Why True Detective Deserves to Win an Emmy

Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson

Michele K. Short/HBO

updated 09/03/2015 AT 7:49 PM ET

originally published 08/24/2014 AT 5:35 PM ET

WARNING: Contains language, violence

Much of True Detective’s appeal is based on Matthew McConaughey’s riveting performance as (true) Detective Rustin Cohle and the loopy, dark cop-buddy chemistry he summoned with real-life pal Woody Harrelson, to say nothing of Nic Pizzolatto’s dense, allusion-heavy dialogue.

But the show’s visual style deserves a big shout-out as well, and it’s for a combination of all of those reasons that it deserves to walk home with the Emmy for best drama.

Pizzolatto and director Cary Fukunaga sketched a compelling, singular vision of Louisiana (and Texas) for the show: Inspired by photographer Richard Misrach’s work documenting Louisiana’s “Chemical Corridor,” Petrochemical America, they developed a stark, bleached look for the show.

But Fukunaga really stepped out with the show’s standout sequence, a bonkers one-take tracking shot that follows the fallout of an aborted raid on a Houston, Texas, gang stronghold.

It is indeed one take, and though two possible edit points were built into the sequence by Fukunaga, the shot ended up working perfectly in one go.

Your Emmys, give them to True Detective.

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