episode and was hooked. Acting is amazing (as expected with this cast). The story is entertaining...it doesn't move to fast or too slow, just right in my opinion. If you haven't started watching it, do not hesitate, it is a great show!
  35. Jan 14, 2014
    10
    Very good first episode. Everything is in place. Let's kick back and enjoy the rest of the season. Casting is great, story very good. In one word AWESOME. My score is pure 10.
  36. Jan 13, 2014
    9
    Upon hearing of the casting of Matthew Mcconaughey and Woody Harrelson in this series, I was instantly excited to begin watching. Fortunately, my expectations have been met.

    With True Detective, the foundation for the series' enjoyment is the central characters of Rush Cohle and Martin Hart; the performances by these two characters are vital for the show to succeed. Luckily, these
    Upon hearing of the casting of Matthew Mcconaughey and Woody Harrelson in this series, I was instantly excited to begin watching. Fortunately, my expectations have been met.

    With True Detective, the foundation for the series' enjoyment is the central characters of Rush Cohle and Martin Hart; the performances by these two characters are vital for the show to succeed. Luckily, these performances are flawless, with both Harrelson and Mcconaughey producing performances that will certainly be the talking point at next award season. In the pilot episode the main thrust of the characterization is placed upon these new characters, which is nice because the characterization is excellent but I hope to see more expansion of the supporting characters - particularly that of Maggie Hart and the detectives interrogating Hart and Cohle. However, I do understand that this is only the first episode and it is more than likely the outer characters will be expanded.

    Another thing I enjoyed was that the first episode didn't end with a huge cliffhanger, which I find plagues other shows like Sherlock. In my opinion it is great writing that makes the audience want to come back due to the quality of the show, not due to mere intrigue and wanting to be in on local pop culture.

    One thing that helps to solidify True Detective as a triple-A series is the immensely satisfying production values typical of a HBO show. These production values are brought to the limelight with the cinematography that really cements the setting. The editing, with particular mention to the interrogation scenes, is flawless.

    This is an especially promising pilot with the potential to become the best show of the year. However, if it is to reach a classic status, Like HBO's biggest success 'The Sopranos', it has to have a palpable persona and sense of style, which it has the full potential of having.

    One more thing - the villain better be good.
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  37. Mar 8, 2014
    10
    BRILLIANT. The first season of True Detective is SOOOOO POWERFULL. I'm not the only one here who thought the vacuum left us by Breaking Bad would be filled so soon.

    Matthew McConaughey it's officially one of the best actors in the moment. And Woody Harrelson is really good too. Moments like the last 10 minutes of the fourth episode, define not just a series, moments like that defines
    BRILLIANT. The first season of True Detective is SOOOOO POWERFULL. I'm not the only one here who thought the vacuum left us by Breaking Bad would be filled so soon.

    Matthew McConaughey it's officially one of the best actors in the moment. And Woody Harrelson is really good too.

    Moments like the last 10 minutes of the fourth episode, define not just a series, moments like that defines define series history.

