‘True Detective’ Season 2: What We Know So Far

'True Detective' Season 2: What We Know So Far

Five things we can say for sure, probably

The next season of “True Detective” will be about “hard women, bad men and the secret occult history of the United States transportation system,” says series creator Nic Pizzolatto.

That intriguing preview came in an interview with HitFix's Alan Sepinwall, one of the very few Pizzolatto has done around the Season 1 finale of the HBO series.

Also read: ‘True Detective’ Complaints: Calm Down, Internet

What else do we know about the show? Not much. It hasn't officially been renewed, no actors have been cast, and Pizzolatto hasn't even presented his idea to HBO.

Why wouldn't Season 2 be a mystery? We didn't even find out until Sunday's finale exactly what kind of show we were watching. A twist on the buddy-cop genre? A philosophical discourse on the meaning (or meaninglessness) of life? A serial killer yarn? It turned out to be a twisting, garish combination of the three, completely different from anything else.

That said, here's what we know so far. Or think we know.

Matthew McConaughey won't be back.

The show was always intended as an anthology with a new story each season. The surprise survival of both Rust Cohle and Marty Hart at the end of Season 1 suggested at least one could return, someday. But McConaughey has said he never planned to stay beyond one season. “It was a 450-page film, is what it was,” McConaughey said of the show's first season during a January Television Critics Association panel.  “It was also finite. It didn't mean we had to come back this year, next year if we were under contract. It was finite. So in that way it was exactly a 450-page film script.”

Also read: ‘True Detective’ Season Finale: Darkness, Yeah-uh

It could take place in Southern California.

Pizzolatto said in an interview with BuzzFeed's Kate Authur that he's “been reading about the last 40 years of Southern California government.” He also signaled that the show is leaving his home state of Louisiana: He said he hopes the new season “presents new characters in a new place with authenticity and resonance and an authorial voice consistent with this season. Dominant colors will change. South Louisiana was green and burnished gold.”

Wherever the show goes, it will be places you don't usually see on TV: “We're generally concerned with the places that don't get much press and where you wouldn't normally set a television show,” Pizzolatto (pictured with McConaughey) said at TCA.

Also read: What ‘True Detective’ Creator Learned From Co-Writing That Despised ‘Killing’ Finale

There will be more than one director this time.

Season 1 owes much of its gorgeous, moody aesthetics to Cary Fukunaga, but logistics will prevent him from shooting every episode in Season 2, as he did in Season 1.

“We don't have any plans to work with one director again,” Pizzolatto told Buzzfeed. “It would be impossible to do this yearly as we need to be able to do post while we're still filming, like any other show. There's some great guys I've consulted, and we're all confident we can achieve the same consistency.”

The format of the show is wide open.

“I tried to make the format as broad for my tastes as possible in the sense that, yes, this is almost the ‘True Detective’ version of a buddy cop movie hunting for a serial killer,” Pizzolatto said at TCA. “And in that way, it even touches on a lot of those tropes while, I hope, subverting and making them entirely new through the character work. And, you know, there could be a season that's much more of a widespread conspiracy thriller, a season that's a small town murder mystery, a season where nobody is murdered and it's a master criminal versus a rogue detective or something. Even the title, ‘True Detective,’ is meant to be, of course, purposefully somewhat generic before you even get to the there are deeper indications. The word ‘true’ can also mean honorable and authentic and things like that. But all the previous incarnations of anything titled ‘True Detective’ was an anthology; right? So as long as there is some crime in there, I think the series format can approach it. I mean, theoretically you could tell Faulkner's ‘Absalom Absalom!’ as a season of ‘True Detective’ because it's told as a mystery story.”

  • PNK

    And if Season 2 doesn't go ahead, there's always the Pizzolatto startup.

  • zp

    What an incredible, epic work of art the first season was. I can't wait to see what's next.

  • Debbie

    My husband and I haven't enjoyed watching a show together since the first season of Soprano!! Only True Detective was totally unpredictable. And Mathew with Woody are awesome together! ! I can't imagine a second season without them. Thanks!!

    • Ado

      Go and watch Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones those are more unpredictable than TD :).

      • ddddave


        • DrChimRichaldsOBGYN

          wow. 15 people liked this childish comment on someone just issuing an opinion…wow.

          • flight


          • Mackavelli96 .

            Yeah STFU DrShit and Ado moron! Breaking bad is boring and completely implausible and game of thrones is also terrible…

          • Doran


          • General Rush Hour

            96 stands for the amount of brain cells you have left after you spent a week inhaling gasoline.

