• Network: HBO
  • Series Premiere Date: Dec 17, 2013
Season #: 3, 2, 1
User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 232 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 37 out of 232

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User Reviews

  1. Feb 25, 2019
    5
    Very disappointing.
    You expect something to happen throughout these 8 episodes, but nothing really interesting happens. The show is slow, long and just mediocre. The only good thing here is acting.
  2. Feb 27, 2019
    3
    Absolutely flat, boring and mundane narrative. The so-called "clues" were really red-herrings. As for the character development which is so praised in this season, I didn't feel any emotional connection with any of the characters, neither detectives nor victims. People praising characters should go and check movies like Prisoners or TV shows like Haunting of Hill House where charactersAbsolutely flat, boring and mundane narrative. The so-called "clues" were really red-herrings. As for the character development which is so praised in this season, I didn't feel any emotional connection with any of the characters, neither detectives nor victims. People praising characters should go and check movies like Prisoners or TV shows like Haunting of Hill House where characters really came alive and we felt their anguish or sadness.

    To be fair, Ali, Dorff and Amelia did gave amazing performances. In fact, I liked Dorff more than Ali in every scene he was. While Ali's character felt like a d**k at times, Dorff was always impressive and balanced.

    But story! oh boy, did it go all downhill? There was no suspense, no big reveal, no twist - just flat. As Amelia character asks in the final episode "Is that not the story worth telling?" NO, God No. There was nothing in that story to tell. The detectives were just lame - they were so incompetent, they couldn't even find a man with one eye till after 25 years, that too when he practically begged to be found by parking outside Wayne's house. The final so-called "twist" was also suggested by Amelia's ghost. So what were the detectives doing all the time? Wayne was so egoistic that he never read his wife's novel till end whereas the fact is that she was helping all through his investigation. These are the characters people are raving about..what a bunch of geniuses!

    If you want a good mystery show, watch Dark or How to get away with Murder. TD season 3 was an utter waste of time and money to me. You were warned.
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  3. Feb 13, 2019
    4
    Pretty Boring. After the chaotic season 2 this time all is set to "slow". 90% of time the characters look a bit down, and if they say at least something, it has to be pretty silent. You have the feeling there stands someone and says the whole time... slower, longer, look longer serious, all has to be slower, quieter. Ok, this is a form of how a story can be told. And in some Films like thePretty Boring. After the chaotic season 2 this time all is set to "slow". 90% of time the characters look a bit down, and if they say at least something, it has to be pretty silent. You have the feeling there stands someone and says the whole time... slower, longer, look longer serious, all has to be slower, quieter. Ok, this is a form of how a story can be told. And in some Films like the russian STALKER it fits. In this serie it just seems to endlessly stretch a thin story. After 3 episodes i gave up, there was so little that happened it could have been showed in 1 episode, if there weren't these endless slowmo scenes. Also the interaction of the characters isn't interesting. Expand
  4. Feb 21, 2019
    3
    I really wanted to like series 3, because series 1 blew me away. However, it was overly long, unbelievably slow and lacked any real tension. The main character was relentlessly miserable and uninteresting, and lacking any discernible intelligence, unlike Matthew McConaughey's character in series 1. Good dramas include light and dark, this story was one dimensional and completely lacked theI really wanted to like series 3, because series 1 blew me away. However, it was overly long, unbelievably slow and lacked any real tension. The main character was relentlessly miserable and uninteresting, and lacking any discernible intelligence, unlike Matthew McConaughey's character in series 1. Good dramas include light and dark, this story was one dimensional and completely lacked the dark, brooding atmosphere of series 1.. I would not want him working on any case involving my family. Halfway through the series I could not care less who had done the dirty deed, or what happened to the two detectives. The detective's wife was just an annoying diversion. As I write this I am watching Episode 7, and debating whether to even continue watching any further. I don't get the high scores left by others. and the reviewer who compared this favorably with Homeland must be watching a different programme. Expand
  5. Jan 27, 2019
    3
    Neither the characters nor the story are engaging and there is no chemistry between the characters. Very stilted. Everyone mumbling doesn't make them deep or complex. Dorff especially has the charisma of an old shoe. And Ali is trying so hard to recreate the power of MM in season 1 it comes off as very forced.
  6. Feb 25, 2019
    5
    This show keeps getting worse each season, went from 9.5 to 8 and now 5/10, even intro song is mediocre, that one hit me surprisingly hard because of great intro songs in previous seasons.
  7. Feb 25, 2019
    1
    Full of irrelevant waffle that achieved nothing.

