The proof of a true masterpiece is in the opening credits
Good titles used to equal a lousy show. No holiday week day was complete without a burst of frenetic energy at the start of Bonanza and Hawaii Five-O. It was how the kids with ADHD used to get by.
But now the reverse is true. Just like Sopranos and GOT, you’ll be hooked just watching the credits of the standout series of 2014, True Detective.
Charting a 17-year investigation into a serial killer by detectives Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) and Martin Hart (Woody Harrelson) in non-linear fashion, this isn’t buddy-buddy territory. Cohle is an unconventional, instinctive, brilliant detective. But he is an open book compared to strait-laced Hart, whose demons place obstacles in their way.
The show’s 87 on Metacritic reflects how some found the start too slow and how others didn’t like the ending.
However, a sole writer and director team, Nic Pizzolatto and Cary Fukunaga, give the series a seamless consistency – to binge viewers, it will feel like they are watching a movie.
And while it is true it peaks midway, that scene’s prolonged excitement will leave you speechless. It even surpasses The Silence of the Lambs.
DR2, Tue 20:45 Particle Fever
It’s a good week for scientists, with Particle Fever (95 on RT) leading the way. Viewers get to witness a genuine discovery – something to do with the Big Bang (which last week some other boffins said didn’t take place).
In a similar vein, we have Robochick and the Bionic Boy (DR2, Mon 23:00) and Isaac Newton: The Last Magician (DRK, Mon 22:30) along with two social studies: Diaries of a Broken Mind (K4, Tue 22:00), an acclaimed look at mental health issues, and Ireland’s Lost Babies (BBC World, Sat 16:10), a good companion piece for Philomena and the 11-episode series The Sixties (DRK, Sat 23:00).
Elsewhere, Foo Fighters: Lost Highways (DR3, Mon 23:00) includes their collaborations with Dolly Parton; Friday Night Dinner (SVT1, Fri 22:00) returns; for all his imagination, Heston’s Fishy Fish (TV3 Puls, Thu 21:00) confirms he’s awful when it comes to TV show names; another chance to see British reality show The Hotel (SVT1, Mon 23:00) and that doc on Zlatan Ibrahimovic (K6, Sat 22:00); and Hilary Mantel (BBC World, Sat 18:30 or Sun 11:30) contemplates what would have happened if Mrs T had died in Brighton in 1983. (BH)
COMING SOON: The Affair
At least two of them are in the dark
It sounds like a vehicle to remind us how irresistible Richard Gere is aged 90, but The Affair, which debuted on Sunday, has wowed critics, scoring 85 on Metacritic.
She’s a waitress who has just lost her child, he’s a teacher with a big family whose life looks perfect from the outside. They fall in love.
Sounds simple, but it is the plot’s complexities, along with tough scenes that make viewers gasp, which have won over viewers.
“The first thing you want is to see where it leads,” notes the Washington Post. (YH)
SPORT OF THE WEEK
TV3 Sport 2, all week from 13:30 WTA Finals (photo: Scanpix)
Caroline Wozniacki has squeezed into the WTA Finals, the season finale for the top eight in the world, which start in Singapore on Monday. Liverpool vs Real Madrid in the Champions League is the pick of the football, and Dallas Cowboys vs New York Giants the top game in the NFL. (BH)
FILM OF THE WEEK
Netflix Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa
Our focus here are the relatively new films you avoided at the cinema, but could tolerate on TV. So if you want to know when American Beauty is on, try other media! This week, we found nothing, so had to go to Netflix, where the new films include Gravity, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa and Iron Man 3 – all of which are over-rated. (BH)