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Are We Bound to Be Disappointed by ‘True Detective’ Season 2?

Are We Bound to Be Disappointed by 'True Detective' Season 2?

Before the first season of HBO’s acclaimed crime saga “True Detective” even wrapped, fans were abuzz with questions about what would happen in Season 2. Everyone was well aware that the adventures of Marty and Rust would be a one-off run, wrapping up the duo’s many stories and plots in a tight eight episodes, so speculation on what the second season would look like began early. Who would star? What would happen? Where would it be set? When would it be set? These big questions have dominated the internet for the last five months (really—it’s been five months), but, as we’re about to reach the critical mass of rumors, when HBO has no choice but to announce its plans for Season 2, it’s worth asking whether or not we even want to know the answers.

READ MORE: Emmys: 2014’s Tightest Races Find ‘True Detective’ Squaring Off Against ‘Breaking Bad’ 

The rumor mill itself is a double-edged sword for both fans and the fine folks behind the series. Excitement builds for viewers whenever they hear that big names are attached or they get an early glimpse of the “secret script” or they grab a tidbit from an interview on a podcast about where Season 2 will be set. This attention helps the network build its fanbase and draw more interest to a show already exploding. But then the confirmations and denials start pouring in: “He’s not actually going to be in it.” “She’s unavailable.” “Auditions haven’t even begun.” “The script hasn’t been written yet.” Excitement dissipates only to be rebuilt when a new rumor starts. It’s a vicious cycle, but one we’re all accustomed to at this point.

Remember when this whole mess began and we were talking about Brad Pitt being the next “True Detective”? Jessica Chastain was an equally prestigious name, but that was when we all thought the series was going to feature two female detectives or at least one female lead. Now, we’re all clinging onto hope the Christian Bale rumors prove true because no one—no one—is going to be excited about a Colin Farrell-led second season of the best freshman series on HBO since “The Sopranos.”

In Deadline’s report on Farrell’s casting discussions, author Mike Fleming Jr. states Farrell is “the ideal movie star” for “True Detective.” How he came to that reasoning is beyond, well, reason. Consider Farrell’s failed attempts time and again to become a bonafide movie star. He’s a good actor, but he’s never proven capable of drawing the crowds, say, Matthew McConaughey can. His best roles have been in smaller productions emphasizing his talent, not his charisma or magnetic appeal, qualities which perfectly describe both Woody Harrelson and McConaughey. If Farrell is the biggest star of Season 2, it has to be seen as a significant step down from the first season’s Oscar-nominated and Oscar-winning leads, even if he can somehow turn in an equally-impressive performance.

It’s likely most fans will see it as a downgrade, too, whether they kept up with the rumor mill or not. But for those of us who did—who basically had to, thanks to its constant social media presence—doesn’t it sting all the more? We could have had Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, or another true A-list member of the Hollywood elite, and we get the guy who has more big budget bombs than hits (“Total Recall,” “Alexander,” “Miami Vice”). It’s not that Farrell lacks talent. He can absolutely command the screen when given the proper material (“In Bruges”). It’s that he’s not a movie star  of the same caliber as McConaughey and Harrelson. Nearly everything we’ve been excited to see him in has turned sour on us, and there’s enough reason to expect less from “True Detective” Season 2 already.

Along with the casting conundrum, we’ve also been exposed to plot details including a “Chinatown”-esque story involving high speed rail in California, three lead detectives with drug and family problems, and government conspiracy drama of the state level (sounds familiar). Are we reaching the point of knowing too much about a show that’s all about its own mysteries in the first place? 

Some fans became so hung up on the mystery of The Yellow King, studying episodes frame by frame for clues as to the mysterious murderer’s identity, they ended up disappointed by the season finale. They wanted more reveals, surprises, and shocking twists, when “True Detective” was always about just that: The two detectives at its core. Now, before Season 2 even starts shooting, we seem to be setting ourselves up for a let down all over again. 

Man really is the cruelest animal — even to itself. 

READ MORE: Colin Farrell Confirms He’s in ‘True Detective’ Season 2

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Beryl Wolfe

How wrong so many were – True Detective Season 2 is so good – if you haven’t watched it because the pansy critics didn’t like these great actors, your loss. The plot is more complicated than Season 1, the acting superb, and with all the great actors and acting, Vince Vaughn is actually my favorite – so friggin’ good.


Never saw M. M. performing as well as he did ( and having the depth ) before True Detective. That is what made it so much better. The producers, etc., know what they are doing – they have interviewed and worked with these actors/actresses – not us. We have no idea what is inside them.


I think Season 2 will be a bust due to the fact that anyone thinks Vince V. can act, good luck.


You guys are all wrong. And ill prove it with further evidence once Season 2 is on TV. Until, you cant combine opinion woth fact, it can make you sound stupid, and very much like a hypocrite in the long run. Good day.

