On its face, HBO's True Detective looks like a number of other dark and twisted serial killer murder mysteries. But it becomes clear very early on that the show's creator, novelist Nic Pizzolatto, has much more on his mind.
"I'm not interested in creating disgusting monsters or the most bizarre serial killer ever," Pizzolatto tells TVGuide.com. "My primary concern is always the humanism of the characters. Where the show gains its power for an audience, I think, is in things that aren't investigative at all. It's in two men talking to one another in a car. It's in a man coming over to another man's house for dinner and eating with his family. Those are the things that always interest me."
Winter TV: Check out all the must-see new shows
In this case, the two men riding in a car are Martin Hart (Woody Harrelson) and Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey), two detectives in Louisiana's Criminal Investigation Division who team up for a murder case in 1995...
Made you jump. It's about time a Syfy show had that effect on us again.
Syfy's Helix (Friday, 10/9c) is a chiller in every sense of the word, a welcome return to gripping sci-fi form for a network that has lately ceded bragging rights to AMC (The Walking Dead), FX (American Horror Story) and even The CW (The Vampire Diaries) in the competitive arena of hardcore genre buzz. The spirit of Michael Crichton permeates this claustrophobic exercise in suspenseful paranoia, from Battlestar Galactica's Ronald D. Moore and series creator Cameron Porsandeh, who sets the first season almost entirely at an icy Arctic research compound that's actually a hothouse for mysteriously grisly medical experiments.
Question: [RETROACTIVE SPOILER ALERT FOR THOSE NOT KEEPING UP] I'm watching Homeland and Sons of Anarchy more out of habit than passion these days, after what I thought were disappointing seasons for both. But even so, I was startled when their seasons ended on such grim notes in December, with the violent deaths of major characters. Which surprised you more: Brody's execution as Carrie bore witness on Homeland or Tara's brutal murder at Gemma's hands on Sons? Or did you see each of these events as inevitable? On the same note, which show do you think is better positioned to bounce back from these game-changers, or did they maybe (and I know you hate the expression) jump the shark? — Cass
It was Edward Norton's first time hosting Saturday Night Live this weekend, but he got some helpful advice right at the start from a couple of veterans.
Alec Baldwin and Miley Cyrus made appearances during Norton's opening monologue, with 16-time host Baldwin offering Norton some tips — and Baldwin deadpanning that his turn in American History X was "hilarious." Cyrus basically promoted her upcoming tour and twerked later on in the episode (sigh).
HBO has set the return date for Girls as well as the premieres of new series True Detective and Looking.
Season 3 of Girls will bow on Sunday, January 12 with two back-to-back episodes beginning at 10/9c. It will follow the debut of True Detective, a new drama starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as Louisiana detectives whose lives collide and entwine during a 17-year hunt for a killer. Michelle Monaghan also stars as Maggie, the wife of Harrelson's character.