    A pedestrian story with time-shifts added in the vain hope to make it interesting.

    What a fail.
  8. Feb 11, 2019
    6
    ***update 2/11 After starting strong, they've been dragging it out the past bunch of episodes. Just found out their original director quit after the first two eps, and it shows. Not as good as I wanted it to be. The wife is killing the whole vibe. Reducing my score to 6*** Pretty Pretty Pretty Pretty Good. After the disaster that was season two I was expecting a repeat of nonsense, but***update 2/11 After starting strong, they've been dragging it out the past bunch of episodes. Just found out their original director quit after the first two eps, and it shows. Not as good as I wanted it to be. The wife is killing the whole vibe. Reducing my score to 6*** Pretty Pretty Pretty Pretty Good. After the disaster that was season two I was expecting a repeat of nonsense, but it seems Nic Pizzolatto has found his way back to HBO Sunday night relevance even without Cary Joji Fukunaga. These first two eps were thick, and meaty, I eagerly await next weeks installment. Huzzah! Expand
  9. Mar 11, 2019
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Thought it was alright. Better than season two, miles and miles away from season one.

    It started off very promising, the main characters had an interesting dynamic and alright dialogue but then nothing happens for five episodes.

    There's barely any conflict between the main characters (except with the wife, which got on my nerves eventually) and the story touches on the occult themes and conspiracies of the first season, but then fails to deliver on it spectacularly.

    The amount of red herrings were annoying as well. Boy clasps his hands exactly as the picture from his confirmation? Just a random accident. Black sedan parked outside Wayne's house? Just a man who knows exactly what happened more than 20 years ago and decided now's the time to finally come forward.

    The setup was great, but the execution was abysmal, and some of the dialogue was just cringe.
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  10. Mar 28, 2019
    0
    The most boring TV show I have ever seen. The first and second seasons were masterpieces rich in black humour and interesting characters. But the third season..what is that?! I was watching every boring episode in the hope for something interesting, something special. But I was totally wrong: from the beginning to the end there is nothing. Only waste of time.
  11. Feb 15, 2019
    2
    The whole thing started out quite well, but eventually lost all steam. No way near TD1. The story seems to concentrate, not on what´s happened to these young victims and the case in itself, but more on dropping the occassional identitypoiitic rants. It is intensly boring to listen to silly lines about the so called "priviliged" white people. How are they priviliged, portrayed likeThe whole thing started out quite well, but eventually lost all steam. No way near TD1. The story seems to concentrate, not on what´s happened to these young victims and the case in itself, but more on dropping the occassional identitypoiitic rants. It is intensly boring to listen to silly lines about the so called "priviliged" white people. How are they priviliged, portrayed like trailertrash and/or racist towards everything that moves? Funny thing is, it wasn´t like that at all back in 1980, neither in 1990 nor 2019.. indeed saddening to see the producers of the TD series drop to such a low level. It would have been truly refreshing if the caracters didn´t mention in one single sentence this modern propaganda stereotypes and concentrated on the STORY and let the actors ACT in a realistic manner. Identity politics KILLS quality, it kills all interest. Why? Because it is simply a set of anachronistic lies that are easy to see through, and tiresome to have to listen to. Truly disappointed. This crap made all movies nowadays unwatchable, now it is starting to infect the former, lenghty quality Tv-shows as well. Expand
  12. Jan 13, 2019
    10
    Just enough like season 1 to feel like a real follow-up, but the characters and the world are so distinct that it doesn't feel like an attempt to repeat past glory. It's so good to have it back. As everyone points out, it's not season 1, but it doesn't really have to be and it's unfair to constantly compare the two. This is fantastic in its own right.
  13. Mar 25, 2020
    8
    It has been nearly four years that we haven't heard anything much about True Detective ever returning back to TV, and ladies and gentlemen it is here, the long awaited third season of True Detective is back and better than ever. Season three is the true season that we all truly deserved since the first. There may be ups-and-downs in terms of a slogged-up underutilization of choices thatIt has been nearly four years that we haven't heard anything much about True Detective ever returning back to TV, and ladies and gentlemen it is here, the long awaited third season of True Detective is back and better than ever. Season three is the true season that we all truly deserved since the first. There may be ups-and-downs in terms of a slogged-up underutilization of choices that adds up to the conclusion with only eight episodes again, but everything from the superb acting, casting, camera work, and writing of this new season may be the best flavor to chew on rather than a rushed plot that divided most people on the second season years back. And again, season three is a big improvement than its anthological predecessor since it's a revitalization of the first season with a much clearer picture and a gritty narrative that we’re all familiar of. Is it better than season one? Nope – but it’s better than two alright. Expand
  14. Jan 21, 2019
    5
    It's pretty slow and often redundant. While it tries to imitate the first season the tempo and dialogue will remind you more of the second season.

