True Detective : Season 1

  • Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Jan 12, 2014
Season #: 1, 2
True Detective Image
Metascore
87

Universal acclaim - based on 41 Critics What's this?

User Score
9.2

Universal acclaim- based on 1657 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: A 17-year hunt for a serial killer in Louisiana begins with Detectives Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) and Martin Hart (Woody Harrelson) joining the search in this eight-episode anthology series.
  • Genre(s): Drama, Action & Adventure, Suspense

Where To Watch

Stream On
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: Robert Lloyd
    Jan 10, 2014
    100
    True Detective runs slow and steady without ever seeming to drag. Even minor characters get room to breathe, and seem independently alive; the briefest scenes seem to imply life beyond the frame.... The dance [Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson] do together here is work of a very high order, and all the reason you need to watch.
  3. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Jan 2, 2014
    100
    The acting--by Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson--is off the charts. The writing and the concept, by series creator and novelist Nic Pizzolatto, undulates from effectively brash soliloquies to penetratingly nuanced moments carried by sparse prose. Lastly, director Cary Joji Fukunaga has created a beautiful, sprawling sense of place (the series is shot and set in Louisiana).
  4. Reviewed by: Sara Smith
    Jan 13, 2014
    100
    After True Detective, all the other TV cops hunting serial killers are going to look like copycats. It’s that the taut script and spot-on dialogue takes us on a ’90s noir roller coaster ride of Shakespearean tragedy with fearless literary aspirations, delivered by two actors at the top of their game.
  5. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Jan 10, 2014
    90
    The crime they're investigating often takes such a back seat to the show's tricky structure and the all-pervasive angst you may once again wonder what exactly HBO has against the notion of narrative urgency. But be patient with this slow-burner of a disturbing, demanding drama. These detectives are truly fascinating.
  6. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Jan 10, 2014
    80
    Happily, Harrelson and McConaughey play the characters well enough, and the script is crafted ingeniously enough, that we want to know where it all goes next--and don't focus on the likelihood it will be no place good.
  7. 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.

See all 41 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 23 out of 214
  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 moreJust 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! Collapse
  2. 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 theThe 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!

    .
    Expand
  3. Jul 12, 2014
    10
    True Detective is not just a TV show about serial killers. It is a take on the eternal struggle between darkness and light. The first seasonTrue Detective is not just a TV show about serial killers. It is a take on the eternal struggle between darkness and light. The first season focussed on the worlds of the two detectives Rust Cohle and Martin Hart. True Detective is about questions every human needs to ask him/herself. Is life worth living with such evil in this world? Is the human race worth fighting for? The show is a philosophical discussion as much as it is a cool crime show. It refuses to be a "sexy show" like a Dexter. It will put off people who ONLY want a cool serial killer chase. Don't get me wrong. There is a cool serial killer chase in there. But it offers so much more.

    The writing and dialogue are sublime. Matthew McConaughey puts up a spectacular performance and is one of my favourite detective characters of all time. Dark, brooding and partly insane. The cinematography is outstanding, right from the opening montage (which is beautiful) to the gruesome murder scenes. It is one of my all time favourite TV shows.
    Expand
  4. 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 showmost 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." Expand
  5. 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 beThis 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.
    Expand
  6. May 9, 2014
    8
    Right from the superb pilot True Detective makes for a bleak watch and as a result it won’t be to everyone’s tastes, especially since it isRight from the superb pilot True Detective makes for a bleak watch and as a result it won’t be to everyone’s tastes, especially since it is certainly a slow paced show for the most part. The writing and acting (Harrelson and McConaughey are fantastic throughout) are of such a high standard however that I was quickly drawn into the two detectives serial killer hunt. Expand
  7. Aug 21, 2015
    0
    Yes the acting is good but the rest is awful,The story is not interesting,the characters are not likeable and the series is boring asYes the acting is good but the rest is awful,The story is not interesting,the characters are not likeable and the series is boring as hell.This is probably my biggest disappointment in a tv show. Expand

See all 214 User Reviews

Related Articles

  1. The Best (and Worst) New TV Shows of 2014

    The Best (and Worst) New TV Shows of 2014 Image
    Published: December 23, 2014
    We reveal the year's best-reviewed first-year series, as well as 2014's top TV movies, miniseries, and specials.
  2. Best TV Shows of the 2013-14 Season

    Best TV Shows of the 2013-14 Season Image
    Published: July 22, 2014
    Our look back at the 2013-14 television season includes all of the year's award winners as well as the season's highest-scoring programs.
  3. 2014 Emmy Nominations

    2014 Emmy Nominations Image
    Published: July 10, 2014
    Get a complete guide to this year's Emmy nominations, including lists of nominees in every major category and reactions from TV critics to this year's snubs.
  4. Episode Review: True Detective Season 1 Finale

    Episode Review: True Detective Season 1 Finale Image
    Published: March 10, 2014
    Find out what critics are saying about last night's season finale of HBO's True Detective, "Form and Void."
  5. Midseason TV: A Guide to Winter's New and Returning Shows

    Midseason TV: A Guide to Winter's New and Returning Shows Image
    Published: January 2, 2014
    Browse our guide to the most notable shows debuting over the next few months, including promising newcomers like HBO's True Detective and returning favorites such as Justified, House of Cards, Sherlock, and The Americans.