The anti-hero is unquestionablly the norm for today’s popular protagonists. As viewers we can relate to a flawed character. They are believable. They are selfish and lustful. They are human. These ant-hero protagonists seem to question the boundaries of morality and social norms. Within this questioning there are philosophical issues being presented and shows have begun to embrace them.
None more so than True Detective, a bleak and gritty crime drama currently taking the world by stall. Rust Cohle is nihilistic in many ways. He calls for the mass extinction of the human race and claims religion to be moronic. Here is just a little snippet of Cohle’s nihilistic mindset:
The complexity of Cohle makes him an intriguing character. He is a pessimist and utterly hopeless but at the same time boldly heroic. We are drawn to him and want him to succeed. As the story progresses we learn of the death of his young daughter and resulting failed marriage. We start to understand why Cohle has become so Nihilistic. Cohle almost becomes a guardian angel, sacrificing himself to rid the world of “bad men.” Nothing cements our sympathy for Cohle more so than his monologue about his daughter:
“I think about my daughter now, and what she was spared. Sometimes I feel grateful. The doctor said she didn’t feel a thing; went straight into a coma. Then, somewhere in that blackness, she slipped off into another deeper kind. Isn’t that a beautiful way to go out, painlessly as a happy child? Trouble with dying later is you’ve already grown up. The damage is done, it’s too late.”
Never before have we seen television shows so sophisticated. The depth and complexity of characters is currently unparalleled. Venturing further into Rust Cohle’s psyche is an article published in Vulture: Rust Cohle and True Detective’s philosophies