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on 3 March 2015
A ritual murder in 1995 starts Louisiana detectives Cohle and Hart on a long grinding trail that does not seem to be going anywhere slowly. Even their boss eventually begins to loose patience and sets a time limit on the investigation. Early on I confess the lack of action tempted me to use the fast forward button on my TV remote but the relationship between the two men, both badly flawed in their own way, makes True Detective compulsive viewing. The heroes triumph and rescue two children, (illegally) eliminating two vile criminals in the process. The freakish detective Cohle thinks there is far more work to do and when told to stop investigating resigns before he's dismissed. His partner struggles on for a few years until the job sickens him and he quits. Seventeen years later both detectives are civilians and they team up again when their original case comes back to haunt them. The mood, the locations, the music and the poverty of the Deep South all draw you towards the bloody, dramatic conclusion. Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey are superb as are all the cast. Nobody seems to have mentioned the unforgettable what's his name who played 'Nucky' Thompson's downtrodden brother in Boardwalk Empire despite an underestimated but excellent cameo as a typical backwoods preacher. HBO is now, without doubt, the one to beat.
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on 30 September 2016
I can barely find the words to describe how watching this made me feel, it slowed me down and I was drawn into the story before it even began with the music, the earthy and surreal language of contrast between the two central characters. (How handsome they are!!) This is not a gory killing spree, but an intelligent and complex journey of discovery of many threads, some shocking, connected to a specific crime, which is riveting to the end.
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on 7 August 2015
Best HBO series since the The Sopranos & The Wire. Perfectly paced and it slowly reels you in. The filming and photography is fantastic, really transporting the viewer into the Louisiana swamp land, and the strange religious goings-on in the woods. I didn't care hugely for either Woody Harrelson or Matthew McConaughey before seeing the show, but that all changed after watching. Harrelson is superb as the hard drinking, world weary detective, however McConaughey produces a truly sublime performance as the troubled Detective Rust Cohle. his character will linger with you long after you have finished watching. Rich writing, great locations, and fine performances. One of the best TV shows ever made.
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on 13 September 2015
What a show.

I was totally immersed from episode 1. It's tense, tightly written and so wonderfully acted.

The plot is dark, deep and so well crafted and the protagonists play it out fantastically.

I know there is a season 2 and I have a feeling it won't be as good as this as, frankly, nothing I have watched before or since comes close.

I watched this without my wife initially as I didn't think she'd like it, but she gave it a go 3 weeks after I initially watched it and she loved it too. I watched it with her and didn't mind one bit seeing it again so soon - it was just as good the second time round.
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on 5 April 2015
The final episode is probably the least satisfying episode of a super story, although you do get to find out what finally had been going on.

The reason why it's a little disappointing is that too much is squashed into the final episode - the missing piece of the puzzle is suddenly found, the serial killer is revealed (and not as scary as I thought he would be), the serial killer is found etc.

However, the build up to the end is satisfying (in the cave) at the very end.

Superb series overall though - can't wait for season 2, although I am unsure of how Vince Vaughan and Colin Farrell can add depth to this atmospheric show-piece.
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on 31 July 2016
Believe the hype - it really is that good... and the two leads Woody Harelson and Matthew Mcconaughey (especially Mcconaughey) are mesmerising. Yes, it is a slow burner (I have seen this as a criticism; accusing it of being 'boring') and most of the attention is on the aforementioned actors... but for me, that's what made it so good: I absolutely loved the dialogue and interaction between Harrelson and Mcconaughey, with the dark and sultry deep South setting making the perfect background. If you're looking for a fast-paced shocks-per-second action thriller, then this probably isn't for you... but if you love good dialogue, appreciate a decent crime thriller with multilayered characters and a slow build up leading to an emotional finale (especially after getting to really know the main protagonists), then you might love this. Just my 2 cents.
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on 2 September 2014
This was very much a slow-burner. We almost gave up mid-way through the first episode, the slow pace, the mumbled dialogue (sub-titles were eventually brought into use and proved just as effective as they were when we watched The Wire) and the intertwining of two police investigations, made it hard-going. But, boy, am I glad we stuck with it. Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson are terrific as the the two cops hunting down a serial killer, whose crimes go virtually unnoticed in an atmospheric Louisiana. The climax, played out over the final two episodes, is gripping and when the creditsm rolled at the end we just sat there in stunned silence
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on 24 December 2017
Extremely good. Builds slowly and is powerful, thoughtful, supremely acted and scripted. Quirky, gripping and well shot.
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on 19 June 2017
Unique narrative and believable, unpredictable twists and turns. Superbly acted, produced, shot and edited. It's more than movie quality with the added length enabling real character, location and plot development.
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on 20 January 2016
Brilliant; especially for an American series,
A gripping, dark story with threads of paganism surfacing where God is usually found in mainstream American films.
But,as often is the case with mumbling American actors (as opposed to Americans in America), sub-titles are recommended if the plot is to be followed.
It's still eminently watchable, with or without access to the detailed storyline.
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