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True Detective: A Look At Season 1 and Beyond

On the 12th of January, we were hit with perhaps an unusual sight: two Hollywood A-listers, Mathew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, leading an eight episode series on HBO. We watched as they brought to life a dark, sinister story of two Louisiana detectives searching for a killer. The series’ greatness was also fuelled by show runner, Nic Pizzolatto, who’s mainly had a career in writing novels. Nic hmade something that has really caught the attention of TV audiences – but how did it get this big?

Mainly because it was such a rare occurrence to find two actors from a movie background take on these lead roles which allowed a train of hype and anticipation to build before the show’s pilot aired. Once that happened, it then took on new viewers as word of mouth from fans spread about the story’s quality and endless depth. A bit, I suppose, like Breaking Bad built over the years.

It was clearly the right decision to cast McConaughey and Harrelson, as True Detective has ended up making its name as the most watched HBO freshman series of all time. The show averaged an impressive 11.9 million viewers per episode; this has led many fans to already speculate on what is going to occur in Season 2. After all, this is an anthology series: so a new story every season is the show’s formula, according to Pizzolatto.

True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto

True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto

Season 2 of True Detective was not always in the cards, as Pizzolatto stated about midway through the first season that he was unsure he could take on the workload of a second season, as he spent so many years dedicated to the first – throwing everything he knew and had researched into the story – that a second would take some time to complete. However, don’t worry, Nic is clearly a very hard-working writer as he has quickly changed his mind, possibly due to the show’s popularity, and confirmed a return for True Detective. So what’s in store for Season 2?

The most interesting part about Season 2 is, yes, it will be a completely new story but it will also have a different tone as well. This is mainly because Cary Fukagna, director of all eight episodes of the first season was so on-board with the show runner Pizzolatto’s vision that they managed to implement the style they wanted on to the screen. Unfortunately Fukagna is not around for Season 2, as he is directing his second feature based on the novel Black Count. So Nic has said Season 2 will feature “more than one director.” Which could mean he might want to freshen up last season’s Fincher-esque oppressive tone, and create a new world with maybe more saturated colors and a more vibrant environment as opposed to Louisiana’s eerie fields and small town edginess. That all means a new setting would help matters, and Pizzolatto seems to be doing just that. He spoke recently about next season’s direction.

“This is really early, but I’ll tell you [it’s about] hard women, bad men and the secret occult history of the United States transportation system.” As for what he learned from the show’s first season, which just ended its run, he said “I need to keep being strange – don’t play the next one straight.”

Interesting: “Hard women” and “bad men.” It will be a bit of a mix up from the usual male leads, and could tackle much wider themes such as male dominance, and occult powers such as the history of occult killing around the US; or maybe the two female leads might become entangled in the occult themselves. The opportunities are endless, as are the rumours of who will play the roles.

Speculation over who the “hard women” are has mounted as Ellen Page, Kate Mara, and Emma Stone are thought to be in pole position for the leading roles, while Brad Pitt is thought to be considered as one of the “bad men.” You are right in thinking that because of the success of McConaughey, and Harrelson, other A-list talent would be interested in the project as, after all,l this is a series that’s going to be like no other. Yes, murder mysteries are coming thick and fast in the movie, TV and novel industries, but True Detective, in time, according to The Wrap, will take itself in new directions.

Pizzolatto spoke of the show’s future beyond that of Season 2: “You know, there could be a season that’s much more of a widespread conspiracy thriller, a season that’s a small town murder mystery, a season where nobody is murdered and it’s a master criminal versus a rogue detective or something.”

Sounds great that we might get some real variety in True Detectives storytelling; even a small town murder could be intriguing as Pizzolatto has commented before that David Lynch’s Twin Peaks was both a creative and narrative inspiration for the first season. So if we get to see weird goings-on in future seasons, I’m in!

It is also good that Pizzolatto chose True Detective as a title, because it could have been called True Murder or something similar, where he would have been restricted to just writing murder mysteries.

Whatever Pizzolatto cooks up for us next, it is sure going to be special; however, we may have to wait a while as Season 2 doesn’t look like it is going to release any time before late 2015.

Let me know below what kind of Season 2 you want to see.



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