After the dire second run of Nic Pizzolatto’s True Detective, the future of the anthology crime series looked to be in doubt. HBO didn’t officially cancel the show, but it was clear that we were going to be in for a sizable wait for a potential third season.
Almost a year after the third cycle was finally ordered by HBO, the first trailer has arrived, and by all accounts, it looks like a return to form. Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali leads the cast as troubled Detective Wayne Hays who is struggling to put the pieces together for a murder case that spans more than a decade.
As tradition dictates, Nic Pizzolatto writes every episode only this time he’s drafted in Deadwood creator David Milch to assist with co-writing at least one episode. Unlike the first season that was helmed entirely by Cary Joji Fukunaga, season three won’t follow the second’s format of multiple directors used throughout, but directing duties will be shared between Jeremy Saulnier (Blue Ruin, The Green Room) and Daniel Sackheim (The Leftovers, Game of Thrones, The Americans).
I loved the first season, a gripping story with electrifying performances that proved the McConaissance was a real thing. However, the second run wasn’t as satisfying with its overly convoluted narrative. Still a mesmerising piece of storytelling, but Pizzolatto became a victim of his own success as the benchmark was set exceedingly high with season one.
Perhaps the biggest error with season two was making it for a release date. True Detective isn’t a show that should be on every year; it takes time to develop those complex characters and storylines that capture audiences right from the start. We don’t live in a world where prestige TV has to return every year. Game of Thrones, Westworld, and Stranger Things have all had long gaps between their respective seasons, and it hasn’t done their popularity any harm.
Also starring Stephen Dorff, Ray Fisher (Justice League), and Carmen Ejogo, True Detective returns to HBO early 2019.