Watching Wednesday #14 – Wicked West (South)
The short of it: Sometimes, the crowds are absolutely right. This show deserves every molecule of praise it’s received.
After resubscribing to HBO for the Game of Thrones revival, I remembered that they only show one episode a week. So in a desperate attempt to kill the wait until the next dose of meaning in my life, I finally watched the first season of True Detective.
Eight hours later, I a.) miss Louisiana and b.) need to share this show with everyone.
If, like me, anyone hasn’t watched this show because they’re a big, dumb idiot–
It’s a pair of detectives trying to solve a mysterious occult murder from 1995, with Woody Harrelson is the good ol’ boy Marty Hart and Matthew McConaughey is the brilliant detective with an edge Rust Cohle.
The plot seems standard, but the one really impressive thing about the show is how well it nails everything.
Cary Joji Fukunaga’s direction is nothing short of flawless, peaking with a gorgeous, six minute tracking shot and sustaining the beautiful mystique of the rest of the series. Nic Pizzolatto’s writing is brilliant, despite the fact it took me an episode or two to accept the sheer edginess of some of the dialogue of Cohle. Thankfully, McConaughey’s portrayal saves it from descending into esoteric darkness.
Every setting is a perfect picture of southern Louisiana, from the dingy 90s police stations to the abandoned properties along the bayous. Characters’ accents are easily the most accurate accents I’ve ever heard, with bit characters nailing the dat and dey of Cajun-tinted English.
The intrigue of the occult-tinged murder only deepens as the clues and mysteries add up. It’s terrifying and puzzling– there’s a reason I burned through the series in one go. It demands it. The character progression is as satisfying as the progression on the murder cases.
In a word, it’s killer.