Two detectives are being interviewed regarding a murder that occurred seventeen years ago. Matthew McConaughey plays detective Rust Cohle also known as 'the taxman' amidst his fellow policemen due to a large notebook which he carries with him everywhere he goes. This series was difficult to watch because Cohle is a difficult character. I've seen enough serial killer dramas so the mystery while engaging is not something entirely new. McConaughey plays the reticent, quiet, intense and immensely complex Cohle with the same flair with which he essayed the lead character of 'Dallas Buyers Club'. He is a man on edge literally sitting on a trunk trying to close the locks and not quite succeeding. Every now and then the trunk blows up from under him and he gets thrown right off into a world of alcohol and drugs.
But he's brilliant at what he does. He lives in a sparse room, questions society, religion and the ways of his partner Detective Marty Hart. The series forces you to contemplate the shadow aspect of a man's personality. Cohle's character says,"We need bad men to protect us from other bad men." So the violence and the darkness exists in all of us. Sometimes in a fit of anger a violent thought can stun you. You wonder how it is that you are even capable of having such a thought. But the fact is that you are. The fact is that there is darkness within you just as there is light. I think unless we understand this darkness and accept it we cannot let the light shine through. I'm not sure if I'm making sense.
In the context of the series Cohle has reconciled himself to his personality and his being having reached a certain point in his life while Marty still struggles with his 'flaws' and his 'darkness'. Cohle doesn't feel the need to wear a mask and yet he remains on the fringes which is probably so because it simply suits him to be himself rather than explain and justify his beliefs to people. Marty on the other hand finds himself inconsolable when faced with his 'flaws' that he so easily justified to himself as long as it suited him. I'm not going to go into plot details lest I spoil the story for those of you who decide to watch the series.
I find that dark characters are infinitely more interesting than the 'normal' ones. The twists in their personalities make them special and a delight to watch. They force you to examine yourself and question who you are. The fact is that there are people 'insane' enough to murder for no 'visible' reason and there are 'sane' and 'normal' people who pass the death penalty for 'good' reason.
All that said the series has violent and adult content so you've been warned. Watch it.