            Breaking Bad is boring, lol. You haven´t seen it.

          • Shaggy

            True Dective is fucking intense. Every second worths.

          • Kevin McLean

            Hahaha Little more effort on the troll next time. Both those shows have dozens of awards and nominations. You must be a Goodwife fan…

          • Asashii

            WOW your credibility was just shot in the forehead with that statement I promise

      • john dillngerr

        those shows suck

      • MelindaSwain

        Yeah, the Yellow King turned out to be Matthew, that'd made the show classic, but you'll notice TV CAN'T be awesome, corporate restraints….no originality EVER. I'll say one thing though, the photography, the music, and Louisiana itself was wonderful and I applaud any movie company that goes out to that state and employs the locals, which after Hellish Katrina, is a blessing since the government didn't help much.

      • Jackie Jormpjomp

        What is it with you Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones fans? You guys are like rabid fundamentalists with the compulsion to constantly shove your stuff down everyone else's throat. It's great you like your shows, and I certainly would not tell you to feel otherwise, but do they always have to be propagated at the expense of something else?

  • thestrangestman

    Although it's sad that we won't see Rust and Marty again, it's cool to think that they might create two new characters equally good. But if they're even halfway as well-crafted as Rust and Marty then we know we're in for a treat.

  • Jorge Liboreiro

    I think it would be great if they add, at least, one woman detective. This season was really good but sometimes it felt a little misogynist since all the roles played by women were a) victim, b) whore or c) unbearable wife

    • Ziv

      Nah , won't happen and if it does it will suck.
      and i respect woman but the classic old school detective had always been a man.

      i think many reasons that they don't do shit like that is also because of the sexual tension that is sometimes just plain retarded to have between partners.

      • Sordid

        This is a typically misogynist opinion which female viewers have to put up with regarding every show out there. Most of what is “classic” has its root in the same misogyny being perpetuated here. It's like saying, I'm not racist but. If detective shows are reserved for men, what TV shows would you recommend be reserved for women? What about cookery? Maybe knitting?

        • tooelecommuter_2011

          Good grief STFU already and go make someone a sandwich, you whiny bitch.

      • Meg

        The UK's “Broadchurch” happened and it didn't suck. It didn't suck so much that Fox is doing an American version (which probably will suck, sadly). Its showing on BBCAmerica was ratings gold, it was very similar to “True Detective” in tone, and its two lead detectives were a man and a woman who had a very similar relationship and character arc to Rust and Marty on “TD.” I am almost sad it did so well on BBCAmerica since Fox will cock it up, probably with the stupid sexual tension you talk about, but the original UK version shows that it can work, and work brilliantly.

    • Gypsy Tears

      She most definitely is not an unbearable wife. She was justified in pretty much every way of the show. The only part I even kinda didn't agree with her is the way she looked at him after he slapped their daughter after she said “F**k you” to the dad. As a husband and father of two girls, in that same situation , I'd have done the same as he did. Other than that she was great.

      I would like to see more strong women in the show, so I'd be very on board with a female detective as long as they don't overwrite her as this macho stereotype that has to be even tougher and more unreasonable than her male counterparts because she's in a man's world. They'd better give her depth.

      • Mackavelli96 .

        Than you are a shit dad! NEVER ever lay your hand on a child, also not your own, resolve it with words or take her by the arm, but never hit her you absloute fool!

        • Gypsy Tears

          If you think I'm going to take parenting advice from someone so clearly maladjusted, you really do need a med check.

          My girls are 4 and 5. They never receive corporal punishment, but if one them sprouts into the beautiful 16 year old I know they will and I catch her in the middle of having a 21 year old's penis in her mouth and a 22 year old's in her vagina – at the same time no less – then comes home and tells me or her mother FUCK YOU!, she's most definitely getting a slap in the face.

          Every once in a while, throughout our lives, we need a good slap. I had a couple and am better for them. Seems you haven't, and well…look at you.

          • 01000101

            What a warped view. using physical violence against your own child will earn you nothing but their resentment, it's a cowardly and weak man's solution.

          • Gypsy Tears

            Thank you, Jonathan arrives in recent times.

            You've completely changed my point of view and in doing so altogether won the internet, Someone throw this now sentient being a party.

          • Asashii

            So is saying F you to a grown a$$ person, get that disrespect slapped right out of your mouth, bet they wont say it again, bet!!!!

