Gripping but immensely slow
Over the last 5 years, “True Detective” has silently made to the list of all-time top shows on IMDB. I watched True Detective after the series concluded and watched it in the same binge-watching way I watched GoT, Breaking Bad, Prison Break & Peaky Blinders. I will not compare it to these shows because they should not be other than the fact they are some of the greatest shows ever, they are completely different. The True Detective is not just about crime, drama, or mystery, it is about the neo-noir style of making. I’ll admit this show isn’t for everyone, it may be too violent or complex with the vast amount of characters and side stories for some. But I guarantee if you are a film and TV series lover and appreciate writing, acting, and abundant interesting characters, the true detective is pretty much perfect in these regards.
It is an anthropology American crime drama with a neo-noir mystery style. Each season is different, and characters are different in each season. So as a viewer, you can start from any season since all these 3 seasons are not at all connected. My recommendations are to watch Season 1 & Season 3 first and you can ignore the entire season 2. I will tell you why you to ignore S2, In the below, I will give more details about S1 & S3. This show has without a doubt some of the most interesting characters, and best writing I have ever seen on a series. Even small side characters have intriguing stories that progress throughout the entire series, and I have never seen this kinda attention to detail.
Season 1 – Matthew McConaughey & Woody Harrelson
S1 focuses on a pair of Lousiana State Police Detectives and their pursuit of a serial killer over 17 years. All the eight episodes in S1 are focused on solving the unsolved crimes committed by that Serial Killer. This explains how detailed the director wants to show us the story. Of course, total narration in S1 is nonlinear. It is like you will come to know the story in the first episode itself, but you will be craving for a conclusion, which is finding out the serial killer. The director’s attention to detail / granular level of explaining things is just impeccable in this season. For sure, the season is very much slower, but you will love the way he represents the facts while the season progress.
Season 2 – Colin Farrell & Rachel McAdams
The less you talk about S2, the better. For sure, it’s the worst season in this series. And frankly speaking, I didn’t understand the story in season as well. Better to avoid this season. Since it’s an anthropology series as I said, there is no need to watch this series sequentially and can be ignored.
Season 3 – Mahersala Ali, Carmen Ejogo & Stephen Dorff
S3 focuses on a gruesome crime involving two missing children and, the story runs across three separate periods and, I think over 30 years. Again, basically, the entire season is about those two missing children. Like I said, though you know the story initially itself look for the detailed narration. Even this season is damn slow, but you will love the director’s vision in explaining things.
For watching “True Detective”, one should have patience. If you have patience and you are a film/tv series lover, you will definitely like it.
In my view – Season 1 > Season 3 > Season 2. I think because of Season 2, the rating for True Detective is at 9.0 in IMDb (of course, this a top rating) or else if the S2 is good, this would have been at 9.2 or 9.3 for sure.
Nic Pizzolatto, the creator of the show seems to have thought to write this as a novel and later felt this would be more suitable for TV. So I leave it to your imagination how slow it would be when a content planned to be presented as a book is made into a series 😊. Though the narration is slow, the saving grace is gripping narration in S1 & S3.
So this is one more good show from the HBO team. (Though the content pieces are less, the content they have managed to maintain quality content). Having said that, if you watch it patiently, you tend to like this series definitely. And, once you complete S3, you will surely wait for Season 4.