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?

mcconaughey_mysteries
Is this a young Rust Cohle?

YouTube

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.

Advertisement

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.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?
Music

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

How Tattoo Parlors Became the Barber Shops of Hipster Neighborhoods

This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century

Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 1 2014 7:26 PM Talking White Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
  Business
Buy a Small Business
Oct. 1 2014 11:48 PM Inking the Deal Why tattoo parlors are a great small-business bet.
  Life
Outward
Oct. 1 2014 6:02 PM Facebook Relaxes Its “Real Name” Policy; Drag Queens Celebrate
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 9:39 PM Tom Cruise Dies Over and Over Again in This Edge of Tomorrow Supercut
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?