Last week, my co-worker and buddy Max were discussing shows. I think he watches more TV than I do. He recommended that I watch the series Justified and the HBO show True Detective.
NOTE: OF COURSE, SPOILERS ABOUND IN WHAT FOLLOWS.
I have not had the time to watch Justified, but have read a little about it and it sounds as if it could be interesting.
But week before last, I binge watched True Detective, the first half of season one and was blown away by the entire presentation: the format, the acting and all those technical film things like how they film it and such are just plain refreshing and interesting. Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson just do a fantastic job of captivating me. And that's hard for a show or movie to do these days.
I don't watch much TV with any regularity, other than news shows. Sometimes I'll do some TV watching when the day winds down, but we are so busy with work and kids and school activities that generally my TV watching is limited. I certainly haven't followed any series since 24 went off the air some years ago except for a recent introduction to Homeland.
Homeland was another show that was well written and very well acted and it will be interesting to see how a season 4 will go. I'll note that I didn't watch Homeland throughout the years. I "discovered" it during season three last fall, and binge watched seasons one and two over several weeks to catch up about mid-season. And there I sat at 8 p.m. on Sunday nights, just like I did with 24, waiting for it to come on.
So now that I'm all into True Detective, I'll be at the TV this Sunday when Episode 5 airs.
It's my most favorite depictation of some of the weirdness of police work and of people in general since Hill Street Blues some thirty years ago.
I give TD big points regarding their period correctness. Likewise, it is impossible for me not to consider the legal procedures and crime scene protocols and other such things, even on a subconscious level. Solid stuff there as well, for what I imagine crime scene protocol in rural Louisiana in 1995 would be, even by the State Police.
The brutality, alcoholism and the dark sides of various cops depicted on the show exists in reality too, but really that sort of stuff had stopped being so rampant most places in the 1970's by most reports I've read, due to the increased filing of civil rights actions by victims of bad cops. Maybe it was different in rural Louisiana back in 1995, running 20 years behind the times elsewhere.
In 1995, although I don't know about actual Louisiana State Police policies then, in some departments in Texas it still would have been possible for Harrelson's Hart to carry what appeared to me to be a Smith and Wesson Model 66 with a 2.5" barrel, although he would have been under a lot of pressure to move to a high capacity semi-automatic, either of the Sig Sauer or Glock brand. I did encounter officers in that era who still carried revolvers, but it was pretty much mandated just a couple of more years later and revolvers are all but dead as duty weapons in most modern police departments, and have been in most places since the very early 90's.
So that's an interesting firearm choice for his character.
The preview for Episode 5 at the end of Episode 4 showed McConaughey's Cohle with what appeared to be a Glock 17 1st
generation, well visible as he bends down to view a "devil's web" made of intricately arranged sticks. This would have been period correct for law enforcement in 1995. I'm not sure when Gen 2 came out for the Model 17, although I'm sure Wikipedia says, but many guys I knew were still carrying the early Glocks without finger grooves through the 90's.
I could have sworn, and my friend Max agrees with me, that Cohle was packing a revolver also in the 1st or 2nd episode in the quick flashes I saw of their holstered weapons. I then began thinking in Episode 3 that it was some kind of semi-automatic pistol.
And of course we have Cohle's tool box arsenal and booze box. I saw a folding stock AKSM and a Desert Eagle in there, an ammo box, a couple of hand grenades, some mags, and probably something else interesting.
Of course, there were all kinds of guns at the end of Episode 4. I can't wait until someone who knows how to do screen grabs and such can get some pictures of what guns are appearing and starts a page at the INDEPENDENT MOVIE FIREARMS DATABASE for it. The IMFDB is a great place to see what guns are in what movies and shows. You wouldn't think it'd be possible in some instances to get a good screen grab from a real fast display scene but they've got some great shots there.
I'm not the type to nitpick an error in a show set at a certain time. Not a big deal and those mistakes happen all the time, but when movie armorers get it right, well that's something to be mentioned.
There were some shows where I thought they were using certain guns but I was wrong for years about what guns were used and many others where I just didn't know what kind of guns were used. It settled some disagreements among different friends. For example, in a few of those more popular early Steven Seagal movies from the early 90's, I thought he was using a Browning Hi-Power. But the screen grabs clearly shows 1911s all the way.
It'd be nice to see some more of the older TV shows covered on their site. If I had the tech know-how or the time to learn and do it, I'd like to add a few shows. Barnaby Jones is one. I don't have any Barnaby Jones archives, but someone does, and I'd be curious to know what kind of revolver he toted. As I recall, it was a blued K frame size with a 4" (tapered?) barrel, maybe a Colt or a Smith.
Finally, back to True Detective, it looked like Cohle had some kind of Sig handgun during the final six minutes of episode 4, as I thought I saw a hammer and the slide/frame was tapered in a way that a Glock isn't. I suppose it could have been some kind of other DA semi-auto with a hammer. At one point when they were still in the project apartment, I thought it was either a Smith and Wesson 30xx of some sort or a Sig Model 39. Did anyone get a good look at an identifying feature of his hold-up handgun?
I would agree with some of the magazine articles I've read calling it the best thing on TV right now. It's a great show.