TV is the new novel. Rarely do people talk about their favourite novels. I like to read, but I’d watch TV out of preference. I often sit and have lunch with a friend from work and chat about our fave TV shows, most of which emanate from the creative wellsprings of HBO. These conversations about the TV dramas that have caught our attention are something that I look forward to, yet another part of me acknowledges the fact that I should be reading (for pleasure) more. I do get chances to read here and there, but I seem to fall into the trap of watching quality TV shows. Speaking of quality, the writing in some of the better shows is so good that I can understand why more astute viewers are drifting away from the bookshelf. There’s still trashy TV out there, plenty of it. But these HBO et al gems seem to be providing a form of escapism that keeps your mind ticking over and leaving you salivating for the next episode to drop. In between new episodes, I re-watched the True Detective ‘next episode’ trailers numerous times so that I could get some insight into the events that would unfold.
Above: Matthew McConaughey as the mesmerising Rust Cohle.
The focus of our lunchtime conversations is Nic Pizzolatto’s True Detective. Unless you’ve been living under a rock or do not have access to the Internet (then, how are you reading this? It must be a glitch in The Matrix!!), then you’ve probably heard something about the hottest show on TV. No surprise, this show is another heavy hitter from the HBO stables and it is very much worth the journey (and time investment).
Admittedly, when I watched the trailers on Foxtel, I was skeptical. When big-name stars are chucked into TV shows, I was suspect that the writing is poor and the celebrities are there to compensate. Thankfully, I couldn’t have been more wrong. The show is fantastic. It’s engaging, dark and original. I won’t give you an in-depth run-down of the series (which has recently finished its first season), but it’s definitely worth the eight-hour time investment.
The only criticism that has arisen in our TV-themed lunchtime chats is the slightly pretentious edge in the dialogue. For a taste, see below:
To be honest, I actually love the dialogue in this show. Yeah, it can get a bit cerebral, but it’s a refreshing change from the stock-standard cops and robbers shows that appear on multiple networks, every night. In True Detective, there are plenty of interrogations, but they transcend the generic shouting matches in the interview room fare. I like the fact that TV is becoming more of a medium where directors and writers are trying to stretch the boundaries as far they can.
In short, watch this show. It will bore into the recesses of your sub-conscious, and I bet you’ll love it. For example, I had some True Detective-themed nightmares after one of the episodes, but I don’t regret watching it for a second.