    The more pizolatto continues with the TV Show, the more it becomes evident that he is clueless about the reasons behind the success of the first season.

    5/10. You'll struggle finishing it and when finished you'll never think about it again.
  15. Feb 25, 2019
    0
    this is not a real detective, but a sad ****
    why the hell was half the show taking love stories in the worst spirit of cheap melodramas??!!!
    even the second season is much more interesting than this ****
    I do not advise anyone to watch this sad porn!!!
  16. Mar 26, 2019
    8
    80/100

      Not as good as the first season but much better than the second.
      The story was decent, but the characters are the ones that made me come back and see it, that means the acting it's good.
      It's filmed nicely, a beautiful soundtrack, but everything was so slow...
  17. Feb 25, 2019
    6
    Much better than the second season, but nothing to do with that masterpiece of the first season. This is inspired by the first season but does not reach us even a bit
  18. Jan 14, 2019
    9
    This first two episodes were a proper introduction even if there was not enough tension and too much stuff all together. It seems the narration and plot will be more similar to the first season than the second, good omen considered the success of s1. The narration seems full of details and I am starting to see the episodes as little puzzles left to the watchers (are they experimenting aThis first two episodes were a proper introduction even if there was not enough tension and too much stuff all together. It seems the narration and plot will be more similar to the first season than the second, good omen considered the success of s1. The narration seems full of details and I am starting to see the episodes as little puzzles left to the watchers (are they experimenting a new way of telling a detective story??) and it's very interesting because the plot is based on a confusion between the events leaving the watcher with the same feeling as detective Wayne. I am starting to make theories and I would be very disappointed if I could already imagine the end, but for this we have to wait. Sometime there are moments that are "graphic quotations" from season 1 and 2, well played. I am a td lover so I'll wait till the end to express agree or disagree about the choices that will be made. Expand
  19. Jan 13, 2019
    0
    It feels like all of the characters are trying to speak in a 'dark' tone, and it fails to add depth to the screenplay because it feels forced.

    Every conversation the protagonist has with the side characters looks unnatural because it feels like the screenwriter is trying to put information into our heads. So far I didn't like it. Might give it a re-watch so that I can despise it even
    It feels like all of the characters are trying to speak in a 'dark' tone, and it fails to add depth to the screenplay because it feels forced.

    Every conversation the protagonist has with the side characters looks unnatural because it feels like the screenwriter is trying to put information into our heads. So far I didn't like it. Might give it a re-watch so that I can despise it even more.

    TL;DR : Bad acting and screenwriting, laughably pretentious.
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  20. Feb 11, 2019
    0
    So pompously overacted and so cliché. It seems every scene Ali has but one face: the dour fatalistic expression of gravitas of the All-American police detective faced with the greatest burden on the face of this earth. Death, Crime! I am the only one that can save humanity. Every time he finishes a sentence he should add: "'Cause I'm Batman! ". I had to give up midway through episode 1.So pompously overacted and so cliché. It seems every scene Ali has but one face: the dour fatalistic expression of gravitas of the All-American police detective faced with the greatest burden on the face of this earth. Death, Crime! I am the only one that can save humanity. Every time he finishes a sentence he should add: "'Cause I'm Batman! ". I had to give up midway through episode 1. Give me some Jake Peralta please. Expand
  21. Feb 25, 2019
    0
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Does anyone else feels betrayed that they showed us Rust and Hart and how this might all be connected to a bigger thing, and then they just forgot about it.

