Runtime: 480 Mins
What To Expect: This year’s best TV show, in better quality than TV
Click Here To Buy True Detective – Season 1 [Blu-ray]  [Region Free]
As mentioned in our recent editorial on the growing value of TV, if you’ve had enough of what modern cinema is turning into, TV seems to be an increasingly attractive retreat for something meatier to chew on. Just as there was life in the old TV after The Sopranos with Breaking Bad, it just goes to show that there’s life in the old TV after Breaking Bad too. True Detective has been, probably, the best TV show of 2014 (and that’s coming out ahead of a strong lineup in itself). It’s a return to the thoughtful character-driven yarn we’d probably almost forgotten was possible.
For those who have missed it, True Detective is and uses multiple timelines to trace two Louisiana State Police Criminal Investigations Division homicide detectives’ (Woody Harrelson/Matthew McConaughey) hunt for a serial killer in Louisiana across seventeen years. Featured heavily is an occult slant with strong insinuations of institutionalized covering up.
True Detective is almost a landmark feature as far as restrained yet gripping writing goes. And that owes a lot to the series being an anthology, as in season two will bare no relation to season three and so forth. This gives the writers freedom to tell a real story. They aren’t contracted to lay groundwork for season two at the expense of season one. They are free to create a static beginning, middle and ending over seven or eight hours. For we viewers, it’s all win. The TV series ‘Lost’ is an example of the opposite, where each season from three onwards was a literal mess. A dogs dinner where the writers wrote themselves into a corner under immense studio pressure. That’s not the case here, once Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey signed off for season one, that was it. End of story.
The picture quality of this Blu-Ray release is surely pushing the limits of what this generation and format are capable of. It’s about as close to perfect as you could hope for, while staying complimentary to the director’s moody tone for example, with deep a menacing (yet lucid) blacks. These days I often open Blu-Ray releases with an apprehension about extras and in anticipation of laziness. There is commentary for some of the episodes by creator Nic Pizzolatto and composer T Bone Burnett and around 90 minutes of further extras. Ten minutes of deleted scenes are included within by the way.
It’s part Se7en (1995), it’s part The Wire, but it’s all quality with no drowsiness. Roll on season two…