Last year, True Detective came and took our breaths away. Not since Twin Peaks had a television show so seamlessly blended the worlds of policing and the macabre, and audiences couldn’t get enough of the stunning chemistry between leading men Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey.
Many were disappointed then when it was announced that McConaughey and Harrelson wouldn’t be continuing the series. Writer Nic Pizzolatto envisioned the show as an anthology — which increased in popularity thanks to American Horror Story — and likely wants to introduce new characters and story templates with each new season in an effort to stop the show becoming tired, or predictable.
The setting is certainly a million (well, few thousand) miles from that of the first season, and will take place in California rather than the bleak, desolate and haunting Louisiana landscapes that added a gothic element to the first run. Now, the show will undoubtedly feel as murky as ever, only this is likely to reflect the decadence and sleaze of California’s criminal underbelly rather than Louisiana’s good old-fashioned Southern grisliness.
Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn certainly weren’t the first people we expected to be the stars of the show. Farrell, along with the hugely talented Rachel McAdams and rising star Taylor Kitsch, will play three officers, all with starkly contrasting personalities. Vaughn (known mostly for his comedic roles) will move — perhaps welcomingly — to darker territory in playing a career criminal trying to make good, who becomes somehow tied up in the case of the murdered businessman the detectives are investigating.
Farrell is set to play an amoral detective who allegedly has ties to the mob as well as the police force. McAdams is rumoured to have a gambling and alcohol addiction, who makes up in principle what she perhaps lacks in vice.
It therefore seems likely that Pizzolatto will provide the audience with characters that are just as complex and impenetrable as in season one, and this alone is enough to ensure we will all be watching with intrigue. With a writer as revelatory and original as Pizzolatto, it seems almost guaranteed that this will be utterly captivating viewing.
All of these actors are certainly adept at bringing a script to life, and some of the cast’s experience in comedy will perhaps add an element of black humour to the proceedings.
It was the dialogue between McConaughey and Harrelson that gave the first season its charm, and all of these gifted actors certainly have the potential to entertain and enthrall in a similar manner.
The ingenious plot-line however, is where True Detective really succeeded in 2014, and if Pizzolatto remains consistent in this respect, then we’re onto a winner. In truth, there’s no telling what to expect… all we can do is prepare for it.
True Detective begins with a US/UK simulcast on Sunday night at 2am, Sky Atlantic. It is then repeated at 9pm on Monday night. In the meantime, watch the entire first season boxset on Sky On Demand to get you in the mood.