Now that we’ve had the weekend to consume all of Daredevil and watch one to four episodes of Game of Thrones, let’s discuss the True Detective season 2 trailer that dropped last Thursday. As a fairly new convert to the True Detective universe, I have some general thoughts about what I expect to see this upcoming season.
True Detective is known for its dark nature. Whether or not this season intensifies or stays similarly haunting, the storyline of this season and its change of location make it sound like something straight out of a Raymond Chandler novel. According to the synopsis on the HBO website, in this season “a bizarre murder brings together three law-enforcement officers and a career criminal, each of whom must navigate a web of conspiracy and betrayal in the scorched landscapes of California.” Colin Farrell’s character Ray Velcoro is described as being a “compromised detective,” and that shot 12 seconds in when he lights his cigarette just screams noir. If the trailer tells us anything it’s that this season will be just as well-shot as the first, using immaculate lighting to set an eerie tone through out and place us in a gritty noir-style, Californian landscape.
2. Stunning cinematography.
Editing issues aside, the trailer looks great. As I briefly mentioned in the above paragraph, this show has always done a fantastic job with its cinematography. The first season was shot by Adam Arkapaw and though I haven’t been able to find confirmation on who this season’s cinematographer will be, the shots they have chosen to show us thus far look like they hold up to what is to be expected of the show.
3. Strong female characters.
There have been some complaints about the way female characters are treated in this show. According to the show’s creator Nic Pizzolatto, season 1 was told from the male leads’ perspectives (Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson). The female characters on the other hand served as victims, prostitutes, and wifes, daughters, and lovers to the male leads. However, season 2 introduces Rachel McAdams as detective Ani Bezzerides. Not much has been said about her character, but to me it seems that McAdams will serve as the sort of moral fulcrum to the group, as the HBO release describes her as being, “often at odds with the system she serves.”
4. A greater variety in storytelling.
As previously mentioned, Pizzolatto explained that the first season was told through the perspective of Detectives Rust Cohle and Marty Hart. Behind-the-scenes, each episode was written by Pizzolatto (which remains true for season 2) and was directed by Cary Fukunaga. However, it has been made known that season 2 will be directed by at least 4 different directors. Justin Lin has been confirmed by HBO to be directing the first two episodes and IMDb has Daniel Attias, Janus Metz Pedersen, and Miguel Sapochnik as directing one episode each. What does this mean as far as consistency between episodes? Nothing really. Most shows are directed by a handful of reoccurring crew. However, True Detective does have a very mini-series like feel to it. I’m sure Pizzolatto will have enough of a say in each episode to keep a consistent thread through out. However, we will see if each director will choose to focus on different aspects of the show different ways.
5. Mild disappointment.
Not to be a total downer here, but as an audience, we are bound to be at least mildly disappointed by season 2 of True Detective. We knew next to nothing about Season 1 of True Detective going into it, which is part of what made it so great. On the contrary, there is an enormous amount of hype for Season 2. Due to its early success we’ve set unrealistic goals for this upcoming season. Thus, even if Season 2 is as good as Season 1, we’ll just think it’s average. If Season 2 isn’t as good as Season 1, we’ll say that it’s bad. Only if Season 2 goes above and beyond Season 1 will we give it even close to the same amount of praise the first season received.
But what about you guys? What do you expect to see in the upcoming season of True Detective? Let me know in the comments. True Detective returns to HBO on June 21st, leaving you plenty of time to binge-watch the first season.