Many have said we are coming to the end of a golden era of TV, Breaking Bad has finished and this year will see the final episodes of Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire, but if dark drama with high quality writing is your weakness, then look no further than the fantastic True Detective with Matthew McConaughey cranking up yet another performance up to 11 along with the ever watchable Woody Harrelson.
“True Detective” is essentially HBO’s attempt to create an intelligent pulp crime drama. The show has an eerie Twin Peaks vibe about it and although it could be described as slow burning, this brilliantly written show will keep you on tenterhooks whilst also having the power of being philosophically intriguing too.
Take for example the tackling of the heavyweight subject of religion where atheist protagonist ‘Rust’ played by Matthew McConaughey eloquently rips religion apart when he chillingly pointed out “Transference of fear and self loathing to an authoritarian vessel is a catharsis, he absorbs their dread with his narrative, because of this he is effective in proportion to the amount of certainty he can project”
I honestly cannot recall a TV show character speak about religion and the meaninglessness of existence in such an honest, philosophical and yet eloquent way and these two scenes show the power of both the writing and the performances.
Although you could argue we have been here before in other shows, where armchair detectives tried their best to unravel the mysteries surrounding Rosie Larsen in The Killing or Laura Palmer in Twin Peaks, from the moment the haunting theme “Far From Any Road” by New Mexico husband-and-wife duo the Handsome Family kicks in, you quickly get drawn into a world inspired by the likes of David Lynch or even Nick Cave and that certainly is no bad thing.