HBO's crime drama True Detective had one of the most promising freshman seasons of any TV show in recent memory. With a strong story, a compellingly bleak tone, and top-notch performances from stars Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey, the show won over audiences and garnered all sorts of critical acclaim. Then season 2 happened.
To say that season 2 was not as well-received as season 1 would be an exercise in understatement. Screen Rant's Kevin Yeoman described the final episode as having "unnecessary backstory wedged uncomfortably between extended moments of vivid action and unintentionally hilarious dialogue," and that description could easily be applied to the entire season as a whole. Fans and critics weren't the only ones who had issues with the show, either, as even an executive at HBO has now acknowledged its failings.
In an interview with The Frame, HBO's president of programming Michael Lombardo put much of the responsibility for season 2's failings on himself, saying that he "became too much of a network executive" and pushed series creator Nic Pizzolatto to get it done before it was ready. Lombardo acknowledged that this was an unenviable task:
"Well, you know what? I set him up. To deliver, in a very short time frame, something that became very challenging to deliver. That’s not what that show is. He had to reinvent the wheel, so to speak. Find his muse. And so I think that’s what I learned from it. Don’t do that anymore."
Much of the challenge came from the fact that Pizzolatto does all of the show writing himself rather than handing off duties for some episodes to other writers, or at least breaking the story down in a writers' room, as most TV dramas typically do. With eight hour-long episodes in the season, that's roughly the equivalent of writing four feature-length movie scripts. Given that season 2 debuted only a little over a year past the wrap-up of season 1, that is a lot of writing for just one person.
Despite all this, HBO clearly still believes in Pizzolatto, having recently signed him to a new contract through 2018. Whether or not that means we will see a True Detective season 3 sometime soon is unknown, even for Lombardo:
"I’d love to have the enviable certainty of knowing what my next year looks like. I could pencil things in. But I’m not going to start betting on them until the scripts are done."
In other words, this time around Pizzolatto will be done when he's done, and HBO is going to step out of the way to make sure he isn't rushed into creating another season of sub-par television. That's good news and bad news for True Detective fans, since it offers hope that a third season would be better crafted than the last, but also leaves them hanging on for new of if and when that third season might happen.
Screen Rant will keep you updated on True Detective Season 3 when more information is available.
Source: The Frame