    I really feel betrayed for getting my hopes up for this season.
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  22. Feb 26, 2019
    1
    I can't really say how they squander all in this season.
    It is not interesting, nor detective.
  23. Jan 17, 2019
    9
    Let's get two things clear: Season 3 of True Detective is not the same as Season 1. And Season 3 (thus far) is every bit as good.

    A lot of fans of Season 1 of True Detective make a kind of funny group. They remind me of an old friend of mine who, upon his first visit to (insert name of a city here, let's say, Seattle) ate dinner at a very good restaurant, and now, every time he visits
    Let's get two things clear: Season 3 of True Detective is not the same as Season 1. And Season 3 (thus far) is every bit as good.

    A lot of fans of Season 1 of True Detective make a kind of funny group. They remind me of an old friend of mine who, upon his first visit to (insert name of a city here, let's say, Seattle) ate dinner at a very good restaurant, and now, every time he visits the city eats at that same restaurant, insisting that it is "the best restaurant in town." News Flash: There are hundreds of great restaurants in Seattle.

    Season 1 of True Detective was great in both its remarkably fresh use of conventional police procedural tropes, a blueprint for entertaining drama that has endured for decades (really, back to the origins of the detective story invented by Edgar Allen Poe in The Murders in the Rue Morgue) and in its character-driven narrative in which two incongruous but complementary detectives encounter and attempt to solve a life and career changing criminal case. The tone, intensity, and pace of the procedural was compelling. But the mojo which drove that series, and which inspired so many of its fans to declare it one of the greatest TV shows ever--me, included--was the appositional tension between the main characters, and the way that writer Nic Pizzolatto moved Rust and Marty toward each other and against each other, in turns, over a broad span of time. At the heart of the characters' grinding opposition and collaboration was a conflict of individual aspiration and ethos. Rust was the superficial anti-hero: an (apparently) conflicted and morally solipsistic nihilist who repeatedly displayed a streak of anti-social beliefs and attitudes which masked a steely determination to solve a crime without regard to conventional philosophies of justice. Crime-fighting was personal to Rust. He played the same game as other policeman, but for different reasons. He didn't care for cops, and he didn't socialize with them. He shunned the "police officer privilege" that animated so many of his colleagues. To him detecting was not about social improvement or police career building; it was about personal and intellectual integrity. Solving a crime, to Rust, was an act of personal goodliness, a gift to a crime's victims, not given to equate fairness or settle scores, but a compassionate turn to someone in need. Marty was a more conventional cop, who played the cops' game, and was dedicated to the cops' lifestyle, with all its social requirements and appearances, things about which Marty cared a great deal. But Marty was haunted by deeper demons, namely, the personal hypocrisy created by his destructive appetites. I'd argue that Marty was the real heart of the first season; he was the central character and the actual anti-hero of the series. Nevertheless, it was their counterpoise of values and personal commitments that overlaid the procedural plot and demanded our attention.

    Season 3 is entirely different in that it addresses an entirely other component of human life. Like most police procedurals, it has many of the same hallmarks of Season 1: a disturbing and seemingly--frustratingly--unsolvable crime, a team of two detectives, and a setting of social and economic depression. But Season 3 is not focused on the competing values and personalities of its main characters. Rather, and perhaps more interestingly, Season 3 is centered around the existential experience of human memory. It asks different foundational questions than Season 1: What is memory? How do we consciously experience memory? How does our recall of details and sensory experience change over time? What factors explain our changing memories of traumatic events? Does recall change merely by the passage of time or our mental ability to process sensory data? Does our evolving and devolving emotional life and neurological functionality--our sense of happiness and personal fulfillment--effect how and what we remember about a past event? How can we, as neurological beings, encounter an event and recall certain details and tonal qualities--satisfaction, empathy, or revulsion--of the event five minutes later, but then have different memories and response to our memories 10 years later, and 35 years later? What accounts for those differences?

    Even more than Season 1, Season 3 demands exquisite acting and precise writing. And Mahershala Ali and Pizzolatto are completely to the task. Pizzolatto's story reveals and unwinds with brooding and deliberate pace, giving us exactly enough time to reflect and respond to Detective Hays' experiential recall before inching toward the next trial of memory. And Ali gives a deft performance of a man who experiences his tragic recall in three different frames and in three disparate ways.

