The Long Bright Dark
True Detective Season 1



Critic Ratings: 15
Critics Consensus

With "The Long Bright Dark," True Detective makes a strong debut, showcasing fantastic acting against a dark, decadent backdrop.

Episode Info

Investigators take another look at a 1995 murder when a similar case occurs in 2012 in this drama, which begins with Martin Hart and Rust Cohle, former partners in Louisiana's Criminal Investigation Division, looking back on the original crime and its effect on their personal and professional lives.


Matthew McConaughey
as Rust Cohle
Woody Harrelson
as Martin Hart
Kevin Dunn
as Ken Quesada
Michelle Monaghan
as Maggie Hart
Alexandra Daddario
as Lisa Tragnetti
Tory Kittles
as Det. Thomas Papania
Michael Potts
as Det. Maynard Gilbough
Elizabeth Reaser
as Laurie Perkins
Jay O. Sanders
as Billy Lee Tuttle
Davi Jay
as Gordon DiCillo
Show More Cast

The Long Bright Dark Photos

Critic Reviews for The Long Bright Dark

It's a show that looks and sounds as good as anything currently on TV, pairing lush, lingering shots of an artfully decaying Louisiana with T Bone Burnett's spare, unsettling soundtrack.

Jun 9, 2015 | Full Review…

Is it enough to set True Detective apart from the ever-expanding squad of grim-and-gritty cop/killer dramas? That case isn't yet closed, though there's plenty of cause for optimism.

Jun 4, 2015 | Full Review…

There is such gravitas and intensity on display that it hardly matters if we have seen similar investigations in police dramas before.

Jun 9, 2015 | Full Review…

There was so much to take in, with the jumps between years and different cases, but I think the show has all the right ingredients to a recipe for success.

Jun 9, 2015 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

After one episode, True Detective already stands out as somehow greater than the sum of its impressive parts.

Jun 9, 2015 | Rating: 9.7/10 | Full Review…

If finely acted, moody murder mysteries, with film noir dialogue and tortured characters are catnip to you, then this is just the ticket.

Jun 9, 2015 | Full Review…

The show is beautifully subdued and restrained, offering a more contemplative tone. It forgoes the typical harried nature of a procedural in favor of character, striking the perfect balance between a grim case and the effect this line of work can have.

Jun 12, 2018 | Full Review…

There's so much to explore in True Detective, and it's almost unbelievable with everything that happened in the first hour, that we've only just begun.

Jun 4, 2015 | Rating: A | Full Review…

While it might be too early in the year or the series to call True Detective the best new show of 2014, it certainly so far has every advantage going for it in that regard.

Jun 4, 2015 | Rating: 9/10 | Full Review…

A decadent excursion into darkness, True Detective is one gorgeous piece of television.

Jun 4, 2015 | Full Review…

Mathew McConaughey brings a cool rebel feel to his damaged detective.

Jan 8, 2019 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

I fell pretty hard for the show, not only because the use of the talent was just so overwhelming, but because Pizzolatto's stated lack of interest in serial killers was apparent.

Jun 4, 2015 | Full Review…