The exceedingly popular and controversial online news publication VICE has just started a short-form documentary series that will explore the true stories that provided the inspiration for some of our biggest and most beloved on-screen stories. They first explored the concept with a video posted on New Years last year, covering the true story behind Breaking Bad‘s Walter White. At the time of the show’s premiere in 2008, the character, played by Bryan Cranston, shared a name with a real-life Alabama meth cook who had found himself in the middle of a similarly massive meth empire.
To no surprise, the story was a big hit. Now, with the first official episode of VICE’s show The Real, the site has turned its attention to a satanic cult in Louisiana, exposed for child molestation and animal sacrifice, which inspired the haunting antagonists of HBO’s True Detective. In just a 20 minute runtime, the episode does a good job illustrating the similarities of the real story and the fictionalized, and on top of that the camerawork succeeds in reminding the viewer just how close True Detective went for beautiful authenticity, displaying the very same luscious but empty landscapes that provide the eery spaces in the show’s first season.
Not only will the show provide great context for some of our best entertainment (the series will reportedly be covering Weeds and Eastbound and Down soon), but also make for some great short documentaries. The Real will demonstrate just how far a story can go, and probably make all of us think twice about the little blurb news we see in newspapers and magazines.
Follow the series at VICE.com