    Metaphorically, Season 1 was like watching a great fight, or a great love affair, or both. Season 3 is like watching a photographer stare at one of his bleakest old photos. What is he thinking, and why? It's compelling.
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  24. Feb 19, 2019
    9
    Echoes the first season in narrative and setting, but it's very much its own brilliant and unique thing. Extraordinary cinematography, performances, direction, editing, mise en scène and all accompanying artistic attributes. The first season of True Detective is the greatest season of television ever, so while this third season isn't quite as good, it is still realms beyond most otherEchoes the first season in narrative and setting, but it's very much its own brilliant and unique thing. Extraordinary cinematography, performances, direction, editing, mise en scène and all accompanying artistic attributes. The first season of True Detective is the greatest season of television ever, so while this third season isn't quite as good, it is still realms beyond most other shows and the return of a masterpiece, after the slightly disappointing second season. Expand
  25. Mar 10, 2019
    8
    After a long wait, we get another season of True Detective and it flat out delivers. A decent plot is elevated by an impeccable ensemble, specifically the performances from Ali and Dorff. The season is a slow burn and has its peaks and valleys but ultimately, season 3 is a welcome addition to the series.
  26. Mar 7, 2019
    8
    Season three of True Detective is an even slower burn than season one, but it doesn't have quite the pay-off that season one does. It's well made, it's tremendously acted, and it is still well worth the watch, but it was hard for me not to walk away wanting more from the finale.
  27. Feb 21, 2019
    7
    I find True Detective season 3 to be a great show. The acting itself is far stronger then what we saw in season 2 but that isn’t really a high bar for quality. Ali is a far more compelling lead in this season and the atmosphere for a thriller/drama is back where it should be from season 1. The funny thing is that when I start the show I have high hopes of staying awake the whole episode. II find True Detective season 3 to be a great show. The acting itself is far stronger then what we saw in season 2 but that isn’t really a high bar for quality. Ali is a far more compelling lead in this season and the atmosphere for a thriller/drama is back where it should be from season 1. The funny thing is that when I start the show I have high hopes of staying awake the whole episode. I have fallen asleep during half of the episodes consistently. The moody music and low voices are apparently my Tylenol PM hahaha. I always enjoy rewatching the episodes! Expand
  28. Mar 11, 2019
    8
    Not quite the thriller mystery season 1 was but it kept a lot of nuances from season 1 which made the series consistent and with a "satisfying" ending. Certain bits of this production duplicated aspects/theories/kind of events of season 1. The second season was poor; they def played a safer card here whilst introducing it's own subplots. The pace was controller through out; almost even inNot quite the thriller mystery season 1 was but it kept a lot of nuances from season 1 which made the series consistent and with a "satisfying" ending. Certain bits of this production duplicated aspects/theories/kind of events of season 1. The second season was poor; they def played a safer card here whilst introducing it's own subplots. The pace was controller through out; almost even in the actors voices/pitch/tone. I like the setting and the choice of actors / characters. I was happy with each time line & glad this didn't end up like another Stephen King master piece come emotionally dark sociopath ending - see 11.22.63 - that series emotionally scarred me :( Expand
  29. Jan 14, 2019
    1
    Wayne Hays (Mahershala Ali) and Roland West (Stephen Dorff) as partners have zero charisma, and its all on Mahershala as the 'man of mystery and intrigue' just looks acts disinterested and constipated in every scene. Also, what's with all the groaning and moaning noises every time Ali moves, must be the constipation; somebody give the man some ex-lax already. Its too bad that Stephen DorffWayne Hays (Mahershala Ali) and Roland West (Stephen Dorff) as partners have zero charisma, and its all on Mahershala as the 'man of mystery and intrigue' just looks acts disinterested and constipated in every scene. Also, what's with all the groaning and moaning noises every time Ali moves, must be the constipation; somebody give the man some ex-lax already. Its too bad that Stephen Dorff gets the second seat but then again he does shine in this crowd. Expand
  30. Feb 26, 2019
    9
    It's a haunting personal story about a detective whose life is consumed by a missing children case. In his old age he has dementia, and the show is edited in such a way that it jumps back and forth between multiple time periods in his life, reflecting his state of mind. I don't think I've seen a TV show with this much care and detail in its editing. While it doesn't reach the heights ofIt's a haunting personal story about a detective whose life is consumed by a missing children case. In his old age he has dementia, and the show is edited in such a way that it jumps back and forth between multiple time periods in his life, reflecting his state of mind. I don't think I've seen a TV show with this much care and detail in its editing. While it doesn't reach the heights of early S1 (I don't think anything will) the ending is much better than S1 in my opinion, and obviously it's hands-down better than S2. The showrunners obviously tried really really hard to capture the things that made S1 good, and were mostly successful. I will rewatch it at some point for sure. The only thing I didn't like was the racial tension which seemed shoehorned in, and could have been removed from the script entirely without changing the substance of the narrative. Expand
  31. Feb 8, 2019
    7
    There are obvious shortcomings in the story that kind of take away from the overall value. With just 3 episodes left, We haven't really been given much of a story to even craft a solid theory around and there are a lot of obvious red herrings dragged across our path.

