True Detective

Last watched 2015 (Season 1)


In 2012, two homocide investigators with the Louisiana State Police’s Criminal Investigations Division, Rustin “Rust” Cohle (McConaughey) and Martin “Marty” Hart (Harrelson), are summoned for questioning by detectives Maynard Gilbough (Potts) and Thomas Papania (Kittles), about the Dora Lange murder investigation of 1995; they have not seen nor spoken to each other since an altercation concerning Martin’s wife Maggie Hart (Monaghan) over a decade prior. With many of the old files destroyed in Hurricane Rita, the two men are asked to recount the history of their working relationship, personal lives, and the Dora Lange murder investigation, as well as a series of other related individual cases as new evidence suggests that the perpetrator remains at large.


A lot of people didn’t like True Detective and I can’t blame them. There is a total over abundance of women as victims of sexualised crimes. Women are frequently objectified and sexualised post-death. The men are given centre stage even though they are both massive sacks of shit. The two main people of colour are literally backdrops to prop up the story of the two white guys. It’s horrible in a lot of ways.

The thing I liked most about True Detective was that it set up the ‘good guys’ to be good and then let that toxic masculinity seep in like septic run off in to your water tank. They are both totally perfect depictions about what men are encouraged to be and that is supposed to horrify the viewer. I respect works that subvert masculinity in knowing ways and I feel like this does definitely do that.

It’s also very much a love letter to gothic horror. There are a lot of nods to Lovecraft and texts that Lovecraft mentions. There’s a lot of symbolism and meta-narratives that are compelling even if you don’t read into them.

Pros: accurate depiction of toxic masculinity, very good performances from Allen and McConaughey, vivid, lush imagery
Cons: heaps probbo, sexist, racist being the most prominent ones
Genre: Gothic horror, southern gothic horror

Light/heavy rating: 8
Approach carefully if: you have trouble with murder, ritualised murder, incest, infidelity, abusive relationships, manipulation, alcoholism

Can be found: uhm… the… the internet

If you liked, I recommend: Wolf Creek, Boardwalk Empire, Flesh & Bone maybe?


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