Dear True Detective,
I’ve envied you from afar for the past several weeks, but I’ve finally worked up the courage to tell you what’s been on my mind since we first met on that frigid night of January 12th. You might not have seen me, but I saw you. Outside, the wind chilled me to the bone; but, nestled within the warmth of my home, you thawed my heart the moment I lay eyes on you. As your haunting opening credits began, I knew I sat in the presence of greatness. What I’m trying to say is that, OMG, I totes heart you forever, True Detective. You’re smart, broody, aloof, enigmatic, stunning, and compelling, the ideal qualities for a television soul mate.
I guess I just want to know: will you be my Valentine?
Before you answer, let me tell you about your bewitching personality. You are so incredibly adept at the fine art of characterization, making it look like the easiest thing in the world. Matthew McConaughey’s Rust Cohle is a singular creation, a kind of Abed Nadir for the gritty crime drama set, unafraid to expound on his at times bizarre takes on religion, morality, and friendship; McConaughey (in the midst of a veritable career McConaissance) has never been better in bringing him to life, probing the depths of a tragic past–the death of his daughter–to inform his muted, almost robotic personality now. And, please, that’s not to take away from Woody Harrelson’s Marty Hart, a volatile family man whose predilections hint at more darkness than Rust could fathom. Watching these two play off each other (oh, how I savor scenes of them talking in the car) has been a joy.
But, True Detective, it’s not just your personality I’m interested in; its your complex way of weaving a story. Dispensing with chronology, you’ve mastered cross-cutting between the ritualistic murder Rust and Marty investigated back in 1995 (thanks for playing off my innate fear of deer antlers, btw; don’t worry, I forgive you) and Rust and Marty’s parallel interrogations in 2012 for reasons currently kept murky. But most miraculously of all, you’ve somehow managed to keep me invested in both stories equally. In lesser hands than showrunner Nic Pizzolatto, such a device could come across as little more than a hackneyed contrivance, but you’re something special, True Detective.
Man oh man are you gorgeous, too! Seriously, you take my breath away! Director Cary Joji Fukunaga (of the positively-dripping-with-gothic-sensibilities film version of Jane Eyre) captures the sweeping beauty of the Southern setting without shying away from the disturbing nooks and crannies lurking within. How about that creepy pop-up church nestled in a field of wheat? Or that absolutely stellar ending sequence from Sunday’s episode when Rust finds himself caught inside a Texas housing projects that explodes in a volcano of violence? Tempering a balance between beauty and horror is never simple, but you make gorgeous terror absolutely beguiling.
You’re one of a kind, True Detective, but I think you know that already. The confidence you exude is impressive. You know what story you want to tell, and you tell it with a breathless abandon. Part of me wishes there were more shows like you out there, but then–if there were–you wouldn’t seem so special anymore. And that would be a real shame. I know you’re going to get plenty of offers for Valentine’s day companionship, but consider my offer, True Detective.
I think I’m in love with you.
P.S. I’ll see you on Sunday. (I hope that doesn’t sound creepy.)