Sanker from India

Calling "True Detective" the best freshman series since "The Sopranos" is a really dumb thing to say. Please go and watch "Deadwood" and "The Wire".

Just Some Guy

"the guy who has more big budget bombs than hits ("Total Recall," "Alexander," "Miami Vice")"

Curious choices… those three films did more than $500 million in worldwide box office.


I'm excited for Farrell if it turns out to be true. So there's that.

Plus McConaughey before his career resurgence starting around 2011 with "The Lincoln Lawyer" had done a lot of movies far worse than anything Farrell has done. I mean the guy's body of work is pretty much shit for 15 solid years.


The reason they said Farrell is the ideal movie star is because he is a very talented actor who many believe is talented. Matthew McCaunahey was in much the same boat before his rebooting if you will of his career. True detective is about talent not big name recognition and Farrell and Kitsch provide that. Also don't be fooled box office numbers do not reflect quality caugh caugh transformers 4. Would Farrell be my first choice? Not necessarily. But I am satisfied all the same. Kitsch is brilliant though.


"His best roles have been in smaller productions emphasizing his talent…"

Well gee, because in Hollywood movie terms, True Detective would BE a smaller production. God, this article is garbage. It's not that I love Farrell, but he can be great in the right stuff and the whole article the author keeps talking about who can bring in the crowds. What has happened to Indiewire? Jesus.

Suvo Pyne

The author seems to be too deluded with 'Star' value than the actual quality of the show.


You seem to have a hate-on for Colin Ferrell, but I'm not sure it's warranted. I'd hardly blame him for Alexander, Oliver Stone is the one who screwed that pooch. In a good role Ferrell shines (In Bruges, anyone?), and I trust that season 2 won't disappoint in that way.

Granted the guy he isn't where McConaughey is right now, but at this point in his career it's going to be difficult to find someone who is. The man is at the top of his game. Bale could have matched that star power and likely put in a performance worth returning for, but he's too determined to avoid roles that don't involve him gaining lots of weight and pretending to be bald (you know, like a REAL actor). If Ferrell has the good sense to see what an opportunity this is I have no doubt that he will be a great choice for the show.


This article is utterly ridiculous. Up until the year of True Detective, McConaughey was doing movies like "Tropic Thunder" and "Surfer, Dude". We like McConaughey, but "True Detective" was one of the things that proved him as a viable actor. This show isn't about the actors at all, and McConaughey sure as hell didn't carry the show like you're suggesting. I think Farrell is as good a choice as any.


I'd say rewatch In Bruges or the other McDonagh film Seven Psychopaths and then tell me whether or not Farrell can act.

Ignacio Balbuena

Collin Farrell is awesome. Miami Vice is one of the best movies of the 2000s. He's certainly better than Christian Bale, who defines acting rage by gaining or losing weight.

Leo D.

Casting idea: Swarzeggener-stallone
PD this article is dumb

Dave F

I think you are being a little hard on Colin Farrell. Sure, he may not be the greatest actor compared to some, but I actually think he has the potential. I have seen some great movies with Farrell in it (The New World, In Bruges), each of which show a wider acting range than you would expect from him.

Think about this: 5 years ago, would you have thought that Matthew McConaughey was capable of headlining a show like this? I think it's a hasty judgment to assume that Farrell has no chance, and not only that, to go so far as to predict the show will be a failure mainly because one actor might be cast.


Let us not forget that Matthew had a past of rom-com movies; I see nothing wrong with casting Farrell.


so it was the movie star factor of the first season of true detective that made you think it was the best hbo show since sopranos? really? so if the show is good this upcoming season, you think it'd be valid to argue detracting a few points over not having a big enough star? really? get out of here.


Getting Bale or Pitt would be like signing LeBron. Farrell is more of a downgrade to a flip phone instead of the next big thing. You can book it.

E. Night

Deadwood's first season was better than True Detective's, so yea, I don't really agree that it's the best freshman season since The Sopranos.

As for Colin Farrell, are people really disappointed with HBO trying to cast him? Sure, HBO wants another movie star, which Farrell isn't exactly, but should we the audience care if they get a movie star? We should care if they get good actors or not, whether they're movie stars or tv regulars doesn't matter. Hell, they could cast Timothy Olyphant in the lead and I'd watch it because he's a good actor. Farrell is a good actor, who sure, can sometimes turn in a dull performance. But I've seen more good performances from him lately than boring ones.

Defnitely Not The Sopranos

Comparing True Detective to The Sopranos is a stretch. The excitement surrounding True Detective has more to do with Matthew than anything else. Last year was his year but the show itself fizzled towards the end. Overall without Matthew there's really nothing memorable about the show. The Sopranos was more a watershed in HBO television not too unlike The Wire. True Detective will be forgotten in due course. Woody was fine, but make no mistake, it was Matthew who is and was the talk of the town.

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