True Detective was, without a doubt, television's dark horse winner for the fist half of 2014 - in just about every sense of the word. HBO's high-art, neo-Noir spin on the police detective sub-genre became a bonafide cultural fixation for the entirety of its eight-episode run (a rarity in the days of delayed Netflix discovery), and served as a pretty strong showcase for lead actors Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson.
That latter point has made the announcement of True Detective season 2 a bittersweet prospect, as we've learned that there will be major changes to the season 2 format. The show will embrace a true anthology structure, meaning season 2 will be a different story, following different characters; season 1 director Cary Fukunaga will not be returning as sole architect of season 2 (it will have multiple directors), and a new setting will be established. In fact, about the only thing that will remain constant is the presence of showrunner Nic Pizzolatto.
While the loss of something proven and familiar is always slightly jarring for fans of a TV show, the opportunity for something new and just as great (if not improved) offers a certain amount of intrigue, as well. The Web has been buzzing with such possibilities for new True Detective leads - and even when false, rumors of actors like Jessica Chastain possibly coming onboard excite the imagination.
For his part, Pizzolatto has previously stated that a synopsis for season 2 would be, "hard women, bad men and the secret occult history of the United States transportation system." Now he is stepping out to get ahead of the rumor mill, recently providing some concrete (if not vague) details about how True Detective season 2 is shaping up:
“Right now, we’re working with three leads... The characters are all new, but I’m deeply in love with each of them. We’ve got the entire series broken out with a couple of scripts, and we’ll probably start casting in earnest in the coming months.”
As for the new setting, it will move things from the southern coast to the western coast of the United States:
“...It takes place in California — not Los Angeles, but some of the much lesser known venues of California — and we’re going to try to capture a certain psychosphere ambiance of the place, much like we did in season one."
Taking all of this info into account, it seems very likely that the female detective theory is a sound one - but it could possibly be complicated (in more ways than one) with the presence of a third party - be they male or female, cop, crook or civilian. Casting should soon reveal just how interesting this little Ménage á trois truly is...
As for the location? Not being someone overly familiar with either the "psychosphere ambiance" of lesser-known California locales, or the occult conspiracy theories of the US transportation system, I have little idea what Pizzolatto has in mind. I'm more concerned about certain staples of the show - like Rus Cohle's Nietzschian philosophical rants - being forcibly recycled to (mis-)fit new characters. In other words: I'm more worried about the tone and atmosphere of season 1 being lost in translation to season 2, more so than I'm worried about what the actual investigation is about, or which actors are playing the cops. But that's just me.
As stated, casting should soon reveal a great deal about the character dynamics in season 2 - and whether or not people will be satisfied (or not) with the actors brought in to replace McConaughey and Harrelson.
We’ll keep you updated on True Detective season 2 development as more details become available.