'True Detective' review: Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson go dark for HBO

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"True Detective" proves to be everything the HBO marketing has promised it to be: a gorgeous, stylized and dark exploration into the worst parts of the human psyche.

Though serial killers are an increasingly popular subject in the current television landscape, "True Detective" still feels fresh when compared to the likes of "The Killing" and "The Following." That is largely because of the skill in which Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson handle their roles of Rustin Cohle and Martin Hart, respectively.

Both actors dig deep in "True Detective" to the point that McConaughey, at least, is unrecognizable. Harrelson tells Zap2it that Cohle is "least like him, this character," and because of that McConaughey can completely commit to the part. Harrelson similarly walks a fine line as Hart; a man who thinks he's a much better person than he actually is.

As the tale of "True Detective" unfolds, it becomes clear that the nonlinear story has many layers yet to be revealed. The mystery becomes less about who committed the murder being investigated and more about what drove these two men to change so completely from the past to the present day. The answer, it seems, will not be a happy one.

HBO has created a strong dramatic outing with "True Detective" that will reassert the network as being the backer of some of the best television around. That is largely thanks to HBO's clear confidence in creator Nic Pizzolatto (a novelist who previously worked on "The Killing") and director Cary Fukunaga ("Jane Eyre," "Sin Nombre"). Viewers should not only be excited for the premiere of "True Detective" Season 1, but also for what future seasons of this anthology series hold in store.

"True Detective" premieres Sunday (Jan. 12) at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.

Photo/Video credit: HBO