The state institutions portrayed in the HBO crime procedural True Detective are innately and structurally corrupt. Local mayors’, state governors’, and district attorneys’ offices, city and county police, and sheriff’s departments commit and cover up violent crimes. These offices and departments comprise mostly middle- aged white men. Masculinist desires for power and domination manifest as interpersonal ends and contact points between the individual and the state. The state here is a mutable system, both abstract and concrete. It encompasses the functions of the legal and political offices whose corruption is taken for granted in their shady relations to criminal networks, commercial enterprises, and religious institutions.

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