    Thanks HBO.
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  38. Feb 23, 2014
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This is simply brilliant television, The writing, the photography and the acting is simply sensational. How freaking amazing is Mathew Mconaughy? And woody harrelson is brilliant as well. Episode 4 was absolutely gripping, the sort of TV that only comes around once and awhile. It reminds me of particular episodes of the Wire and more recently Southland where you are watching and on the edge of your seat. I'm just worried they won't get 4-5 seasons out of the premise because I just want this series to go on and on. Get on it! Expand
  39. Feb 3, 2014
    10
    Depressing, yes. Slow, yes. Boring? That depends on whether you have the mental acuity of the average television viewer or of an actual human being. If you want a cop drama that ties up neatly each weak with the good guy outwitting the bad guy into confessing his crimes, this is not for you. Beyond that, it's hard to say exactly what it is, as it seems to be charting its own courseDepressing, yes. Slow, yes. Boring? That depends on whether you have the mental acuity of the average television viewer or of an actual human being. If you want a cop drama that ties up neatly each weak with the good guy outwitting the bad guy into confessing his crimes, this is not for you. Beyond that, it's hard to say exactly what it is, as it seems to be charting its own course somewhere between the 'man against the system' theme of The WIre and the 'man against himself' theme of The Sopranos or Breaking Bad. No doubt it could still fizzle, but the acting, the cinematography and the dialogue thus far have been so fantastic that the journey will have been worth it even if the destination disappoints. Expand
  40. Feb 6, 2014
    10
    This is NOT what you call "Television". This is an 8 hour movie one could consume in one sitting; If it were a movie it would be worthy of a Best Picture Oscar....With tension on the scale of Silence of the Lambs, and superior character development. Definitely better than the other 2013 detective shows I watched like Almost Human, Sherlock, and Hannibal...not that those are horrible...TrueThis is NOT what you call "Television". This is an 8 hour movie one could consume in one sitting; If it were a movie it would be worthy of a Best Picture Oscar....With tension on the scale of Silence of the Lambs, and superior character development. Definitely better than the other 2013 detective shows I watched like Almost Human, Sherlock, and Hannibal...not that those are horrible...True Detective is just way less boring, far more entertaining and intellectual, and more realistic than all those other shows. If you consider the amount of bullets flying or fights in the first three episodes, TD can be called slow in its pacing, yet the character developing and the character development are addictively riveting. The gruesomeness is somewhat akin to Hannibal but the atmosphere of despair, tension, and reality is far better suspending through the impeccable acting and phenomenal script writing. Major props to McConaugahey, Harrelson, and their team. They are truly adept at their art. Expand
  41. Jan 30, 2014
    10
    True Detective features a murder investigation, but the show's central inquiry settles on its two leads. McConaughey portrays a philosophical, nihilistic skeptic and Harrelson a run-of-the-mill by-the-book cop, husband, and father. However, the two characters surpass their archetypes, guided by strong (if a bit on-the-nose) dialogue and outstanding performances. Furthermore, the settingTrue Detective features a murder investigation, but the show's central inquiry settles on its two leads. McConaughey portrays a philosophical, nihilistic skeptic and Harrelson a run-of-the-mill by-the-book cop, husband, and father. However, the two characters surpass their archetypes, guided by strong (if a bit on-the-nose) dialogue and outstanding performances. Furthermore, the setting and environment are hauntingly beautiful. The plot is slow-burning much like Sundance's Rectify, and its steady pace of development has benefited it three episodes in. Expand
  42. Feb 16, 2014
    10
    Wow, this is what I've waiting for so long. Finally a serious captivating and addicting detective tv series. An outstanding performances by Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, great characters with their own little dramas, great music, slow paced story telling allows you to focus on very minor but essential details. Definitely the best tv series of the season, simply the one to watch.
  43. Feb 19, 2014
    10
    I started this show after seeing some screencaps on Tumblr, and was hooked from the first minute of the first episode. Most TV series take a while to get strong, yet from the very first episode True Detective deployed excellent writing, engrossing characters and brilliant visuals that are made exceptional by their subtlety. McConaughey is the strongest I've seen him; in fact, all of theI started this show after seeing some screencaps on Tumblr, and was hooked from the first minute of the first episode. Most TV series take a while to get strong, yet from the very first episode True Detective deployed excellent writing, engrossing characters and brilliant visuals that are made exceptional by their subtlety. McConaughey is the strongest I've seen him; in fact, all of the acting is top-notch. I almost don't want the series to end, I like this cast too much! Expand
  44. Mar 7, 2014
    10
    This show is easily one of the best shows I have ever seen. It has fantastic acting and great writing all wrapped up in a fairly original murder mystery. It also has many deeper philosophical implications and ideas that, while extraordinarily dark, are incredibly thought-provoking, and provide a view on our lives and the universe that i have never seen portrayed in a TV show before. I haveThis show is easily one of the best shows I have ever seen. It has fantastic acting and great writing all wrapped up in a fairly original murder mystery. It also has many deeper philosophical implications and ideas that, while extraordinarily dark, are incredibly thought-provoking, and provide a view on our lives and the universe that i have never seen portrayed in a TV show before. I have often found myself agreeing with many (not all) the points Rust makes about the universe and religion (though i don't think that they are all idiots like he does) and i find it fascinating how much this has changed some of my views. i also just have to give Matthew McCounaghey credit for saying all the **** he says about religion, while at the same time being a very religious person; he seems to completely abandon some of his religious views for the role which i have to give him props for. Expand
  45. Feb 25, 2014
    10
    This is an easy 10/10 show. The only 'critiques' on here are from imbeciles who want their plot lines spoon-fed to them, or they want explosions every 15 seconds to hold their 'Michael Bay' level of attention-span.

    The pacing of this show is superb, mixing between brutal violence, incredulous character development and writing so sharp it puts Breaking Bad (which is one of my all-time
    This is an easy 10/10 show. The only 'critiques' on here are from imbeciles who want their plot lines spoon-fed to them, or they want explosions every 15 seconds to hold their 'Michael Bay' level of attention-span.

    The pacing of this show is superb, mixing between brutal violence, incredulous character development and writing so sharp it puts Breaking Bad (which is one of my all-time favourite shows) in the shade.

    Ignore the peons who dismiss this (every negative review contains the revelatory line 'I didn't get it...') - if you know what you want from TV, and what you want is brilliant character development, pinpoint dialogue and murky character traits then look no further.

    This show is easily an instant classic and to the naysayers I simply state: "go back to watching Transformers, Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory or American Horror Story".

    That people have to think on their feet, listen deeply to the dialogue and piece together what is being said compared to what is being shown will put the casual observer, unintelligent bozo and/or ADHD 'explosions = goodness' viewer (rightly) in the shade.

    To be filed alongside your other HBO classics like OZ, The Sopranos, The Wire.
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  46. Jan 20, 2014
    10
    I write this too late already: after watching the second episode.

    I should have come here sooner to say to you that if you enjoy good things, you can't miss this.
    It's like missing Seven, that movie, but eight hours long, which means it can become even better than such classic.

    12 out of 10
  47. Jan 26, 2014
    10
    I find a couple of the negative POV's rather interesting about the fact they find True Detective "slow." As slow as watching "paint dry," I believe one person said. All I can say is that you guys must live outrageously interesting lives where there is something is going on constantly, every moment in your waking hours, nothing contemplative or quiet ever, not even for a moment. Wow!.I find a couple of the negative POV's rather interesting about the fact they find True Detective "slow." As slow as watching "paint dry," I believe one person said. All I can say is that you guys must live outrageously interesting lives where there is something is going on constantly, every moment in your waking hours, nothing contemplative or quiet ever, not even for a moment. Wow!. Frankly, the fact that there are no "quiet" moments/times in your lives indicated to me that you may have some significant psychological problems. Must be the significant increase in ADS in our populous these days.

