What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that True Detective is an anthology series that structures each new season around a different murder case and the detectives investigating the crime. In spite of the subject matter, there's surprisingly little violence -- or blood -- on-screen. That said, it plays as decidedly adult fare, with unbleeped swearing ranging from "f--k" to "t-ts" and visible nudity in the form of breasts and buttocks, along with simulated sex. There's social drinking and drug use, too, from prescription pills to crystal meth.
What's the story?
Designed to run as an anthology of individual miniseries, TRUE DETECTIVE devotes each new season to a different case that's being investigated by a different crop of crime solvers. Polar-opposite partners Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) and Martin Hart (Woody Harrelson) star in the series' first season in Louisiana with a search for the twisted mind behind a series of chilling murders, all while they grapple with their own personal demons.
Is it any good?
Named in homage to a popular true-crime rag that debuted in the 1920s, True Detective isn't necessarily a period piece, although it does play with chronological structure via a series of flashbacks that bounce viewers back and forth decades in time. It's definitely not a traditional crime drama either, thanks to creative choices that set it apart from competing crime shows and, in the end, make for some seriously smart TV.
One of those choices is the decision to center each season on a separate murder case, involving different characters and casts from year to year, similar in structure to American Horror Story. That makes it hard to predict exactly what kids who watch might see on-screen, but judging from the show's first season, it's safe to say that adult eyes will get the most out of it.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the messages True Detective sends about good and evil, crime and punishment, and human nature, particularly in terms of criminals and the law enforcement agents who bring them to justice. How do the main characters measure up as role models?
How does True Detective compare to the slew of crime dramas currently on television. From storytelling to cinematography, what things does this series do differently -- and do they work?
How does True Detective play with traditional structure? What are the pros and cons of its anthology approach that devotes each new season to a different case -- and a different set of characters?