To say that we here at UPROXX have been looking forward to True Detective would be a gross understatement, as we’ve barely been able to contain our big, throbbing boner for the show since the day HBO announced it was picking up the detective series — the first season of which was written solely by creator Nic Pizzolatto — starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson.
So let’s get right to it, shall we? Here are a few notes I made during last night’s True Detective about characters, scenes, etc. I found interesting for one reason or another.
– While watching True Detective I felt like I was watching a really well-done version of a standard network forensic detective show, though one I found it to be rather absorbing and hypnotic. The hour flew by in that way that great television will make time fly by. I checked the clock at one point to see that there only ten minutes left in the show and I was like, “Aw, damn I better savor these last few minutes.”
– I know we’re only one episode in, but I simply can’t heap enough praise on Matthew McConaughey for his portrayal of Rust Cohle, aka “the Taxman” who’d “pick a fight with the sky if he didn’t like its shade of blue,” according to Harrelson’s Martin Hart. The guy perhaps best known throughout most of his career for playing stoners and smooth-talking ladies men in rom-coms continues to reveal himself to be one of the great character actors of our time. It’s been said that the serial killer and his crimes won’t be the main focus of True Detective, but that the show will instead revolve around the characters played by McConaughey and Harrelson. Well, if that’s the case, score round one for McConaughey, as I simply couldn’t take my eyes off of him last night.
– While McConaughey’s character stood out most, Harrelson’s character had the line of the night in response to being asked to describe himself as a detective: “Oh, I was just a regular type dude with a big-ass dick.”
– I found myself at one point thinking how fun it would be to watch the episode over again with McConaughey playing Hart and Harrelson playing Cohle. It’d be interesting to see how their character choices would differ, if much at all. I wonder if at any point serious consideration was giving to them playing the opposite roles? That said, they both seem like perfect fits for the characters they do portray.
– I hope that we see more of Michelle Monaghan as Maggie Hart. I have a feeling we will.
– The body of the murder victim — a girl found naked in a praying position naked with deer antlers affixed to her head — is found in Erath, Louisiana on January 3, 1995. For those of you wondering, Erath is a real town, a small Cajun community in southwest Louisiana near Lafayette — sandwiched between the towns of Delcambre and Abbeville — and it’s well-known locally for its annual Independence Day celebration. (Also, one of my best friends in college was from Erath.) The town, whose population hovers around 2000, was flooded heavily by Hurricane Rita in 2005, so it stands to reason that files from a 1990s murder investigation that were housed there would have been destroyed, as all of Erath was submerged for days. (I’m not sure, however, if its ever established where exactly Hart and Cohle are being interviewed in present day about the murders.) That said, Cohle’s assessment of that area is spot-on: “People out here. It’s like they don’t even know the outside world exists. They might as well be living on the f*cking moon.” So true. All people in Vermilion parish care about for the most part are hunting, fishing, eating, drinking, f*cking and football.
– So nice to see Brother Mouzone, AKA actor Michael Potts, back in something I’ll be regularly watching. Mouzone remains one of my favorite TV characters of all-time.
– It was interesting to see the contrast in the two characters at the two different periods the show is set. Cohle is perhaps predictably even more hardened by life in 2012 (the show’s more recent setting) than he is 1995, though he has fewer f*cks to give. He’s just out there, including, obviously, with his physical appearance, as he transforms from looking like your everyday middle class worker drone to a washed out hippie. Whereas he mentions in one of the 1995 scenes that he’s not down with talking about religion at work, one gets the sense that 2012 Cohle wouldn’t hesitate for a second to share his thoughts about anything with anyone at anytime.
Hart, for his part, also seems looser, less uptight, than the earlier version of himself, as evidenced by his “big-ass dick” line.”
– I have to admit to LOLing at Cohle’s response to Hart asking about the crucifix hanging above his bed, saying that it’s “a form of meditation. I contemplate the moment in the garden, the idea of allowing your own crucifixion.” As heavy as that is, I kind of lost it and burst into a fit of laughter when he said that.
– I can’t help but wonder if the names “Hart” and “Cohle” aren’t some sort of play on “heart and soul,” since Cohle’s soul seems to be darker than a lump of coal. Additionally, I love the contrast between the two partners — one a single loner who lives in a virtually unfurnished apartment, the other a married family man living with a wife and two kids in a house in the suburbs.
– Finally, here are some questions I’m dying for answers to going forward:
1. What else is in Cohle’s past and how did his daughter die?
2. What skeletons does Hart have in his closet?
3. What happened to the missing Fontenot girl?
4. Why was the missing Fontenot girl’s uncle — the former LSU baseball player — in such bad physical shape? (Did I miss something there?)
5. Is Cohle perhaps a suspect in the murder that has detectives asking questions about the 1995 case?
You own thoughts, feelings, questions etc. are encouraged in the comments.
(Image via HBO)