    Great show, visuals and the fact that the there is no assault on the ears every moment it is on the screen, that alone makes it worth watching - makes one think!
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  48. Feb 24, 2014
    10
    I would often look at the time remaining on the episode when it starts, only to ensure it ran for a little longer, it is so mesmerizing and intense.
    It has an amazing cast and screenplay, definitely looking forward to the next season already and the continuity.
    Truly better than the best crime thrillers in a very long time.
  49. Jan 30, 2014
    10
    Words I thought I would never say - Matthew McConneghy is a great actor. This is easily my favorite show on Television right now. So much subtlety going on Ive had to watch every show at least twice, there are always little secrets to be figured out. Bravo HBO, another winner.
  50. Feb 14, 2014
    10
    I am through four episodes, yet it is without a doubt cemented as one of the best shows I have ever watched. The slow cooking feeling of the show is phenomenal and now everything is starting to boil, will be interesting to see how the meal winds up tasting. McConaughey and Harrelson are phenomenal and wow is the writing from Nic Pizzolatto and the directing from Cary Fukunaga phenomenal.I am through four episodes, yet it is without a doubt cemented as one of the best shows I have ever watched. The slow cooking feeling of the show is phenomenal and now everything is starting to boil, will be interesting to see how the meal winds up tasting. McConaughey and Harrelson are phenomenal and wow is the writing from Nic Pizzolatto and the directing from Cary Fukunaga phenomenal. Just absolute perfection. Expand
  51. Jan 13, 2014
    9
    Beautifully shot, superbly acted with an utterly enthralling plot introduction, I think this is the beginning of a love affair. Like the opening pages of a book you can't seem to put down, the first episode of True Detective wholly captured my attention. Of course with two Hollywood heavyweights like Harrelson and McConaughey I expected no less.

    Episode 1 introduced us to the main plot,
    Beautifully shot, superbly acted with an utterly enthralling plot introduction, I think this is the beginning of a love affair. Like the opening pages of a book you can't seem to put down, the first episode of True Detective wholly captured my attention. Of course with two Hollywood heavyweights like Harrelson and McConaughey I expected no less.

    Episode 1 introduced us to the main plot, an occult murder which the detectives must attempt to solve. The show moves between two time frames, an excellent touch, transporting the audience to and from the initial date of the crime in 1995 and a more modern day setting. This certainly adds to the drama and provides the story with a distinct sense of momentum. Most of the screen time was taken up with character development, painting a solid environment for the two protagonists and giving the audience an intimate look at their developing relationship. Taking the time to do this was admirable, allowing the viewer to get under the characters skin and really get to know them. On the flip side of that point, I felt the main storyline took a bit of a back seat which at times caused a bit of lag in the narrative. Perhaps it could have been a little more balanced in this regard but my intuition tells me the groundwork was being laid for what could be or what I hope will be a set of intricately woven and well thought out plotlines.

    As I look forward to episode two, I'm left attempting to unravel this murder mystery in my own mind while easily placing myself in the shoes of the two men laboured with such a difficult yet intriguing case. Highly recommended viewing.
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  52. Jan 23, 2014
    10
    Very good show. MM plays such a tortured spirit with a touch of narcissism. However, unlike most humans he is keenly aware of his faults, knows we're he's been and knows where he's going. EMMY!
  53. Jan 29, 2014
    10
    Judging from the first episodes, this could be another milestone in the modern TV drama wonder so far. It's lovingly crafted in every aspect, from the visual and directing to the writing and the acting. Sure, it's slow and brooding but never unnecessarily so. In fact, the low tempo makes it all the more enjoyable. There is a confidence, a knowingness to it. True Detective is aware of it'sJudging from the first episodes, this could be another milestone in the modern TV drama wonder so far. It's lovingly crafted in every aspect, from the visual and directing to the writing and the acting. Sure, it's slow and brooding but never unnecessarily so. In fact, the low tempo makes it all the more enjoyable. There is a confidence, a knowingness to it. True Detective is aware of it's own strengths and plays them to very max. Let's just hope they keep it up throughout the season. Expand
  54. Feb 28, 2014
    10
    Breathtaking genius. A gripping story, amazing cast, and a journey into existential crisis. I'm blown away by the quality and pacing of this show, it's the best TV show of at least the last five years.
  55. Feb 17, 2014
    10
    True Detective is without a doubt the best show on tv at the moment. All the people who rated this show with a negative rating don't know what a good drama is. This show has it all, great writing, great direction, & great acting. The 6 minute scene at the end of episode 4 is enough by itself to prove what a great show this is. The only reason people rate this show negatively is probablyTrue Detective is without a doubt the best show on tv at the moment. All the people who rated this show with a negative rating don't know what a good drama is. This show has it all, great writing, great direction, & great acting. The 6 minute scene at the end of episode 4 is enough by itself to prove what a great show this is. The only reason people rate this show negatively is probably because of the pacing. It is a little slow. It's a slow burn that is growing hotter with each episode. I can't wait for the blu ray to watch the episodes back to back and catch things that I missed. Definitely give this show a watch! Expand
  56. Mar 10, 2014
    10
    An excellent and brilliant series, it's a unique and innovative show, everything is awesome, the atmosphere, the creepy scenes and the themes that are addressed, all is perfect.
  57. Mar 4, 2014
    10
    A beautifully shot, suspenseful and above all dark detective show. The setting is used to every advantage in the cinematography and contributes to the feeling of dread the show evokes. Both Harrelson and McConaughey give a lot to their roles, and especially McCaunaughey's characters at times bears more than a passing resemblance to Apocalypse Now's Captain Willard, a man spiraling deeperA beautifully shot, suspenseful and above all dark detective show. The setting is used to every advantage in the cinematography and contributes to the feeling of dread the show evokes. Both Harrelson and McConaughey give a lot to their roles, and especially McCaunaughey's characters at times bears more than a passing resemblance to Apocalypse Now's Captain Willard, a man spiraling deeper and deeper into the darkness he's supposed to hunt. Add to that a semi-mythological background, the bleakness around these characters and in their own lives, and you arrive at this well-crafted show. Expand
  58. Jan 13, 2014
    10
    So far, so good. Oh, and by "good", I mean that this show made me remember what it was like to watch really great television. I'm impressed, and can't wait to watch more!
  59. Feb 22, 2014
    10
    Now I got a new favorite show, everything about is so great, the mystery has me hooked in, the acting is great, I'm really hooked, and now I have a replacement for Breaking Bad.
  60. Jan 14, 2014
    10
    This show is incredible. Probably the best crime drama since "The Wire". The acting, writing, scenery, language and characters are all amazing. I can't wait until the next episode!
  61. Jan 13, 2014
    10
    woow that is amazing show...i watched it almost in one breath for me this show also will be masterpiece in tv series history and the cast two off the most charismatic actors in the world Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson and b the way amazing theme musics
  62. Feb 13, 2014
    10
    Having watched through episode 4, I am convinced this is a groundbreaking show.

