True Detective season 1 (2014)

The Woody & Matty show, with the always great Woody Harrelson playing against the newly relevant Matthew McConaughey. Woody’s kinda your middle-of-the-road cop, asshole, closed-minded, cheating on wife Michelle Monaghan (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Gone Baby Gone, Mission Impossible 3), and Matty is his alcoholic, loose-cannon, dark and moody partner. In 1995 they famously tracked down and killed a couple of cultist child-abductor/murderers, in 2002 their partnership broke up and in 2012 they’re being interviewed by a couple of guys – Michael Potts (Brother Mouzone of The Wire) and Tory Kittles (Miracle at St. Anna) – investigating similar murders.

Matty’s after the powerful people in charge, suspects their involvement in the cult cover-ups, mainly Reverend Tuttle, cousin of the governor. The interviewers suspect Matty’s involvement, and the show gives him the usual crazy-investigation den, a storage unit covered in line-linked documents, words and icons. Ultimately (after driving a couple witnesses to suicide, or more probably well-covered-up homicide) they track down a scarred house painter they missed the first time around and chase him through a stone maze which is apparently a real thing in Louisiana, which is incidentally a state I’d like to avoid forever. Interesting to hear all the “Time is a flat circle” mumbo and talk of fourth-dimensional perspectives from the star of Interstellar.

With Kevin Dunn (Veep) as their boss, Lily Tomlin as Michelle’s mom and Detective Lester Freamon as a pastor (not for the first time). Written by Louisiana novelist Nic Pizzolatto, directed by Cary Fukunaga (Sin Nombre, Jane Eyre). It came highly recommended, but only became a must-see for me when I learned about the Handsome Family open. I thought this was a miniseries or one-season deal, but apparently not, as the not-as-well-reviewed second season is airing now with a Leonard Cohen open, boo.

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