True Detective
True Detective
Nic Pizzolatto

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True Detective - Review

This Review was written following only one rule - binge-watching the tv-show for around 10 hours with a lot of popcorn and then wirting down the thoughts - so you can trust this review is honest and truthful.

Plot Summary:

True Detective is a police anthology series that spans across different time periods. Premiering back in January of 2014, True Detective was a top hit along the likes of Game of Thrones and Westworld. A-list names such as Matthew McConWoody Harrelson, Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams, and Mahershala Ali have starring roles.

Presently the show has three seasons, where each of the seasons has individual overarching stories. This negates the need for the viewer to start all the way to the very beginning like Game of Thrones in order to divulge an understanding of what the story is about. Season 1 takes place in Louisiana, where two state detectives pursue a serial killer over a 17-year period. Seasons 2 takes place in California, where three detectives across three departments work together to solve a crime involving a criminal entrepreneur and the death of a corrupt politician. Season 3 moves the crime scene to Arkansas in the Ozarks area, where Detectives Wayne Hays and Roland West focus their attention of a crime that involves two missing children.Casting:

There are plenty of A-list names in the series split across the three seasons, and are split into the following:

Season 1: They include Woody Harrelson as Detective Marty Hart, Matthew McConaughey as Detective Rustin “Rust” Cohle, Michelle Monaghan as Maggie Hart

Season 2: Colin Farrell as Detective Raymond “Ray” Velcoro, Vince Vaughn as criminal entrepreneur Frank Semyon, Rachel McAdams as Detective Antigone “Ani” Bezzirides, Taylor Kitsch as California Highway Patrol Officer Paul Woodrugh, and Kelly Reilly as Jordan Semyon.

Season 3: Mahershala Ali as Detective Wayne Hays, Steven Dorff as Detective Roland West.Production:

The roots of True Detective lie with series creater Nic Pizzolatto, where he developed a fascination with fiction writing as a University of Arkansas grad student. He wrote a collection of short stories in 2006 dubbed Between Here and the Yellow Sea as his first published work. His debut novel, Galveston, was introduced to the public four years later. By the time the novel was released, he branched out to get a spot in the TV industry (where earlier attempts never reached fruition due to the lack of capital).

True Detective was meant to be a follow-up to his novel, since the material he wrote felt better in televised form. Pizzolatto pitched his novel to a pair of TV executives, and eventually secured a deal for a TV show in May 2010. He drafted six screenplays and the script for the pilot episode (all of which spanned 90 pages). Pizzolatto devoted another script for the series when he left as a member of the writing staff of another crime series called The Killing. The final script spanned 500 pages, and by this time Pizzolatto procured a deal with HBO. By April 2012, HBO placed an order of eight episodes for the series. It was also decided that each season will be self-contained and consist of different characters that will span different locations and time periods.

Arkansas was initially chosen as the filming location for Season 1. Pizzolatto later opted to have filming done in Louisiana instead due to a film-tax incentive program offered by the state. Production lasted for one hundred consecutive days, and each episode was shot entirely on film.

The opening sequence for the series was developed by three motion-design studios. Patrick Clair supervised the coordination effort between Santa Monica-based Elastic, and Australia-based firms Breeder and Antibody before the intro was settled upon. In regards to Season 1, Clair led a team to take photographs of Louisiana, which serves as the backdrop of the opening sequence. All of the photographs taken were superimposed as low poly meshes due to the different special effects and animation techniques that were applied. The process was painstaking, as the creators wanted to avoid creating a digitized-looking sequence to give the show its gritty feel.

Season 2’s sequence took on some traits from that of its predecessor, with some notable differences. This opening sequence utilized a deep red and gold color, with aerial shots from David Maisel interjected along with pictures from other photographers.Review:

True Detective is a good police procedural drama that gives perspective of the law enforcement world over the different seasons. The series had its ups and downs when it came to the casting portion. In Season 1 McConaughey and Harrelson deliver solid acting, of which critics cite as one of the key strengths of the season.

The change of location for Season 2 kind of threw me off, along with the casting of the season. I thought that Colin Farrell and Rachel McAdams did okay in their roles as Detectives Velcaro and Bezzirides. The dialogue didn’t seem as strong compared to that of Season 1.

Season 3 makes a back-to-basics return where the story revolves around a detective duo looking to solve a problem that involves missing kids. Mahershala Ali just recently picked up a Golden Globe for his performance in Season 3 of the show, and I can understand why. His acting is superb and carries the tradition.

The atmosphere of True Detective is a dark and grisly one, which is a reflection of our current world where crime is still heavily rampant across America. This is a show that is worth watching if you’re a big fan of shows that involve crime-solving.Trivia:

  • Executives asked Jessica Chastain and Christian Bale to take lead roles for Season 2. Both had to pass up since the show required a significant time commitment on their part and they were already committed to other projects at the time.
  • In Season 1, Woody Harrelson plays a Christian while Matthew McConaughey plays an Atheist. They are respectively Atheist and Christian in real-life.
  • Creator Nic Pizzolato wrote the entire first season all by himself, which is something of an unusual feat since he had no staff for additional inputs. When Season 2 came about, he took in Scott Lasser to assist in breaking stories.
  • All episodes of Season 1 were shot entirely on film.
  • Rust Colhe’s character was based off a high school teacher in Arkansas that used to be a member of the local police force.
  • Season 1 of the series was originally planned to be a mini-series. HBO execs were so impressed that they opted to turn True Detective into a full-fledged television series instead.
  • Like Game of Thrones, True Detective is one of the highest-rated television shows of all time.
    It is one of the few shows that generate more than ten million viewers per episode, surpassing the viewership of Six Feet Under with Season 1.
  • Nic Pizzolato stated that all of the nude scenes in Season 1 were pay cable mandated. He even mentioned that he would be happy if there was no nudity.
  • The entirety of Rust Cohle’s interview scenes were all shot in one day, consisting of twenty-eight pages of a four hundred and fifty page Season 1 script (filmed over the course of eighteen-hour workdays).
  • The music of that plays underneath the title sequence of Season 2 is Leonard Cohen’s ‘Nevermind’. Each of the episodes in the season has slightly different edits of the song, showing off various highlights along with lyrics that may or may not be relevant to the show.
  • Creator Nic Pizzolatto acknowledged the influence of Emil Cioran and Thomas Ligotti’s philosophical writings in the series. He also remarked that Cioran has no other rivals in that particular area except for Nietzsche.
  • Both Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey are natives of Texas.
  • Colin Farrell gained twenty pounds prior to taking on the role of Ray Velcoro in Season 2.
  • Jessica Biel and Malin Akerman were approached to take on the role of Ani Bezzirides before Rachel McAdams was hired for it.
True Detective
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