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Published:January 21st, 2014 07:21 EST
HBO`s 'True Detective' Blows It Out of the Water; the Mini-Series Is Back!

HBO`s 'True Detective' Blows It Out of the Water; the Mini-Series Is Back!

By John G. Kays

True Detective is another grand slam for HBO! I was late to the game; didn`t hear about it until Sunday afternoon, but I got to record episode 2 (Seeings Things), which I viewed twice on MLK day, but I came to find out, my sister had taped episode 1 (The Long Bright Dark), so I got to see it too. HBO will repeat it on Friday, so I can record it and view it again (creating an up to date collection) and will be fully briefed before episode 3 (The Locked Room) next Sunday. I`m gettin` tight on it already, but the back and forth time sequences (flashbacks), as Potts and Kittles drill Cohle and Hart require your undivided attention!

Just now I did some research on Hurricane Andrew, which hit Louisiana in August of 1992; Rust Cohle, in the midst of intensive interrogation, references Andrew while drinking a Lone Star tall boy and dragging on a cigarette, as a time when he worked as an undercover cop in narcotics, which was before he teamed up with Hart in homicide (New Orleans area), three years prior.

Did some time in North Shore Psychiatric Hospital (in Lubbock), since he got his nut rattled and killed 3 cartel members (2/93), who were feeding crank to a teenager. The bottom line is, that by the time he teams up with Hart, his noodle is already twisted about a bit, which includes hallucinations.

This is but a side note to the main plot, which is the odd couple detectives trying to solve the ritualistic homicide of a flaky, wayward girl by the name of Dora Kelly Lange, who writes in her drug addled diary about some kook by the name of The Yellow King. Well, the point I was trying to make, clumsily of course, is that even the side bars are interesting and nuanced, and attest to the superiority of the writing, which is done by Nic Pizzolatto. Easy to say, McConaughey and Harrelson have never been this good in anything, but I believe this is because of the writing and the natural, vibrant dialogue.

In the last scene, where they they discover the rickety, mostly burned down church out in the sticks, when under pressure from the new task force, who are trying to step on their territory, I couldn`t have gotten anymore excited if I tried. Cuddos to the set designers of the suspiciously Bar-B-Qued sanctuary, which looked as if some ritualistic hanky panky of some kind was taking place there. 

Well, I`ll need to take a look at that zany charcoal again, hugging the chapel wall. The True Detective cinematography (done by Adam Arkapaw), with some incredible across the tracks long shots of swampy Louisiana (along with the trailer trash scenes) is one third of it, the remarkable acting and bodacious script are the remaining two thirds.

The concept, I understand, has changed dramatically also; Robert Lloyd (Los Angeles Times Television Critic) sees it as a reversion back to the mini-series (Lonesome Dove or Fatal Vision come to mind) model, which was the going form back in the day. I`ll concur with his take; actually, they`re calling it an anthology. 

The first season has just 8 episodes, whereas The Sopranos or Breaking Bad would have 12 or 13 episodes in one season. Well, furthermore, the narrative (of these dinosaurs) would continue into the next season, whereas in True Detective, Cohle and Hart will be out of there after episode 8, then a whole new story and characters will be presented next season (think Creep Show). 

My take on this mini-series format, is you have to get it right and get it quick, `cuz it will be over with before you know it. Okay, it`s got me scratchin` my head like crazy, though. Maybe the Dora Kelly Lange cult murder from 1995 wasn`t really solved after all? 

Ten years later (2005) they find another one; the antler routine, the flippy twig and moss sculpture, the wacky symbols, the whole nine yards. And does Rust (in the present tense) have it glued on straight? What about an aged Marty Hart? Has he got it on tight? Stay tuned!