ByPeter Flynn, writer at
An advocate for understanding the phenomenological wonder of the moving image. Also Tremors is the best.
Peter Flynn

True Detective show runner, Nic Pizzolatto, has done a strange job of selling Season 2 of his surprise hit show. After Season 1, it seemed up was the only place True Detective could go, and that anything further would be lapped up by fans.

How could this get any better?
How could this get any better?

While the casting is cool, Pizzolatto seems to have gone out of his way to dilute excitement. stating that seasons 1 and 2 will be completely unrelated, except in "soul" is fine. The soul of True Detective appeals to me much more than the actual content. Then Pizzolatto confirmed that there would be no creepy occult spookiness. While a lack of spookiness is a tragic loss in and of itself, fans have to ask, what's left for True Detective Season 2?

While True Detective Season 2 nails the image of prestige television, it runs the risk, as did Season 1, of simply being made of the cliches that have come to define the detective genre. What chance does Season 2 have of avoiding these cliches and saving the show from becoming a parody of itself?

Brooding men

Colin Farrell having feelings... and a moustache
Colin Farrell having feelings... and a moustache

I've ragged on this element of True Detective extensively, so I won't elaborate on how tiresome the "punch punch introspect introspect" model of character building is. While Season 2 seems ripe to indulge this trope, with Colin Farrell staring at his bloodied fists and Taylor Kitsch pretending to take leave of his senses, the series could still create an interesting subversion. What if all the toiling in useless masculinity actually doesn't benefit the characters or achieve anything? The movie Prisoners made this point perfectly, and True Detective Season 2 would do well to follow suit.

Missing Girls

Yeah this looks about right.
Yeah this looks about right.

Oh detective shows love this one don't they? I could write an entire piece on why this trope is so common. A missing child acts as both a MacGuffin to drive the plot, and an anchor to keep the audience caring, because apparently when a child is on screen, I'm unable to divorce reality from fiction. It's still unclear how this storyline will take form, for it's only one of Rachel McAdams lines in the most recent trailer that we have to go off. What's interesting about this line is that apparently "nobody cares". Could end up seeing some systematic injustice which McAdams' Ani Bezzerides develops a vendetta against?


One of the more subtly brilliant elements of True Detective Season 1 was the way it conveyed the intense evil of Billy Lee Tuttle and the control he had through his political and religious ties. The occult actions of he and his peers weren't shoved in our faces (in fact it was more horrifying that way), and it was the position of authority they adopted that made Season 1 so affecting. True Detective Season 2 seems to deal with a similar corruption in the upper echelons of LA transportation system. I'm guessing it will be more about skullduggerous business practices than sacrificing children to the yellow king, but we'll just wait for Vince Vaughn to show us.

"We get the world we deserve!"

This is the tagline that's getting banded around with the posters for True Detective Season 2, and I can't help but comment on it. This phrase encapsulates everything that could go wrong with True Detective; it being consumed by its own sense of bolstered up misanthropy. In other words, I've seen the Dark Knight; I don't need this crap all over again!

What are your thoughts on True Detective Season 2? Are you optimistic that it can capitalize on the successes and avoid the pitfalls of Season 1? Make a response post, and get your thoughts and speculation out before Season 2 begins on June 21st!


Can True Detective Season 2 top the brilliance of Season 1?


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