Did True Detective Borrow Details From This Episode of Unsolved Mysteries?

Slate's Culture Blog
Feb. 26 2014 4:40 PM

Did True Detective Borrow Details From This Episode of Unsolved Mysteries?

Is this a young Rust Cohle?


Earlier today, the Daily Beast published an interview with True Detective director Cary Fukunaga. Discussing Matthew McConaughey’s brilliant performance on the HBO series, Fukunaga asked his interviewer, Marlow Stern, “Have you seen McConaughey in Unsolved Mysteries? Even back then, it’s a great performance! And he’s mowing the lawn.”

Mowing the lawn, you say? That sounds familiar. Fortunately, Vulture was able to dig up the pretty wonderful clip from the long-running show. But it raises more questions than it answers.


Note that this case from Unsolved Mysteries involves not only murder, but the sexual violation of children. Is it a coincidence that this segment features a woman named Dorothy Lang, while True Detective centers on the death of a Dora Lange? And what about that red truck, which looks an awful lot like the one that Rust Cohle drives? Spooky. (Interestingly, McConaughey himself talked about this early performance in another interview about True Detective.)

Or perhaps these connections between the two shows are not intentional allusions by Fukunaga and company, but just more proof that time is a flat circle, and that everything we’ve ever done or will do, we’re gonna do over and over and over again.

David Haglund is a senior editor at Slate. He runs Brow Beat, Slate's culture blog.



More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

iOS 8 Comes Out Today. Do Not Put It on Your iPhone 4S.

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows

The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything

It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.


Happy Constitution Day!

Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.

What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture

My Father Was James Brown. I Watched Him Beat My Mother. Then I Married Someone Like Him.

  News & Politics
Sept. 17 2014 12:02 PM Here It Is: The Flimsiest Campaign Attack Ad of 2014, Which Won’t Stop Running
Business Insider
Sept. 17 2014 1:36 PM Nate Silver Versus Princeton Professor: Who Has the Right Models?
Sept. 17 2014 1:59 PM Ask a Homo: Secret Ally Codes 
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 17 2014 1:26 PM Hey CBS, Rihanna Is Exactly Who I Want to See on My TV Before NFL Games
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
Brow Beat
Sept. 17 2014 1:01 PM A Rare, Very Unusual Interview With Michael Jackson, Animated
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 12:35 PM IOS 8 Comes Out Today. Do Not Put It on Your iPhone 4S.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 17 2014 11:18 AM A Bridge Across the Sky
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.