    But I will say that the stellar acting by Ali and his supporting lead Dorff make up for a lot of these shortcomings. To
    There are obvious shortcomings in the story that kind of take away from the overall value. With just 3 episodes left, We haven't really been given much of a story to even craft a solid theory around and there are a lot of obvious red herrings dragged across our path.

    But I will say that the stellar acting by Ali and his supporting lead Dorff make up for a lot of these shortcomings. To me, It's about the conclusion and how the arcs for these characters wrap up.
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  32. Jan 18, 2019
    9
    A pretty decent start to season 3, very similar narration and storytelling to the acclaimed first season. Ali, Dorff, and McNairy are all fantastic. Finally, it seems True Detective is back to leaving you eager to see next weeks episode....
  33. Feb 28, 2019
    8
    Season 3 of "True Detective" trims down from the convoluted mess that is Season 2 with a more character-centric plot. The triptych structure is fascinatingly used, and the mystery itself is satisfying.
  34. Jan 16, 2019
    9
    Ali owns the third season of TD, with some quality assistance from Dorff. The slow simmer may lack the audacity of season one, but the spices are there to savor. The first two episodes stayed with me, prompting reflection on the pieces of the puzzle revealed. Focused viewers will be rewarded. The soundtrack is also of note, so watch and listen to this high caliber season. I can't wait forAli owns the third season of TD, with some quality assistance from Dorff. The slow simmer may lack the audacity of season one, but the spices are there to savor. The first two episodes stayed with me, prompting reflection on the pieces of the puzzle revealed. Focused viewers will be rewarded. The soundtrack is also of note, so watch and listen to this high caliber season. I can't wait for the next episode. Expand
  35. crb
    Mar 2, 2019
    9
    Almost as good as the first season. The way the dialogue is written, the way it's shot, the soundtrack, it gives you the feeling of constant dread and pain and sorrow waiting at every cut. I would watch these characters eating cereal at breakfast and still enjoy it.
  36. Jan 21, 2019
    8
    Don't think I'm alone when I say that I was blown away by the first season, but let down by the second. Very happy to say that the third season, while not quite as good as the first (yet), is back on track and I'm enjoying it immensely.
  37. Mar 15, 2019
    8
    beyond any other fields through this season, any capture, sequence and dissolve that mentioned to discuss about "time" subject are all enough to enjoy from the whole season... and Mahershala Ali acting is so watchable. MUST SEE!
  38. Feb 24, 2019
    8
    Writing this following the season finale, which has helped me change my opinion of the show, which really could be renamed "True Life: Hard and Beautiful." The whole season is really only a single movie's worth of material spread quite unevenly across 8 hours, including a few episodes mid season that barely moved the main plot along. In between the main narrative there is a lot of materialWriting this following the season finale, which has helped me change my opinion of the show, which really could be renamed "True Life: Hard and Beautiful." The whole season is really only a single movie's worth of material spread quite unevenly across 8 hours, including a few episodes mid season that barely moved the main plot along. In between the main narrative there is a lot of material addressing the relationship and personal stories of Wayne and his wife Amelia and Wayne and his partner Roland.
    While this amounts to being very frustrating at times since most of us are here for the detective side of thing and because the writing of the show often feels like tropey retreads of familiar themes, the acting in this show is phenomenal. Across the board, this show is carried, HARD, by its actors to make up for the writing and poor pacing.
    That being said, while these mid season meanderings get tiresome, the overall plot and arc of each character ends up being quite touching, and I found myself in tears at the end, particularly from Ali's performance as Wayne. I'd have to say about 4 or 5 episodes, #1-2, 6-7-8, are really worth watching. The rest are certainly not always great TV, riveting mystery, or compelling drama at the time but to end up building our connection to the characters and setting.
    By the end, I'm really glad I put the time in to watch it in full and felt like it actually did have something to say about life, loss, and relationships. And yes, there are similarities to season 1, but I didn't find myself comparing them side by side. Each season ends up feeling really different.
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  39. Jan 24, 2019
    8
    After the fiasco of the second season, True detective charge with new energies and is noticeable from the beginning.
    The plot is intriguing and if you was a huge fan of the first season you will see again the returning of the flash backs in the meantime that the story advance, the characters solidly build it, the scenarios nailed and you have a perfect formula for an mysterious thriller.
    After the fiasco of the second season, True detective charge with new energies and is noticeable from the beginning.
    The plot is intriguing and if you was a huge fan of the first season you will see again the returning of the flash backs in the meantime that the story advance, the characters solidly build it, the scenarios nailed and you have a perfect formula for an mysterious thriller. Looking forward to see the development.
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  40. May 4, 2019
    9
    I really enjoyed this season of the show. It has its own personality and still it's similar to Season 1 in terms of narrative pace, vibe and structure.