    The conventions are well done, including the use of Louisiana as a tense theme with wide angled shots, the use of religion as a foil and possible future salvation, great actors delivering thought-provoking dialogue, and the buddy movie. But the unconventional are done well too. The use of a single director
    Having watched through episode 4, I am convinced this is a groundbreaking show.

    The conventions are well done, including the use of Louisiana as a tense theme with wide angled shots, the use of religion as a foil and possible future salvation, great actors delivering thought-provoking dialogue, and the buddy movie. But the unconventional are done well too. The use of a single director maybe why I feel such continuity through the moments and episodes. The tempo change from the slow conversational first 170 minutes to an intense and thrilling action show with charged racial tensions and complete thuggery seems to have occurred during Cohle's personhood monologue. And the American Horror Story framework, changing themes and characters from one season to the next will prove very interesting. Then there is that one-shot scene. How many minutes was that?

    Perhaps Tarantino and John Travolta will do a season? Or better yet, Wes Anderson and Bill Murray. It could go from a deep psychological split time framework down in the bayou to a (add the opposite of irreverent) showcasing of Bill Murray as a Parisian Detective. Maybe the Coens with Clooney and Turturro could do a prohibition era take on Feds and Mafia. It can be anything.

    My point is, this is so well done and well thought out. McConaughey's use of language to make the audience look at what it does not wish to see and Harrelson's dramatized violence and physical presence has left me awe-struck. And Potts, Kittles, and Monaghan put up solid performances. That is all that can be said when McConaughey and Harrleson are such show stoppers.
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  63. Feb 21, 2014
    10
    Some of the best acting i have ever seen and the story is fascinating. Not a show for stupid people or people who lack basic empathy skills that make the acting shine. A delicious dark show.
  64. Feb 3, 2014
    10
    Great writing juxtaposing the arrogance of atheism with parochial attitudes. From the show runners of the killing and they took the idea of the killing upped the reading level and turned the time line upsidown. Or at least that's what it seems to be. It would be kinda cool if they turned it into a Friday the 13th kinda deal.
  65. Jan 27, 2014
    9
    Not a huge fan of the so called "procedural" but everything about this show is top notch. The acting is superb, the setting is perfectly dark but not overwhelmingly so. There's some humor to be found in this project, showcased best during the banter between Rust and Marty. T-Bone Burnett delivers a memorable and appropriately spooky soundtrack. The story is slow-burning and the writersNot a huge fan of the so called "procedural" but everything about this show is top notch. The acting is superb, the setting is perfectly dark but not overwhelmingly so. There's some humor to be found in this project, showcased best during the banter between Rust and Marty. T-Bone Burnett delivers a memorable and appropriately spooky soundtrack. The story is slow-burning and the writers take off the little kid gloves when it comes to plot and pacing. This show wouldn't work if it were on any other network. Keep it coming HBO! We love it. Expand
  66. Feb 12, 2014
    9
    Worth watching. Great plot development and excellent casting. Nobody is perfect in this and that is what makes it a good story. The locations make the plot richer. Really impressed.
  67. Feb 1, 2014
    10
    It's too early to say much about the plot, the story, etc. However, the writing/dialogue is superb. I've replayed the church tent scene at least ten times, and have added some of the dialogue to my all time greatest quote lists, up there with Nietzsche and HL Mencken. "“If the only thing keeping a person decent is the expectation of divine reward, then brother, that person is a piece ofIt's too early to say much about the plot, the story, etc. However, the writing/dialogue is superb. I've replayed the church tent scene at least ten times, and have added some of the dialogue to my all time greatest quote lists, up there with Nietzsche and HL Mencken. "“If the only thing keeping a person decent is the expectation of divine reward, then brother, that person is a piece of **** -Rust I'd paste more of the brilliant dialogue, but let's just say you should see it and judge for yourself. This show is written by a thoughtful person. Of course, the acting is top notch. I hope there's a second season and that Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey can continue. Thank you to everyone involved in this show for putting some thought into it, and keeping me thoroughly entertained. Expand
  68. Mar 8, 2014
    9
    I did not have high expectations for this series, but it surprised me. Is it totally original, no. Is it very well done, yes. The show is has a real feel to it. None of the characters are clean. Everyone has flaws and make bad choices. I think both McConneghy and Harrelson deliver great performances, which is saying something considering some of their worst films. Well written with a decent pace.
  69. Feb 11, 2014
    9
    True Detective is a true "Two-For" We get the show and also a Tour de force performance by Matthew Mcconaughey. If the writers can restrain themselves from waisting time with the unnecessary i.e. children in the bathtub. This show will be the best TV effort ever.
  70. Feb 1, 2014
    10
    What a great, great show...a slice between twin peaks , crime procedural set via a murky and mysterious louisiana background . while still mainly focusing on how this case is actually effecting the lives of the two central characters...the deeper we go, the deeper we go inside their souls....fantastic writing and Mr.McConaghey does the finest work of his career here...im hooked
  71. Mar 1, 2014
    9
