True Detective's highly anticipated (and long-delayed) season 3 gets a teaser trailer, featuring Luke Cage's Mahershala Ali as a world-weary cop. HBO has played host to lots of critically acclaimed and popular original series over the years, but one of their biggest hits in recent memory came with the 2014 launch of True Detective. Created by Nic Pizzolatto, True Detective season 1 told the story of lawmen Rustin "Rust" Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) and Martin "Marty" Hart (Woody Harrelson), and their long-term pursuit of a brutal serial killer.
Season 1 was a massive success, receiving five Emmy nominations, with Cary Fukunaga winning for Outstanding Directing. McConaughey, Harrelson, Pizzolato, and the series as a whole were also nominated. Sadly, 2015's season 2 was an absolute mess creatively in the opinion of most, and featured poor lead performances from the quartet of Vince Vaughn, Colin Farrell, Rachel McAdams, and Taylor Kitsch. The response to the season was so bad that former HBO boss Michael Lombardo took the blame for rushing its production in early 2016.
One thing that can't be said about True Detective season 3 is that it was rushed. It's already been over three years since season 2 finished airing, and by the time season 3 premieres, season 2 will be even more of a distant memory. Of course, that might be for the best. HBO has released the first teaser trailer for season 3, which confirms a January 2019 premiere window, although stops short of revealing a specific date.
In lieu of convincing McConaughey and/or Harrelson to come back, Ali is truly an inspired choice to lead HBO's attempt at rehabilitating True Detective. While a regular in TV and movies since the early 2000s, the last few years have seen Ali's profile skyrocket, beginning with his popular turn as scheming lobbyist Remy Danton on Netflix's House of Cards. He more recently won an Oscar for his work in the Best Picture-winning drama Moonlight, and delighted fans as charismatic villain Cornell "Cottonmouth" Stokes on season 1 of Luke Cage.
One thing fans are likely to quickly notice about season 3's teaser trailer is just how much it evokes the style and tone of season 1. Considering the aforementioned response to season 2 though, this was surely a conscious attempt to try and remind viewers of the show they used to love and respect. Additionally, season 3 looks to be returning to some of season 1's creative dynamics. While season 2 centered on four cops, season 3 is back to a main duo, Ali's Detective Wayne Hays and his partner Roland West (Stephen Dorff). Also, season 3 cuts between different time periods in Hays' life and ongoing attempt to solve the mysterious case that has him troubled, similarly to how fans saw Cohle and Hart at various points in time. Conversely, season 2 took place in a mostly chronological fashion. Only time will tell if the magic of season 1 can truly be recaptured.