True Detective is one of those shows that easy to respect and make fun of in equal measure. Throughout Season 1, viewers went from oohing and aahing over Cary Fukunaga's masterful direction, to lampooning Matthew McConaughey's stoner philosophy dialogue as the loopy detective Rust Cohle. But those elaborate philosophical discussions are as much a part of Detective's DNA as anything else, and the show just wouldn't be the same without them. But do you think you can distinguish between a True Detective quote and an actual quote from a real philosopher?
Warning: this is gonna be tricky. It's no secret that Detective writer Nic Pizzolatto cribs themes from his favorite philosophers — the title of the Season 2 premiere, "The Western Book Of The Dead," is taken directly from an essay about the "Western world’s deteriorating understanding of its identity, significance, and future."So it can be hard to distinguish between True Detective characters and real philosophers. But do your best.
(Warning: there are characters from BOTH Seasons 1 and 2 of Detective scattered throughout the quiz... just to make things extra difficult for you.)
Quote #1: "Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed."
While this sentiment could probably be applied to many people within Detective's fictional universe, it was actually said by 19th century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche .
Quote #2: "Never do anything out of hunger. Even eating."
Yeah, you probably got this one. It's an already-infamous quote uttered by Vince Vaughn's Frank Semyon in the Season 2 premiere.
Quote #3: "The fundamental difference between the sexes is that one of them can kill the other with their bare hands."
That's Rachel McAdams' Ani Bezzerides, who pretty much exists as a direct response to all those complaints about Season 1's treatment of women.
Quote #4: "There is nothing permanent except change."
Greek philosopher Heraclitus said this way back around 500 BC, and boy was he right. I don't think he'd even recognize this planet anymore.
Quote #5: "When you see only with God's eyes, you see only the truth, and you recognize a meaningless universe."
Ani's father Eliot Bezzerides was heard uttering this platitude to his disciples when she approached his compound. Sure, the character claims that Allen Ginsberg said it to him, but I'll still give Eliot credit.
Quote #6: "This world is a veil, and the face you wear is not your own."
Changing things up! This gem was part of a fiery sermon delivered by revival preacher Joel Theriot (played by Boardwalk Empire's Shea Whigham) back in the show's first season.
Quote #7: "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them."
We better trust Albert Einstein on this one, guys. After all, he did solve that minor "problem" known as relativity.
Quote #8: "I used to want to be an astronaut. But astronauts don't even go to the moon anymore."
Perhaps "I used to want to be an astronaut, but then I saw Gravity" would have been more appropriate, but either way, it was Colin Farrell's Ray Velcoro who said this.
Quote #9: "Life must be understood backward. But it must be lived forward."
While this certainly sounds like it could have come from Rust's "time is a flat circle" speech, these are actually the words of 18th century Danish philosopher Søren Kirekegaard .
Quote #10: "I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong."
Ooh, someone's talking about death, that MUST be True Detective, right? Wrong! This one's attributed to 20th century British philosopher/historian/mathematician/general show-off Bertrand Russell .
Quote #11: "Death created time to grow the things that it would kill, and you are reborn but into the same life that you've always been born into."
Only McConaughey's Rust Cohle could make our heads spin so effortlessly.
Quote #12: "I think human consciousness is a tragic misstep in evolution."
Gotcha! This one's actually Rust Cohle again. That man certainly didn't think very highly of humanity, did he?
Quote #13: "There is nothing so absurd that some philosopher has not already said it."
Marcus Cicero dropped that truth-bomb over 2,000 years ago, which really makes you re-consider what all those other philosophers have been yammering about since then...
Images: Lacey Terrell/HBO; Giphy (10)