TV Corner: True Detective

[Content Note: Violence; misogyny. Spoilers for the first four episodes of True Detective.]

image of Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson in 'True Detective'

Has anyone else been watching HBO's new series True Detective, and want to talk about it?

I probably would not have watched True Detective at all, were it not for the fact that some feminist women whose opinions I trust said they were enjoying the show. And, right off the bat, it broke one of my cardinal rules for whether I will invest any further time in a television show or movie: It showed me a dead woman before it showed me a live one.

I've watched all four episodes now, and I wouldn't by any means call True Detective a feminist show, although it does have some interesting things to say about female agency and patriarchy. Episode Two had one of the best lines I've heard in a TV show in a long time, when a madam replies to Detective Marty Hart's sanctimony with this: "Girls walk this earth all the time screwing for free. Why is it you add business to the mix and boys like you can't stand the thought? I'll tell you: It's 'cause suddenly you don't own it, the way you thought you did." Boom.

Honestly, I'm not even sure yet if I think it's a good show, although it is certainly a compelling one. Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson are great in it, and, so far, there's no attempt in my estimation to make them super sympathetic despite their flaws. They're a couple of fucked-up characters, who may be (?) better than half-decent at their jobs, and that's about it.

I don't know what the hell even happened in last night's episode, holy shit, but fuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhh how did they manage that six-minute tracking shot at the end of the episode?! Oh, that's how. Thank you, Google!

What I find interesting about the show is that it underlines why there are a lot of unsolved murders—people who commit murders disappear, sometimes into places that even cops can't or won't go to find them.

I'm not sure where True Detective is headed, but I'm along for the ride, at least for now. Are you watching it? What do you think?

(Btw, how much pot is smoked and how many bongos are played in the nude on the set of True Detective? SO MUCH, I BET!)

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