True Detective: Not Just Another Cop Show

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A new series about detectives investigating a potential serial killer in rural Louisiana is one of the most talked about shows of the new year.

HBO’s True Detective has won fans for its twisty structure, great cinematography and strong performances from co-stars Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey, but it has been criticized for its lack of interesting women characters. Women on the show are either wives, mistresses, strippers, prostitutes or corpses. And they don’t have much of an interior life.

But Slate TV critic Willa Paskin says the show isn’t misogynistic. It’s only depicting misogyny.

“It’s a trope of murder shows to have corpses that are female, but I think True Detective is about very specifically sort of what men do to women,” Paskin said.

She adds: “As it’s evolved, it seems as though [the show] is about a group of men or a man who have been perpetrating crimes against women that haven’t been uncovered and sort of gone unnoticed by police.”

Paskin spoke to WNYC’s Amy Eddings.