    The grim case the detectives investigate , the narrative extra push for their personal lives and all this as scenes jump roughly 10y back and forth allow the slow pace the season has to work well to keep us interested in how the plot
    I really enjoyed this season of the show. It has its own personality and still it's similar to Season 1 in terms of narrative pace, vibe and structure.

    The grim case the detectives investigate , the narrative extra push for their personal lives and all this as scenes jump roughly 10y back and forth allow the slow pace the season has to work well to keep us interested in how the plot progresses.

    For me, Dorff was strong and convincing and had a couple of scenes that will stuck on me for a while.
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  41. Apr 5, 2019
    7
    +Superb cast
    +Great soundscape
    +Excellent cinematography +Fantastic makeup effects -Plot has vapid quality Considering the disaster of S2, with S3 the direction feels inspired with the cast delivering memorable standout performances that breathe life and texture into each frame (Especially from leads Ali, Ejogo and Dorff). The soundscape here is haunting and the use of 'period
    +Superb cast
    +Great soundscape
    +Excellent cinematography
    +Fantastic makeup effects
    -Plot has vapid quality

    Considering the disaster of S2, with S3 the direction feels inspired with the cast delivering memorable standout performances that breathe life and texture into each frame (Especially from leads Ali, Ejogo and Dorff).

    The soundscape here is haunting and the use of 'period time jumps' through the lens of Wayne's dementia in telling his story of events are inspired (even though ultimately these only seem to add much needed depth to the story in a gimmicky sort of way rather than paying off in some epic way). At times the pacing wavers but overall this is a stellar production and highly recommended for fans of S1 or of the gumshoe detective 'noir' genre.
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  42. Mar 10, 2019
    6
    Well... it's better than season 2. It tries to go back to basics and copy Season 1 while still trying to create something new. It starts off promising but then struggles with the balancing act.

    The dialogue is quite frankly laughable at times. The story is a mess. The characters are hollow but do come alive every now and again.

    All in all it was just alright.
  43. Mar 5, 2019
    1
    Aaand after making an S2 that successfully avoided the all-too-predictable option of trying to imitate S1, they still fell into the trap, just took them a while longer, time enough to make sure they fell harder. They tried to recreate not only the sinister type of story with possible supernatural implications from S1, they also tried to recreate the Rust Cohle character. And as if that badAaand after making an S2 that successfully avoided the all-too-predictable option of trying to imitate S1, they still fell into the trap, just took them a while longer, time enough to make sure they fell harder. They tried to recreate not only the sinister type of story with possible supernatural implications from S1, they also tried to recreate the Rust Cohle character. And as if that bad judgement wasn't enough, they tried to do it in an exasperatingly slow style where nothing of any consequence happens for 2-3 episodes at a time, and where after every line of dialogue you're made to wait at least 10 seconds before you get another one. Not that anyone ever has anything interesting to say.