    With only one season under it's belt True Detective has already proved it's greatness and is already in my eyes one of the great series we have on TV at the moment. Spectacular acting by McConaughey and Harrelson. Their characters are interesting,complex and their banter and interplay is endlessly riveting. The cinematography is in few words:Spectacular. Moody,atmospheric and extremelyWith only one season under it's belt True Detective has already proved it's greatness and is already in my eyes one of the great series we have on TV at the moment. Spectacular acting by McConaughey and Harrelson. Their characters are interesting,complex and their banter and interplay is endlessly riveting. The cinematography is in few words:Spectacular. Moody,atmospheric and extremely well-realized. A particular scene in the 4th episodes is one of the most impressive scenes I've ever seen on a TV show, its that good. The show feels realistic, sincere and it never feels artificial or derivative. It takes its time in telling it's compelling story and you are there for the ride. The idea of this being an anthology series is very interesting, cant wait to see where the show goes from here. Expand
  72. Mar 2, 2014
    9
    True Detective has captured my attention. It's unfortunate HBO didn't really advertise the series, I only found out about it by watching Ellen DeGeneres, by this time three episodes have already passed. I hope to see more of it and look forward to Season 2 (if there is going to be one). I don't know if the show would be as good as it is without Woody and Matthew, but the suspense andTrue Detective has captured my attention. It's unfortunate HBO didn't really advertise the series, I only found out about it by watching Ellen DeGeneres, by this time three episodes have already passed. I hope to see more of it and look forward to Season 2 (if there is going to be one). I don't know if the show would be as good as it is without Woody and Matthew, but the suspense and story line has me spreading the word about it, got to get those ratings up for a renewal! Expand
  73. Feb 11, 2014
    10
    So far it's been the most intriguing new show I've seen in a long time. Great characters and performances throughout, especially from Matthew McConaughey. The intensity went off the charts in ep. 4 and it'll be amazing to see where things end up. If you've stayed away somehow, treat yourself to this gem. It turns the genre on its head.
  74. Feb 12, 2014
    10
    This isn't just yet another crime show. It is deep, thought provoking and full of mystery. It also displays the dichotomy between the two character's and then how different they seem, may not be so.
  75. Jan 15, 2014
    10
    This show began so slowly, I was a bit nervous. Then I realized i was so absorbed in the show that it was already over. The care put into the characters is mesmerizing, particularly how they've changed over the years.
  76. Jan 25, 2014
    10
    It doesn't look like TV-series, more like AAA full-budget movie title. The script, the actors, the visuals -- everything is of highest quality as far as 1st season opening goes. Be warned thought that story is not so much about your usual criminal investigations but a journey into somewhat of men's darker side set in creepy Southern US scenes. Haunting and intimidating -- could be one ofIt doesn't look like TV-series, more like AAA full-budget movie title. The script, the actors, the visuals -- everything is of highest quality as far as 1st season opening goes. Be warned thought that story is not so much about your usual criminal investigations but a journey into somewhat of men's darker side set in creepy Southern US scenes. Haunting and intimidating -- could be one of the best in TV series so far. Expand
  77. Jan 25, 2014
    10
    Really enjoyed this HBO production. everything from the layered character development, the exceptional acting, and steady building of the plot. Pizzolatto has created a show that absorbs the viewer into this procedural - this show is one of few that can be compared to settling into a good book.
  78. Apr 7, 2014
    8
    To me, it's more style than substance. It has an awful lot of style though. The eight episodes flow seamlessly as a visual novel. The direction captures an arresting portrait of the unique rural locale. Matthew McConaghey reminds us that he is not merely the guy who's always being photographed on a beach somewhere, he can act. And the masterstroke, perhaps, is the music by T-Bone Burnett,To me, it's more style than substance. It has an awful lot of style though. The eight episodes flow seamlessly as a visual novel. The direction captures an arresting portrait of the unique rural locale. Matthew McConaghey reminds us that he is not merely the guy who's always being photographed on a beach somewhere, he can act. And the masterstroke, perhaps, is the music by T-Bone Burnett, which will surely make a killer soundtrack album.

    The plot itself, though, is a somewhat meandering journey of the two detectives through a murder case, and their return to the case years later. The case involves some pulp horror elements (unlike most viewers, I had heard of the King in Yellow before watching the show), but ultimately, the show isn't really about the case, it's more about watching the two detectives' personal lives dragged through the muck. The show started slowly, and honestly it took me to the fifth episode before I really started looking forward to watching (i.e. halfway through). The show's occasional graphic elements can be quite strong, and sensitive viewers will want to steer clear.

    In the end, it's an entertaining piece and superb technical filmmaking, and given that it's supposed to be an anthology series, it'll be interesting to see where it goes next. It's not the best thing HBO has put out though, not by a long shot.
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  79. Mar 14, 2014
    10
    I became obsessed with this series during the 8 weeks it was on. But even now, after it's over, I can't stop thinking about it. An atmospheric mood piece with the two most brilliant performances I've seen on TV or at the movies in years. The dialogue is mesmerizing, the direction by Fukunada world class, the cinematography the envy of any movie with a $100 million budget.

    Matthew
    I became obsessed with this series during the 8 weeks it was on. But even now, after it's over, I can't stop thinking about it. An atmospheric mood piece with the two most brilliant performances I've seen on TV or at the movies in years. The dialogue is mesmerizing, the direction by Fukunada world class, the cinematography the envy of any movie with a $100 million budget.