          • Junior junior

            if you daughters become whores, then blame yourself. if you choose to hit them for it, then shame on you. I suppose it's your hillbilly culture that has taught you to think this way. shame on you- threatening to hit someone weaker than yourself, your own daughter no less. you pussy.

          • Asashii

            pussy, you mean you liberals who are too fragile to get hit by a dodge ball, you mean pussy like that, yeah because I am sure saying your so disappointed in your daughter acting like a whore is really gonna make her change her whore ways, I guess we should put murderers in time out for a little while until they get better, hey guess what baby a child their whole life and there whole lives they will be babies!!!!

          • Gypsy Tears

            Your ignorance is spectacularly laughable. Hillbilly? Based on what? My belief that OCCASIONALLY, and that's the part you imbeciles seem to be missing, we all need slapped upside our heads.

            It's not my fault your dad beat and fondled you so that you turned into a backdoor whore for men to assault. Don't project your reality onto me or my children.

            By the way, did you think insulting me would bring me around to your point of view? Being rational might have made me see things your way. Instead you're angry and insulting. Wow, some parent you'll turn out to be.

          • Junior junior

            hahaha! sounds like youre the angry person here, did life short change you? go back to the trailer park and blow it out yer arse!
            hillbilly loser.

          • Gypsy Tears

            That's your comeback? Hahahaha

            No anger here. It's the internet. There's no reason to get angry at someone who still lives in their parents basement and masturbates to hockey updates on espn. That, of course, is in between regular molestation setting by your father.

            I'm not angry with you. I feel sorry for you.

            One last thing. I'm the hillbilly, yet I know how to use punctuation and capitalization? Go get an education little fella, then we can talk. Until then, you're not close to my level, especially in life.

  • DZ

    The cast drives a show, it's the engine. A show without a recurring cast has virtually no chance of sustainability.

    • Gypsy Tears

      Law & Order
      American Horror Story
      The Alfred Hitchcock Hour
      The Twilight Zone

      It's called an anthology series

      You can see it in video games as well such as the Final Fantasy as well.

      If you're a little more open minded, you'll see the show can be a success, especially with the few restrictions that come with working on an HBO show. Writing and direction drive the success of TV/movies as much as a cast.

      • TV fan

        Law And Order and American Horror Story both have a recurring cast, the former has members appearing in hundreds of episodes. To say nothing of the fact True Detective revolved around 2 lead characters for the whole dragon, neither of whom are returning. There is no precedent, nor a prior show where this equals a formula for success. That's not to say it can't last, but decades of television reveal the odds are not on it's side.

        • Gypsy Tears

          First, AHS has changed major cast members since the first season and has been going strong. Law and Order didn't change cast members yearly but had sustained many cast changes through the years with little to no effect on ratings. It was the bad writers that came in that doomed that show.

          Second, I'd like to know the history you are referring to as there are not decades of anthology series to determine their failure rates. Out of the few that there have been, a large number have been critically acclaimed, award winning or both. The Alfred Hitchcock Show/Hour, Twilight Zone and AHS all fall in this category so I'd say TD has a pretty good chance considering, not only that but the whole situation the program finds itself in, in particular, being on HBO.

          • Mackavelli96 .

            Are you really that stupid? First you state that there was no recurring cast in the series you mention and now you say ‘ah no they didn't change them all’ That's the fucking point, there are at least 1 or more characters recurring!!!!! And with TD there are 0!!!!!!!!

          • Gypsy Tears

            I see by the bevy of exclamation points you're really excited about this, noting that you most definitely need to get a life. That actually wasn't the point. He said the cast, as in the whole cast or least all the major players. I've shown that keeping major cast members are not necessary to have a successful anthology series.

            Now, I think it's time you sit down, pop the top off those anti-psychotic drugs you've been prescribed and take the recommended dose. Remember to drink at least 8 oz of water and have a great day.

          • get out of freaking town

            They will RECAST NEW BIG NAME ACTORS. IT IS HBO. in other words, they have more money to spend than FX, AMC, and whatever other cable channels you watch COMBINED.

      • TV Fan

        Law And Order and American Horror Story both have a recurring cast, the former has members that appeared in hundreds of episodes. The whole seasoon of True Detective revolved around two characters, neither of whom are returning. That's not to say it won't last, but decades of television reveal the odds are not on it's side.

        • get out of freakin town

          HBO has it's own rules. HBO shows don't fail. They end.

