True Detective’s First Season Wraps Up In A Bang

The Show Everyone is Talking About

If anybody out there was considering watching HBO’s True Detective, you would be doing yourself a favor by giving it a run through. True Detective’s creator & sole writer, Nic Pizzolatto knocked it out of the park as the show wrapped up its first season this Sunday. Without giving any spoilers, the first season was a bold, exciting and innovative approach to a genre of storytelling that many of us are used to these days.

Detective shows are generally predictable and unsurprising, but True Detective broke the genre mold by twisting cliché’s and generalities in a way that kept viewers intrigued, somewhat unsure and hungry for answers. Many television shows tend to be story driven in their pursuits, where as others seem to be character driven, but after seeing the show’s finale it’s safe to say that a healthy balance was struck between the two. Matthew McConaughey’s Emmy worthy performance was the most crucial aspect of the show’s success as his character Rust Cohle came to display the most captivating screen time throughout the season. Woody Harrelson also had stellar performances throughout the season as his character, Marty Hart dealt with challenges and conflicts that oozed realism and redemption to viewers.

Showrunner, Nic Pizzolatto is an experienced author who has created a television show that seamlessly translated a written novel as closely as it can to the screen. The showrunner admitted to going all out on his first attempt at cinematic storytelling for the HBO series, and couldn’t hold back on such a huge opportunity. After receiving Matthew McConaughey’s interest in the script, Pizzolatto knew that his chance had arrived and did not disappoint by any means. Director, David Mamet said to treat the audience as though they are smarter than you, and Nic Pizzolatto must have taken that to heart as the show’s story brought substance and depth onto the screen for viewers to decipher.

With an already spectacular cast, many were willing to give True Detective the attention it deserved. Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson were at the helm, and many knew that to attract such stars the plot had to be superbly captivating (which it was). The story itself spanned 17 years in total, showing the change that occurred to the characters as well as the case that they set out to solve. The series went back and forth between the past & present as McConaughey and Harrelson’s characters (Rust & Marty) dealt with the case in both settings. The show’s third act shed light on the present day case and showed how both the main characters could possibly come together to catch a killer who had gotten away with far too much.

Overall, the show was splendid in its writing and made the setting of Lousiana a character itself. The setting was largely important and many viewers could find themselves disoriented and surprisingly interested in the final moments of the series. If you are looking to enjoy a story that is complete from start to finish then savor the plot of True Detective and the riveting writing that has created such a unique and original situation for viewers to ponder.

The show’s eight episode, three act structure not only drew fan’s in but created a format that can grab the viewer’s attention and keep it. Similar to American Horror Story, HBO’s True Detective is likely to cover a new, separate story line each season. Pizzolatto admitted that his control over the show’s story is severe and after investing so much time & effort into the series, he could only see the show having an additional two seasons before walking away. He has hinted that a second season is in the works and awaiting approval before HBO signs on for a sophomore season.


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Montclair State | New Jersey
03.10.2014

Steve Melone

Steve is a television and digital media major, with a minor in film at Montclair State University. You can listen to his weekly radio show, “The Melone Zone” on 90.3 FM or wmscradio.com.