Cary Fukunaga is Essential to True Detective


What director Cary Fukunaga was able to do with the first season of True Detective cannot be praised enough. Because of him and cinematographer Adam Arkapaw, the setting of True Detective came to life as its own character. We’ve known that he was stepping back for some time, but as we get closer to season two it’s become worth analyzing his new role on the show.

Executive Producer puts him in charge of more of the overall tone and look, but is hands-off enough that the new directors will have plenty of room to breathe. Fukunaga’s presence on True Detective is essential to create a unified feel. This would be less important if the first season was less striking, but that’s not the case. And it will never be the case.

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True Detective owes a lot of its success to Fukunaga, As long as he stays involved with the production to some degree going forward we can rest assured that the overall look and tone of True Detective will remain uniform. As one of the only links between seasons due to the show’s anthology nature, it’s important that this does not change.

True Detective is such a delicate product at the moment, and it will likely remain so for the rest of its run. It would take, at the very least, Nic Pizzolatto hiring a writing staff for that to change. There is lightning in the bottle here, and you can only mess around with it so much. An anthology series can take the loss of actors and settings between seasons, but it needs something to tie it all together.

Right now we have two names that do that: Nic Pizzolatto and Cary Fukunaga.

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