Television has seen many years of all kinds of series – different time formats, running times and genres. And each of them has its own trademark and set of rules and dynamics, but falls into some category or other. It is actually pretty hard to watch something that really sets a new precedent in TV – a real game changer. However, watching the most popular HBO series of recent years (circa 2000 and later), one can see a tendency towards creating real long running series. Sticking to the most important rules of popular television – easy watching, skipping an episode is not a problem, plot twists and cliffhangers, HBO-produced series manage to create something that goes beyond the usual line of entertainment. The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire, The Wire, Game of Thrones – they all conform to the new mode of the big budget series, where great narratives develop over numerous seasons. What’s more – they look and feel more like movies rather than the traditional series.
This brings us to the latest of these series – the “True Detective” mini-series. It is actually a story that develops in 8 episodes of 50 minutes each. No pauses, no ad breaks – a whole 7 hour movie (maybe this is why Netflix is so popular – you can watch it in one 2 day marathon). And it is done with real style. All of the people involved in its production have done a great job – Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson deliver some of the best performances of their lives, forming a stunning screen partnership, directed by Cary Fukunaga and brilliantly written by Nic Pizzolatto.
The story revolves around mysterious ritual murders taking place all over the white trash populated world of Louisiana. Power, insanity and duty play a deadly game of love and hate from the first few minutes until the very end, engulfing the audience in a real Edgar Allan Poe and Lovecraft experience. It will never scare you, but the series presents a mystery that will keep you glued to the screen just like Twin Peaks did 20 years ago. Yes, this is a definite game changer in the world of both TV and movies, which anybody would find hard to summarize in just a few sentences. True Detective is a real quality experience for viewers that have had enough of reality spin-offs and sitcoms.