    Matthew McConaughey has become a master. His performance as intricate, multilayered and finely crafted as a Faberge egg. When did this guy become our greatest actor? So glad he did. He was devastating in the role of Rust, a character I won't forget.

    This was a story about two men, not the women in their lives, so big feminist fail on criticizing it for weak female characters. I'm a woman and was spellbound watching their relationship develop.
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  80. Mar 14, 2014
    10
    Loved, loved, loved this show. Everything about it was superb: the music, the writing, the direction, the cinematography, the actors in supporting roles - but most of the glory goes to Woody and Matthew. They are giants. Matthew in particular gave the most exciting, most subtle performance, easily making believable the changes in Rust over the years. Rust Cohle is the single mostLoved, loved, loved this show. Everything about it was superb: the music, the writing, the direction, the cinematography, the actors in supporting roles - but most of the glory goes to Woody and Matthew. They are giants. Matthew in particular gave the most exciting, most subtle performance, easily making believable the changes in Rust over the years. Rust Cohle is the single most compelling fictional character since Hannibal Lecter (while being a much nicer guy). Like Hopkins' performance and like Cranston's Walter White, Matthew's Rust Cohle will become one of the most memorable characters in cinema history. What a monumental performance.

    I'm a girl and a feminist and wasn't in the least offended by TD, unlike some ultra-orthodox feminist complainers. Girls, there's always "Girls" and "Orange is the New Black" if you really need your fix of all female casts. Pity there's nobody in either of those who has Matthew's or Woody's talents as actors to make your series truly memorable.
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  81. Oct 26, 2014
    10
    This is dark but fabulous. McConaughey, especially, and Harrelson are brilliant. The Nihilistic philosophy, the cinematography, the subtlety,the hairs on the back of my neck.. Makes me want to visit Louisiana and stay far away all at the same time.
  82. Jan 16, 2014
    9
    From what I'm seeing now, this may very well be one of the best shows on the telly in 2013. You've got recent Golden Globe winner (and now Oscar nominee) Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson in the lead roles, and they both do superbly. The supporting cast is brilliant, and it's got a great premise and story so far. And, even though aforementioned story and premise is slightly cliche',From what I'm seeing now, this may very well be one of the best shows on the telly in 2013. You've got recent Golden Globe winner (and now Oscar nominee) Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson in the lead roles, and they both do superbly. The supporting cast is brilliant, and it's got a great premise and story so far. And, even though aforementioned story and premise is slightly cliche', they get around that by having a new take on the idea. The show has atmosphere, great writing, great performances, great everything. Let's hope they keep it up, ay? Expand
  83. Jan 25, 2014
    9
    A worthy replacement for the closing Boardwalk empire and newsroom era, surprisingly great acting from Matthew McConaughey even worthy of an Emmy and golden globe........Oproblem though, Where is the plot going?
  84. Jan 26, 2014
    10
    The plot is good, but it's the acting that's worth the watch. There are truly fine performances in this miniseries.The pacing is part of the amazing stuff. It's atmosphere just works. I'm glad they came to the small screen for a bit and gave us this little gem. You can't watch it like a TV show, you've got to watch it like a movie in a theater. or at least understand that's what it filmsThe plot is good, but it's the acting that's worth the watch. There are truly fine performances in this miniseries.The pacing is part of the amazing stuff. It's atmosphere just works. I'm glad they came to the small screen for a bit and gave us this little gem. You can't watch it like a TV show, you've got to watch it like a movie in a theater. or at least understand that's what it films like. It;s brilliant! There have been perhaps other shows with similar themes but this one is leading much more so than following. It's smart, slick and with performers like these guys honoring us on the small screen? You can't get any better. Thank god and just in time too. I thought all was lost when "Breaking Bad" ended. To bad it's only a miniseries and one can only hope it ends with a big bang!

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  85. Feb 19, 2014
    9
    Not since the premiere of Breaking Bad have I been pulled into a series so quickly. McConaughey and Harrelson are at the top of their game with True Detective.

    The first season kind of takes a weird turn around episode four, but only proves that things are never quite how they seem in a story that makes you question every revelation each week.
  86. Jan 19, 2014
    10
    I've never reviewed a show after only two episodes, but I think that I need to say that if you are not watching this show then you need to start now before you miss too much. So far everything about the show is near-perfect. Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson are playing characters who are incredibly complex and human, and they are doing amazing jobs at their performances. That praiseI've never reviewed a show after only two episodes, but I think that I need to say that if you are not watching this show then you need to start now before you miss too much. So far everything about the show is near-perfect. Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson are playing characters who are incredibly complex and human, and they are doing amazing jobs at their performances. That praise is extended to the whole cast.

    I cannot get over how believable everything feels. The case is complex, deep, dark, and mysterious. I can't wait to see where they take it from here. By far the best part of the show are the moments outside of the case, that help make these characters feel like real people. The dialog here is amazing. I truly believe that these are things that real people would say. The whole thing is just amazing and excellently shot.

    Like I said it has only been two episodes, so if I feel that my opinion has changed as the show progresses I will update my review. As of right now 2014 has only just started and we already have what will probably be one the best shows of this year. All I can say now is that if you are not watching it I highly recommend that you start. I am completely blown away at how excellent this whole show has been after only two episodes, and I can't wait for the next.
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  87. Jan 13, 2014
    9
    One of the better plots i have seen, the cast is simply fenomenal. Episode left me wanting for more, definitely looking forward to the rest of the season.
  88. Jan 25, 2014
    9
    This is what happens when writers are allowed to fulfill their vision. Finally, we get to watch a drama that hasn't been written to be stretched out to 5 ridiculous seasons or to fill auditoriums with 13-year-olds. So far, it stands up there with the best dramas in any medium. Superb writing and Oscar level acting.

