2012. Louisiana. Why are Marty Hart and Rust Cohle being separately questioned about a grim case they investigated in 1995? The two give their version of events, it at times straying from the facts....
Here is a series disturbingly (and exhilaratingly) out of the ordinary, focus on the volatile relationship between its two flawed central characters (a major quarrel in 2002 causing them to go separate ways). Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey are superb as the mismatched couple who, as partners, represent quite a team. Marty is "a people guy", Rust decidedly not - prone in a husky drawl to utterances that perturb. Example? People should not breed, but walk hand in hand to extinction. No wonder Marty very early on declared their car henceforth be a place for "silent reflection"!
That 1995 ritual killing of a teenage age girl was a shocker. One of a series? How many other youngsters had gone missing? A cult killing? How many involved? Exactly what would be found if venturing deep into forests, isolated homesteads perhaps full of inbreeds with inherited murderous tendencies?
That case seemed solved, but Marty and Rust always felt there was more to it. Now, in 2012, with another such killing, the two reunite. This time they are not going to let it go. Danger lies ahead, there no guarantee either will survive.
Eight episodes of around fifty minutes. Two commentaries. Interesting bonuses on the two stars, creator Nic Pizzolatto, composer T. Bone Burnett (his atmospheric score highly praised). Fascinating anecdotes - owls and other predatory birds needed on set to deter noisy mocking birds. Then there was that six foot alligator.... In fact the locality is in itself a star, here stunningly photographed.
Full concentration is needed as the series juxtaposes three separate time zones (it helping when episodes are watched in quick succession). Evocative title sequences promise something intriguingly different and so the series proves. Brooding and magnificent, it is enhanced by awesome central performances and belongs in television's premier league.