Maybe, as a child I spent too much time running around barefoot on the sun-scorched, red clay roads of the Deep South, or heard one too many superstitions, sermons, or tall tales. Maybe it was the sounds of the frogs and the saccades, or the wind rustling softly through the low-hanging moss in the ancient oak trees, or perhaps the sound of those infernal mosquitos buzzing around my ears. The smell of the pine trees? The pitch darkness of the dank swamps and bayous?
I’m not really sure. But, for some reason, I’m all but haunted by a nameless, bizarre attraction to most things old south. And while I suppose there was a lot of good back in that day, there was also plenty of bad and ugly. Lots of times you just couldn’t tell the difference. Maybe you still can’t.
So, imagine my delight last night when I accidentally stumbled onto HBO’s new series, True Detective. From the first few seconds of the utterly brilliant title sequence, I was hooked on that toxic brew of industrially poisoned land (Louisiana), Cajun superstitions, religion, brokenness, economic dearth… The endured daily drudge of hopelessness. Yes, the Deep South.
The title sequence, which reminded me of the True Blood title sequence—also brilliant, is no less evocative than the actors whose characters bring to the screen an engrossing plot laden with slow foreboding. Suspense. Like their drawl, the suspense is intense, thick, slow.
Matthew McConaughey (He’s so thin I didn’t recognize him until he spoke.) and Woody Harrelson cast a spell over the viewer. This is superb storytelling through an interesting juxtaposition of past and present! The script/story (Nic Pizzolatto) is visceral and dark. The music, the cinematography, location, all flawless. In fact, the location seems so important to the plot, it is itself a character long ago forsaken by humanity.
If you have missed the first two episodes, can enjoy a dark—no, very dark mystery, catch up on HBO Go, and let’s see who this serial killer turns out to be. Tim highly recommends.
It’s a good thing HBO didn’t have the entire season available or I would have binge watched it like I did House of Cards! (Maybe I’m going through my dark TV phase?!)
- HBO’s “True Detective” Title Sequence (alexandrosmaragos.com)