    Mike Hale of the New York Times called the dialogue "writerly." Read
    This is what happens when writers are allowed to fulfill their vision. Finally, we get to watch a drama that hasn't been written to be stretched out to 5 ridiculous seasons or to fill auditoriums with 13-year-olds. So far, it stands up there with the best dramas in any medium. Superb writing and Oscar level acting.

    Mike Hale of the New York Times called the dialogue "writerly." Read some of Mr. Hale's other tv reviews and you'll understand how ironic and cheap that shot is. Hale would have whined about Flannery O'Connor being "too obvious" because he's the kind of critic who won't let anyone forget he writes for the New York F***ing Times. He should write for Pitchfork. If average folk have already found it, it can't be good. He panned Breaking Bad, so that should tell you something.
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  89. Jan 27, 2014
    10
    This series is surprisingly compelling and well worth the effort to go back and see the first few episodes, if you're late getting into the game. The subject matter is dark, and the two main characters are not easily categorized. You have no choice but to watch them carefully for clues into what motivates them. Clearly, the series writer has no interest in pandering to those who likeThis series is surprisingly compelling and well worth the effort to go back and see the first few episodes, if you're late getting into the game. The subject matter is dark, and the two main characters are not easily categorized. You have no choice but to watch them carefully for clues into what motivates them. Clearly, the series writer has no interest in pandering to those who like their TV stories to be "quick hits": there is an assumption of viewer intelligence, which pleases me to no end.

    This isn't just a show about detectives, or about crime. Like life, there is an overall experience to consider, layers of an onion that just won't quit. The two actors are in their element, which characters that interact on many levels.
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  90. Jan 29, 2014
    9
    Moody, hypnotic, philosophical, biting, moving, complex: just three episodes down and I'm completely captivated by this new HBO series. The acting is masterful. The dialogue is believable (a rare treat). The self-reflective story line demands that the audience watches and waits; so we look forward to being invited in on each secret. Television for grown-ups.
  91. Feb 8, 2014
    10
    the acting is superb, the locations and atmosphere are top notch, this show has me instantly hooked. If these guys don't get an Emmy im never having any faith in the academy again
  92. Feb 12, 2014
    10
    One of the best series to come out in a long time. The pacing may be slow, so if you're expecting actionscenes in every episode you may be disappointed. I must admit, I was almost put off by the pacing until I realized what a brilliant show this is, it's psychological and philosophical in a way that no run-of-the-mill crime series could ever hope to achieve. The flashback narrative isOne of the best series to come out in a long time. The pacing may be slow, so if you're expecting actionscenes in every episode you may be disappointed. I must admit, I was almost put off by the pacing until I realized what a brilliant show this is, it's psychological and philosophical in a way that no run-of-the-mill crime series could ever hope to achieve. The flashback narrative is doing its job extremely well in introducing all the subplots and setting the mood for future episodes, but the best part of the show is simply seeing Harrelson's and McConaughey's characters slowly evolve with each episode, McConaughey in particular delivering some incredible acting. Expand
  93. Feb 28, 2014
    9
    I can bet in my Bike,i wish not use some harder language, that most of (Most of, not every one) non lovers of "True Detectives", was the big fan of Sopranos, which wasn't bad at all, but essentially that was this, words of HBO CEO of production, after first presentation of script :
    "I said to myself, this show is about a guy who's turning 40. He's inherited a business from his dad. He's
    I can bet in my Bike,i wish not use some harder language, that most of (Most of, not every one) non lovers of "True Detectives", was the big fan of Sopranos, which wasn't bad at all, but essentially that was this, words of HBO CEO of production, after first presentation of script :
    "I said to myself, this show is about a guy who's turning 40. He's inherited a business from his dad. He's trying to bring it into the modern age. He's got all the responsibilities that go along with that. He's got an overbearing mom that he's still trying to get out from under. Although he loves his wife, he's had an affair. He's got two teenage kids, and he's dealing with the realities of what that is. He's anxious; he's depressed; he starts to see a therapist because he's searching for the meaning of his own life. I thought: the only difference between him and everybody I know is he's the Don of New Jersey."
    Simpler presentation of gangsters like all other peoples whit "specific problems of trade" all other is same for most of US citizens, and that kind of identification whit Sopranos is key of success.
    In True Detective does not exist such things like "common" "ordinary" "guy whit same problems but little bit different trade".....And most of non like'rs of first several episodes as the biggest failures highlighted the speed which the audience discovers the plot and characters, (whit just little bit of exploring) many of "non like'rs" also do not like way of thinking and perception of life by Mathew character,obviously make kind of confusion in common viers perception of plot, almost same as in "common sense detective" Woody Character rolle(which i found very interesting and funny), like one of "don't like" viers said "psychobabble script " Again in simplified version, i think that most of "non likers" can not just to switch they brains on a little bit demanding movie language, but strange case is (by written comments) whit some of which is like new one TV Series, they like it, but they isn't so sure way, and for me most interesting group of people which is obviously "higher level movie educated" audience, they argue is " cliche film noir(neo noir O.K) and nothing new " i can't agree, simply because of fact that is one of, the best of the best, movie in this moment,on this same @Metacritic-Site-movie Topic, by joint assessment film reviews and the audience is the new "Lego" Animation,!!!??? if that is ultimate artistic "celluloid " expression. "True Detective" is Transcendental tautological artistic endeavor" know what i mean.
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  94. Jan 14, 2014
    10
    not bad...Beautifully shot, superbly acted with an utterly enthralling plot introduction, I think this is the beginning of a love affair. Like the opening pages of a book you can't seem to put down, the first episode of True Detective wholly captured my attention. Of course with two Hollywood heavyweights like Harrelson and McConaughey I expected no less.
  95. Feb 15, 2014
    10
    If you are ready to give True Detective a pass because of the treatment toward female characters, please read this: the female characters are the ones we are supposed to sympathise with. There is a lot of repression, misogyny, and womanising in the show and you are supposed to hate it. This is intentional on the writers' part where they portray law enforcement in the American southIf you are ready to give True Detective a pass because of the treatment toward female characters, please read this: the female characters are the ones we are supposed to sympathise with. There is a lot of repression, misogyny, and womanising in the show and you are supposed to hate it. This is intentional on the writers' part where they portray law enforcement in the American south accurately, as an environment where even the "good guys" can be hostile toward women. The viewer is not supposed to tolerate it or like it--you're supposed to disapprove of the characters' actions. You're supposed to feel like the scumbags are scumbags. The way certain characters treat women is meant to be a condemnation of their own morality and to point them out as hypocrites. And it's done very well. Expand
  96. Mar 10, 2014
    7
    While I thought the acting by Matt and Woody was terrific,the plot and storyline had lots of gaps .

