The amount of information that has been drip fed to us following the breath-taking, gut-wrenching finale of the first season of True Detective has been incredibly minimal. With two teaser trailers, a handful of photos from the set and some very intriguing character posters, speculation as to what this second season is going to hold is only adding to the anticipation.
We don’t know a lot, but what we do know is that Colin Farrell plays Detective Ray Velcoro, Vince Vaughn plays criminal Frank Semyon, Rachel McAdams is Ani Bezzerides, the County Sheriff, and Taylor Kitsch is Paul Woodrugh, the cop who discovers the body that kicks everything off. We also know that this time it is set in Los Angeles which is a stark contrast to season one which was set in a backwater town in Louisiana. The subject of the season is similar to season one in that it is detectives trying to solve a murder case, and like with season one, this isn’t your run of the mill murder case, it’s something darker. T-Bone Burnett is back in the musical saddle for season two so it may have a familiar feel to it. In an interview with HBO, Nic Pizzolatto, the show’s creator, has said that “there is no relationship between the stories or characters” but that he thinks the two seasons have a “similar soul”. What’s more soulful than the music of T-Bone Burnett?
Pizzolatto has said that this season is not going to have any ties with any gothic, occult themes like in the first one but suggests that in its place is a “disconcerting psychology” and a “more complex world and field of characters”. This alone is instantly setting it apart from season one in that we are entering a whole new world with a potentially intricate plot weaving through the hierarchy of a huge city and more emphasis on sophisticated character development. The trailers certainly have a very noir feel to them, reminiscent of films like Drive and LA: Confidential allowing room for an unrelenting supply of twisted plot points and corrupt characters.
Another huge difference is that season two will have a linear narrative as opposed to season one which jumped around from the past to the present day. It was important to the plot of season one because the murder inquiry spanned a decade, although it did sometimes become a little muddy and complicated. This time it will be in one time period, constantly moving forward, which will allow the audience to follow the development of the plot and characters easily, providing space for that intricate web that I predict this murder inquiry will be spinning.
As for style, as Pizzolatto has said, it will feel familiar but I think this is going to a be a huge step away from the True Detective we have been given before, which is safe ground for such a new television program, mixing everything up under the same heading each season can only widen the scope for Pizzolatto to take his incredible writing to new worlds. Maybe season three will take it overseas? Without spacial restrictions, the stories within these worlds are only bound to the confines of the worlds they are in. Characters in long running series can become tired and boring, but this concept allows for freshness every season and there is also nothing stopping Nic from killing the stars of the show at the end of the season, He almost did it in season one, so we could see Colin, Vince or Rachel meeting their ends already? Who knows! Anything could happen, literally anything. With Justin Lin, the mastermind behind the Fast and Furious films, at the directing helm for a small handful of episodes I think we can expect production value to be stepped up to potentially seeing high speed car chases? Some explosions perhaps? I certainly don’t think it will have the low-key feel as season one and it’s opening itself up to a whole new fan base.
One thing is for certain, it’s going to be good, it’s going to be twisted, dark, and horrible and it’s going to have us hooked at the end of every episode.