True Detective – Season 1: curiously, as a reverse to what is usually seen, the mystery at the center of this series is almost a MacGuffin; the two central characters and their relationship is what matters the most. That’s not to say that the mystery is not interesting, however; it’s sinister and displays in spades the tagline written in the poster. The series would not be as strong as it is without its two leading men; Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson are both incredible, portraying characters that are complex and change, not only physically, throughout the many years the story spans. In fact, acting is altogether great, and Michelle Monaghan also deserves mention. Consistency in tone is another reason this series works so well, so the decision to have all episodes written by Nic Pizzolatto, directed by Cary Fukunaga and shot by Adam Arkapaw was a great one. Fukunaga keeps the dire mood with good choice of music and shooting style, both of which complement the ponderous pace; the camera work is unobtrusive and meaningful (with the exception of one continuous take of 6 minutes, which is a marvel to look at but feels unjustified). This is one of the first great pieces of storytelling of the year, in any medium.