It has recently been revealed by ew.com that David Milch has been enlisted to help bring to life a new season of the critically acclaimed True Detective. Milch is a stalwart of the HBO channel, as he was the creator of Deadwood, another series that received its plaudits that starred Lovejoy himself Ian McShane. David Milch has been brought on to partner up with True Detective creator Nic Pizzolato to see if they can bring a third season of the series to light. According to reports, Pizzolato has written the first two episodes and HBO want Milch to help grind out a compelling story for this third season.
Why Season 3 needs to happen
It has been nearly two years since the last episode of True Detective aired, and what so many people thought was a rushed season two, the writer has had plenty of time to draft out a story and script that is absorbing as the first two. Nic Pizzolato created a masterpiece with Season 1, and he clearly has a passion for telling these stories, and he must have more original ideas that deserve to be given another chance.
Pizzolato produces characters that are torn, twisted and still leave the audience feeling empathetic towards them, and if another season was announced then it can be guaranteed there will be a list of big Hollywood stars looking to get in on the action. He has already enticed Matthew McConaughey (The Dark Tower), Rachael McAdams (Doctor Strange), Colin Farrell (Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them), Woody Harrelson (War For The Planet Of The Apes) and Vince Vaughn to the small screen, actors who at the moment are at the top of their game. Season 3 needs to happen, and there is no doubt that Pizzolato along with his new creative partner David Milch will bring us something memorable. Here’s a recap of Season 1 and 2.
True Detective Season 1: Some spoilers ahead
Season 1 of True Detective was a revelation, it showed us that HBO is still able to provide new material that makes for dark, gritty and powerful drama, something which is synonymous with the Home Box Office channel. The first season centres around two police officer partners in the state of Louisiana, Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) and Marty Hart (Woody Harrelson), who in the first episode of the series are investigating the gruesome murder of a woman found in a field. The story jumps between 1995 and 2012, as the older version of the characters are retelling their exploits of 1995 to two other officers who are investigating their actions.
The acting in this series is some of the best seen in TV. McConaughey plays an enigmatic cop with a troubled past, a “weirdo” as his counterpart Marty calls him from time to time in the season. Harrelson plays a headstrong, passionate officer that wears his heart on his sleeve, but often succumbs to his sexual urges, which results in him cheating on his wife on more than one occasion. Michelle Monaghan, a highly underrated actress plays Maggie Hart the wife of Harrelson’s character, in a role that turns the two police officers against each other when she finally finds out about Marty’s affair and acts upon it.
The story of season 1 centres around the murder of a woman, found in a field. The resulting investigation by our two main characters lead them down a discovery of corruption and satanic rituals that all stem from within the local religious community. In between this main investigation, we get to delve more into the minds of our two main characters, with testimonials from their interviews in 2012 and the flashbacks to their time in 1995. We’re given beautifully written character development that’s unattainable in some of our more mainstream TV shows today. Having fewer characters with such dramatic story lines is incredibly more captivating for us as the audience as we can immerse ourselves into their fictional lives a lot easier.
Nic Pizzolato solely wrote season 1 without the support of a writing staff, which is highly unusual for a TV series like this one, but HBO clearly had the faith in him to deliver a quality programme. In addition to the solo writing team, one man directed the entire 8 episodes of the first season, Cary Joji Fukunaga. Although their relationship on set was apparently intense, these two men obviously put their differences aside and produced a television series made for the history books.
True Detective Season 2: Some spoilers ahead
Season 2 of True Detective was highly anticipated, however, for a lot of people it was a huge disappointment. Due to the incredible success of the first season, HBO was keen to get a second one on to our screens as soon as possible. Maybe it was this pressure placed on Nic Pizzolato to write a new series as quickly as possible, which caused the story to suffer so much. Although, it is agreed that the story in season two is very convoluted in parts, the drama and the characters kept it captivating and personally, I eagerly awaited each episode every week when it was released.
In the second season, instead of two main characters, we have four. Ray Velcoro (Colin Farrell) Ani Bezzerides (Rachael McAdams) Frank Semyon (Vince Vaughn) and Paul Woodrugh (Taylor Kitsch). For a second season in a row the acting is phenomenal. Colin Farrell’s performance in particular is a favourite of mine. He plays Ray Velcoro, a violent, ill-tempered police detective with a drug and drink problem, and a turbulent past that haunts him in his daily life. It sounds like the majority of roles that Colin Farrell has played in the past, but to his credit he is fantastic in this series. Although he plays an anti-hero of sorts, you truly root for him to find happiness. His character’s side story that involves whether his son is actually his, due to his ex-wife being raped around the same time that the boy was conceived, is a storyline that tugs on the heart strings all the way to the last episode.
Rachael McAdams and Taylor Kitsch play two other officers that are also battling their own personal demons, and both of them give us performances worthy of a golden globe nomination. The fact that none of the cast were acknowledged for their acting in this season by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is bit of a travesty.
By the end of the season our three main police officers are working together to solve the murder of a wealthy businessman in the fictitious city of ‘Vinci’ and finally discover that corruption within the city comes from the very top. Vince Vaughn plays a gangster, although his character, Frank, would reiterate multiple times that he’s not one. Vaughn plays a man who’s on the edge, he has lost most of his money due to the death of the businessman mentioned earlier, and his side story is one of survival in a city where everyone is aiming for your head. It is questioned whether Vince Vaughn was right for this role, lately we’re getting a lot of comedic actors turning to drama roles, but in this instance it felt like he was the weak link, compared to all the other powerhouse performances we had from our other three stars.
It’s abundantly clear that Season 1 of True Detective is superior to Season 2. The first series had one director, directing the full 8 episodes, which meant he could give it a unique and consistent style. Season 2 had 6 different directors creating 8 episodes, each with their own style and their own vision of how the story should be put onto the screen. This direction along with a more complex script makes season 2 a more inferior one to the first. However, Season 2 still provides us with compelling characters with back-stories and flashbacks that felt appropriate with their actions in the present day. The characters felt believable and that level of drama, intertwined with a gripping last couple of episodes, makes this a series that deserves to be watched.
By Mark Hughes