Saturday, January 25, 2014

True Detective Plays Like a Great Crime Novel

True Detective
HBO Televison 
Sunday Nights, 9 PM
With Matthew McConaughey 
and Woody Harrelson
Created and Written by Nic Pizzolatto
Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga
Five Scoops of Bosco

Reviewed by Allen Bacon, The Daily Bosco

When I was young I would often see these magazines on the grocery store shelves with titles like True Crime or Inside Detective with stories and tawdry details of real life crimes and murder investigations.

The details were almost too gruesome and salacious to read about, but like the proverbial train wreck you couldn't stop reading and viewing the pictures.  The pulps, as they were called, were at one time the most read of the publications, even out selling comic books.

I mention this because this is very much the feel, whether show creator Nic Pizzolatto intended or not, of the new procedural crime drama True Detective on HBO Sunday Nights.

This is Nic Pizzolatto's, who wrote too excellent award-winning crime novels (Between Here and the Yellow Sea and Galveston) first go around as a television writer and show runner and he quite simply does a great job here.

The first season (which debuted Jan. 12) will be eight episodes, and plays out like an eight chapter novel.  A novel which happens to be a real page turner.

The first season utilizes multiple timelines to trace two Louisiana State Police Criminal Investigations Division homicide detectives' hunt for a serial killer in Louisiana across seventeen years.

The show benefits immensely in this first season by the Executive Producers and co-lead actors, Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, whose on screen chemistry is pure gold and the best dramatic acting by far on television so far this young season.

The two play the main characters (two detectives with diametrically different methods and thought processes) with a cool Southern-style sensibility.

The show also benefits from the great direction of Cary Joji Fukunaga who directs all eight episodes of this first season.

Fukunaga, who directed two wonderful movies, Sin Nombre and an updated Jane Eyre brings this story to life with raw honesty, emotion and a real feel of the steamy and surreal Louisiana Backwoods.

Another appealing aspect of this show is the excellent music selection with none other than the great and prolific music producer T Bone Burnett serving as the musical director.

The plan here is that each season will tell a different story over the course of the run with a different set of actors and story arc.

But for now, as any great crime novel, I can't wait to see the next chapter.

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