    What a bad joke of a season. The past 4-5 episodes have been so fast-forwardable I'm at the point where I can easily check out and stop caring about the rest of the season. S2 was worlds better than this garbage.

    1/10 for using good actors tho.
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  44. Feb 28, 2019
    2
    The last episode was such a disappointment. The ascendancy of the female character over the weak male character. Don't even mention the resolution of the story line. They led us down so many rabbit holes to end like this. Not near as good as Season 1 or 2.
  45. Mar 5, 2019
    5
    Well, it's better than season 2, but nowhere near as good as the groundbreaking season 1. What would have been a good story becomes mired in the constant flashbacks and time jumps from the distant past to the present day. It kills any momentum that's built up by the scenes. It would have worked better with just a standard narrative.
  46. Jan 11, 2020
    7
    A good season with an outstanding opening episode by Saulnier, which was so tense it made me want to puke, and a refreshingly mature conclusion. B/w such a great start and a stand-out finish, there were some major lulls, and the only thing that carried me through 'em were the fantastic performances. Mahershala Ali, Stephen Dorff, and Carmen Ejogo thankfully squeeze every drop out ofA good season with an outstanding opening episode by Saulnier, which was so tense it made me want to puke, and a refreshingly mature conclusion. B/w such a great start and a stand-out finish, there were some major lulls, and the only thing that carried me through 'em were the fantastic performances. Mahershala Ali, Stephen Dorff, and Carmen Ejogo thankfully squeeze every drop out of Pizzolatto's material, and now I want nothing more than Dorff's career to enter into some kind of 2nd renaissance.

    While an improvement over the previous season in most ways, there are a couple of things that has over this one. Lera Lynn, most of all, but the big E, as in Engagement, as well. I mean, I started this third season right when it came out, and wasn't able to finish it, well, until now.

    It's plain and clear by now, that first season was some sort of lightning in a bottle, and I know damn well it's kind of unfair to compare seasons since their anthological nature, but I can't help myself. It is what it is.
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  47. Aug 26, 2019
    8
    Amazing start for True Detective season 3. Incredible performances (particularly Ali, Dorff and McNairy), beautiful cinematography and really tight writing help make the first 2 episodes much better than the previous season.
  48. Jun 5, 2019
    1
    I felt totally cheated by True Detective series 3 because I had invested at least 10 hours of my life watching what I thought was a show about a real crime, when in fact it turned out to be a convoluted soap opera about the relationships of a detective with his wife and his colleague.

    The actual “crime” element could have been dealt with in about 3 episodes. Then I could have decided
    I felt totally cheated by True Detective series 3 because I had invested at least 10 hours of my life watching what I thought was a show about a real crime, when in fact it turned out to be a convoluted soap opera about the relationships of a detective with his wife and his colleague.

    The actual “crime” element could have been dealt with in about 3 episodes. Then I could have decided not to waste my time watching the rest of the series. Please can you TV people get back to creating dramas that are:

    1. Plot driven, instead of character driven.
    2. In chronological order, instead of being chronlogically mashed up beyond all reason.
    3. Not used primarily as a vehicle for actors and directors to show off their skills.

    Although the first series of True Detective was excellent, I am not now minded to watch any more of these series if they should turn up.
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Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. Reviewed by: Carol Midgley
    Jan 7, 2020
    80
    This is often a one-man show for Ali, sometimes wearing prosthetics to make him old, grey and suffering from dementia, and he is terrific in all three timelines. Great performances too from the missing children's dysfunctional, barneying parents. ... It's not yet as good as series one but there are rich, tragic seams here.
  2. Reviewed by: Michael Hogan
    Jan 3, 2020
    80
    This was redneck noir: Twin Peaks meets Broadchurch, with a dash of The Killing. Atmospheric and beguiling, True Detective had its hooks into me again.
  3. Reviewed by: Rebecca Nicholson
    Dec 3, 2019
    60
    In the end, this is a decent, serviceable thriller, nasty enough to give the impression of not flinching away from the darkest natures of its characters, and sufficiently gripping to ensure that viewers should keep on watching, to find out who they fingered for the crimes of 1980, and why this particular case returns to haunt Hays, decades on, like so many TV detectives before him.