True Detective 1.01 Review: “The Long Bright Walk”

The plot of HBO’s new crime drama True Detective isn’t an unfamiliar one, a story of ritualistic murders of white working girls in rural Louisiana – and more importantly, the two detectives investigating them, Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) and Marty Hart (Woody Harrelson), who slowly become unraveled as the case continues. In those terms, “The Long Bright Dark” is a pretty predictable first hour: a body is found, something connects it to a long-lost case, and two new partners struggle to work together.

Rather, it’s everything outside of the plot that makes True Detective such an interesting watch: the characters (and lead performances), the intellectual touches, and the anthology’s narrative construction chief among them. True Detective tells a story in two directions, using separate interviews with Cohle and Hart in 2012 as an avenue to detail their discovery of Dora Lange’s body on January 3rd, 1995 (more on that date in a minute), and slowly explore the changes to these two characters in the 17 years since.


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