Creativity 50 2014: Cary Fukunaga and Nic Pizzolatto
HBO's "True Detective" was a case study in what can be achieved when all the aspects come together. Casting (Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson), details (getting South Louisiana right), technical prowess (that single-take tracking shot of the shootout in Houston). But while a story can be hurt without getting those things right, those things don't matter if there is no story in the first place.
Creator and writer Nic Pizzolatto, along with director Cary Fukunaga, spooled out a spooky, wild, violent, atmospheric bit of madness that combined modern crime drama with "Weird Tales." Critics loved it, fans tried to solve the mysteries on the web and comedians parodied it. The show even rescued Robert W. Chambers' "The King in Yellow" from obscurity and cemented 2014 as McConaughey's comeback year. Some griped about the finale, but people always gripe about the finale -- see "Seinfeld," "Lost" and "The Sopranos" -- and fans have been trying to unravel the mysteries of Season Two (what's the storyline, who's in the cast) since the minute Season one ended.