The first season of HBO’s True Detective was a revelatory viewing experience that demanded your attention, inspired countless theories, and gripped audiences with riveting performances and direction.
After the disappointment of the second installment, which traded in Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrellson for Vince Vaughn and Colin Farrell, it was presumed that a third iteration was probably dead in the water.
Turns out, the premise just needed a couple years to cool off. HBO officially announced Friday that the series will return for a third season, though the air date remains decidedly unknown.
Oscar winner Mahershala Ali (Moonlight, Luke Cage) will star as Wayne Hays, a state police detective from Northwest Arkansas who investigates a “macabre crime in the heart of the Ozarks.” The story also revolves around a “mystery that deepens over decades and plays out in three separate time periods.” Sounds pretty True Detective-y to us.
Showrunner and creator Nic Pizzolatto returns to direct the show but this time he’ll be joined by Jeremy Saulnier (Green Room, Blue Ruin). Aside from one episode co-written with David Milch, Pizzolatto is the writer of the series as well.
Interestingly enough, while the first season was a critical success, the second season actually earned better overall ratings (2.61 million vs. 2.33 million). That’s not surprising given the way some audiences tend to find shows late, and given the success of the first season building a fervor for season two, but is also kind of surprising given the way the show fell out of the pop culture spotlight by the time the second season ended.
Expectations will remain high for the upcoming season. Let’s hope Pizzolatto learned his lessons from the second go-round and returns to form. If nothing else, the opening theme song should be pretty good again.