The Best TV of 2014 So Far

From purple weddings to female perps, Rob Sheffield lists the highlights of an already abundant year of great TV

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'True Detective' (HBO)

4. 'True Detective' (HBO)

"Life's barely long enough to get good at one thing. So be careful what you get good at." Unfortunately for Rust Cohle, he's good at being Rust Cohle, which means all he can do is obsess over darkness and death until it eats him up. True Detective is a virtuoso two-man show: the never-sweatier Woody Harrelson and the never-gaunter Matthew McConaughey, who both outdo anything they've ever attempted before. It's full of brilliant little Southern Gothic details that flicker by in a second — like the way the jukebox plays a Creedence song, but the typed label on the jukebox spells it "Clarence Clearwater Revival." As McConaughey's Rust is fond of saying, "Time is a flat circle," which maybe explains how Harrelson's girlfriend from Banshee manages to invent nude-selfie sexting on a flip phone circa 2002.

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