10 TV Shows With Great First Episodes

9. The Long Bright Dark - True Detective

Laura Palmer Twin Peaks Pilot

The first season of True Detective was awesome; a thoughtful tale of morality and memory, with Lovecraftian overtones and a brilliant pair of lead performances from Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. The second season was admittedly poor, but that can't take away from how gripping the story of Rust Cohle and Marty Hart was.

The first episode, The Long Bright Dark, introduces us to the two main characters, first in 2012 and then in 1995. The case that brought them together is slowly revealed through interviews with the two older detectives, as well as flashbacks to the investigation itself.

We don't learn a lot in the first episode; a woman was murdered in occult fashion, Rust and Marty thought they had apprehended the killer but another murder has cast doubt on that belief. There are also hints to some awful event that tore the two apart, leaving them as rivals for over a decade.

Everything about The Long Bright Dark is masterful, from the cinematography to the acting. Tantalising tidbits about the murder investigation and the relationship between Rust and Cohle are patiently unveiled, and as we come to know the characters, we want to know more about them. The show sinks its hooks into you and drags you in deep, exactly as a first episode should.

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Aspiring author. Film reviewer. Bestiary curator. Burgeoning misanthrope.