    Here are a few: How did the killer get to the prostitutes he killed when he spent most of his time scoping Tuttle schools for children for weird sexual rites? Was the yellow king the sun? I guess .Was the killer mainly a scout for children for the Tuttle rituals ?There seemed to be
    While I thought the acting by Matt and Woody was terrific,the plot and storyline had lots of gaps .

    Here are a few: How did the killer get to the prostitutes he killed when he spent most of his time scoping
    Tuttle schools for children for weird sexual rites? Was the yellow king the sun? I guess .Was the killer
    mainly a scout for children for the Tuttle rituals ?There seemed to be sheriff and Tuttle family involvement
    but that was just washed away with a " we didn't get everyone" single statement. That's weak writing.

    Many holes even though I enjoyed the show.
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  97. Mar 24, 2014
    10
    Quite simply, magnificent. HBO's latest phenomenon, True Detective, is the best new tv show around. It's debut season is sensational from the start to it's excellent end. It's a package that offers everything in it's entirety. It's dark, intelligent, intense, riveting, powerful, smart, suspenseful and unique. A truly tremendous piece of television. The premise immediately captures theQuite simply, magnificent. HBO's latest phenomenon, True Detective, is the best new tv show around. It's debut season is sensational from the start to it's excellent end. It's a package that offers everything in it's entirety. It's dark, intelligent, intense, riveting, powerful, smart, suspenseful and unique. A truly tremendous piece of television. The premise immediately captures the imagination and lures you in, grips you and never lets go throughout. The series follows two Louisiana State Police homicide detectives (Matthew McConaughey & Woody Harrelson) and their hunt for a serial killer in Louisiana across the span of 17 years. McConaughey's recent renaissance hits almighty new heights here. His performance as Rustin 'Rust' Cole is masterful! An actor at the top of his game and it's evident in abundance. Harrelson is also in terrific form as Martin 'Marty' Hart. Infact, the pairs relationship is the heart of the first series and the chemistry the two have on screen in there for all to see. It's two stellar performances. Michelle Monaghan and Kevin Dunn also add to an already awesome series. True Detective is unmissable. It will have you hooked from the start! And whilst at times it can be slow burning, it all pays off and comes together in an unexpected climax. And to round it off, the shows theme tune is instantaneously a hit and you will be replaying it over again. I'll be astonished if you see a better series of television this year, the only shame is that McConaughey and co won't return for the much anticipated second season! Expand
  98. Apr 12, 2014
    7
    The first episode is slow. The last episode is somewhat anti climatic, but in between we have a series that is often gripping, indulgent, frustrating, wonderfully acted by the two leads and at times as good as the hype. The film is also chock full of great writing and characters with whom you are willing to journey. Perhaps not the masterpiece it has been acclaimed as, but a rewardingThe first episode is slow. The last episode is somewhat anti climatic, but in between we have a series that is often gripping, indulgent, frustrating, wonderfully acted by the two leads and at times as good as the hype. The film is also chock full of great writing and characters with whom you are willing to journey. Perhaps not the masterpiece it has been acclaimed as, but a rewarding series non the less. Expand
  99. Jan 25, 2014
    10
    A TV show which shows a lot of promise. At first I was sceptical given the slow nature of the show, but as I watched I became more and more invested in the plot and moreover the complex characters impressively portrayed by Harrelson and McConaughey. I have very high hopes for this series and hope support for it will continue to build over the coming months. Well done!
  100. Jan 20, 2014
    9
    Watched the first episode last week, can't wait to see more. Best new show in years. Acting is superb, the plot is riveting. Do yourself a favor and watch it.
Metascore
87

Universal acclaim - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 41
  2. Negative: 1 out of 41
  1. Reviewed by: Jeff Korbelik
    Mar 27, 2014
    100
    The drama is quite riveting.
  2. Reviewed by: Emily Nussbaum
    Mar 27, 2014
    30
    Whatever the length of the show’s much admired tracking shot (six minutes, uncut!), it feels less hardboiled than softheaded. Which might be O.K. if True Detective were dumb fun, but, good God, it’s not: it’s got so much gravitas it could run for President.
  3. Reviewed by: Brian Tallerico
    Feb 20, 2014
    100
    HBO's program is not just an actor's showcase for two greats. It is dense, complex, rewarding storytelling, heightened by a sense of location from its writer and director that is mesmerizing and a character-driven storytelling aesthetic that brings to mind great films like David Fincher's "Zodiac" and Bong Joon-ho's "Memories of Murder."