Few television series in recent years have had such an epic rise and fall as HBO’s True Detective. The show’s first season masterfully spliced Southern Gothic with the cosmic horror of Robert Chambers’ obscure King in Yellow mythos. But it’s true strength was the unflinching performances of Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey as mismatched, volatile detectives haunted by years of failure and the killer that eluded them both. A labor of love and the result of literally years of writing by creator Nic Pizzolatto, the show became a breakout hit – one that demanded a follow-up that Pizzolatto was forced to deliver in a fraction of the time as the carefully-sculpted original.
The resulting second season was a failure with fans and critics alike and the once-promising show seemed doomed to disappear. But there have been some interesting developments with the gritty show everyone once loved. HBO has admitted the error of their ways regarding the rushed production and Pizzolatto is hard at work on new True Detective scripts. Deadwood creator David Milch is being spoken of in connection with the new season as well. Possibly best of all, McConaughey has stated a desire to reprise his role as grim protagonist Rust Cohle.
Here is the thing, though: despite all these developments, HBO has not officially green-lit a new season, appointed a showrunner, nor made formal acknowledgement of taking McConaughey up on his offer to return. The information available is promising, but like the occult realm of Carcosa and its unseen Yellow King, leads to no real conclusions. But for a show that started out so strong, having its original creator and leading man refreshed and ready to return could lead to an equally strong comeback… If the stars are right.