For a brief moment in time, True Detective was one of the best series on television. Then, after a notoriously subpar second season, it wasn’t. By most accounts, it appeared that HBO had pulled the plug on the anthology series for good. But in a surprise move, the premium cable network announced that it would be rebooting the series after its two-year hiatus.
Fans and critics responded to the news with a mixture of excitement and skepticism. While Season 2 of True Detective was undeniably disappointing, there’s no denying that the series’ first outing was an incredible tour de force. With the right creative minds in place, the series stands a chance to redeem itself. A successful third run could also help bolster HBO, which needs to prove it’s still capable of providing consistently solid programming now that the Game of Thrones era is drawing to a close.
It’s too early to say whether True Detective will be able to get back on track, but there are a few things that embattled creator Nic Pizzolatto can do to keep fans interested in the third season.
1. Find a cast with killer chemistry
Many couldn’t believe that legendary actors like Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson would agree to do a TV show. So, in that sense, the dynamic power of True Detective‘s first leading duo was what drew fans to the series in the first place.
There was plenty of star power in Season 2, as well. Vince Vaughn, Colin Farrell, Rachel McAdams, and Taylor Kitsch seemingly gave it their all, but the ensemble just didn’t gel in the same way as McConaughey and Harrelson’s Rust and Marty. As a result, the second season felt more like a bunch of actors trying as hard as they could to prove they were True Detective material, rather than an organic fusion of two eccentric, but brilliant performers.
If Season 3 of True Detective is going to get anywhere close to matching Season 1, they’re going to need to do more than cast big-name actors. They’re going to have to find a duo (or trio, or group) that works well together. Luckily, HBO appears to be off to a good start, after recently announcing that Mahershala Ali (Moonlight) will be playing a lead role in Season 3.