          • Prunchier Cream

            some do fail, just ask the people who work on the show The Newsroom it was just cancelled.

        • ddddave

          Yep, decades of awful television

      • Mackavelli96 .

        That maybe so, but nonetheless DZ got a good point… Without MM and WH I am no longer interested, not as much anyway… And thats what he means!

        • Gypsy Tears

          Well, that means you were paying more attention to the actors than the story, the sign of a simpleton if I ever saw one. You should go back to watching CSI and leave the intelligent mysteries to the those of us that can understand them.

      • General Rush Hour

        Very good point Gypsy. I´m bummed they are not doing another season and going after the real occult ritual killers, it´s obvious they barely even scraped the surface of what was really there.

    • Jeb

      This is true only for the brainless American audience that most TV shows are made for.

  • wearethevillagers .

    I cant help but feel the ending could have been better, not that I have any credentials when it comes to script writing, Not that anyone will give two f##ks but this Is how I would of ended that badboy, not “oh green paint” none of that w##k but hey I have broken into his safe and got a film of him being killed, and russ being the kind of existential pessimist that he is, tortures the old priest geezer to find out who the other killer is and kill em both, then have a dramatic but masculine scream as if to say “got that out my system then turn the old gun on himself. I might have old woody stop him from killing himself by kinda given him a sort of hug that then turned into a kiss, but maybe not……Anyone got a better idea? much love

    • Mackavelli96 .

      Congrats! You are officially the biggest moron that wrote something under this article…

    • Kitty Raines


  • Jon

    Hint for possible season 2 story: Google the name Jack Parsons (engineer).

  • ZyG00SE

    Season 2 has to resolve all the killings of children by a malicious club of rich & powerful perverts behind the Yellow King genre

    • Asashii

      Sorry it will never happen and you wont get to see, I know sucks doesn't it!!!

  • ZyG00SE

    Season 2 has to resolve all the killings of children by a malicious club of rich & powerful perverts behind the Yellow King genre

  • brown bomber

    If as reported the 2nd season is to be about trafficking and conspiracies. How about setting it in modern day Detroit with its dilapidated setting and whilst flashing back to “heyday” Detroit which could provide a hot bed of murder cases with social politics of the time and now! I would say cast female detectives. And shake it up! p.s Angela Bassett and Halle Berry would make it sought after watching.

  • General Rush Hour

    This series was amazing. Apart from Breaking Bad it is the best series i have ever seen.

    My only issue was that the story is not finished. They caught a small time retard when the bigger picture (in that universe) goes so much deeper.

    I was kinda hoping season 2 would go after the big fish and all the crazyness that would follow.

  • Asashii

    It was a slow burn wonder fest, McConaughey has come along way since Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3 !!!!!!

  • Defensive_Full_Back

    I didn't liked the end.

  • Houstonshield

    Without rust and Marty, the show will suck donkey balls. Their characters were the show. Without them, it's just another drama

    • Louise

      I don't think you understand that there will be new main characters, and that the show will be about them. You're arguing that True Detective would have sucked if Rust and Marty weren't in it, and it would have–but the next season is going to be in a different area with different people and a different story. Rust and Marty aren't the only good characters to ever appear in fiction. I'm sure the next season would be great now that Marty and Rust have resolved their differences and found some happiness in their lives–oh wait, the conflict between them was what made the first season so enticing. New conflict with new characters does not = bad.

  • Jane

    I can't wait for Season 2!!! Season 1 had me on the edge of my seat constantly, even between episodes!

  • Kitty Raines

    I really liked this show and I am sad to see Rust and Marty go. I was really enjoying their characters. I think McConaughey did a stellar job in his role. I was actually very impressed by it. Although, I am still going to check out season two. All I can do is hope it's just as good.

  • Darrad143

    I heard john cusack

  • Jackie Jormpjomp

    Pizzolatto often comes off as pretty pretentious and shockingly in love with himself (especially the behind scenes wrap ups for each episode) but there is no denying the impressive impact of his creation. The director is owed as much of the glory here as he created a style that will doubtlessly be imitated by aspiring filmmakers. Where it heads next sounds like will be in completely new directions but I would love to see a cameo by or at least a reference to the original stars. I know I'll be watching, but if it ends up not filling the promise of the first season, at least we have that fantastic first season and it's big shoes to watch again.

  • Tad

    “Wherever the show goes, it will be places you don't usually see on TV”, yeah because no tv shows are ever based in Southern California