We are Being Manipulated by True Detective’s Casting


In the past, HBO has said that they did not set out to bring A-list film actors to True Detective, it was the material that did that. Now that we’re heading into season two, that claim becomes more and more difficult to believe. The main cast of True Detective’s second season, including Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams, Colin Farrell and Taylor Kitsch are all major talent.

The casting of Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey in the first season was a surprising decision that paid off. With that said, True Detective does not need A-list talent to be great. But so far it is a gimmick that keeps working.

And it is a gimmick.

True Detective’s A-list cast is one of its major features and the one that’s most likely to draw viewers. You can’t get mad at the system, however, when it continues to deliver results.

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Yes, we are being partially manipulated by casting. Even Vince Vaughn detractors may tune into season two just to see how he fares, and that’s a win for both HBO and True Detective regardless of the viewer’s intent.

The fact that we are all taken off guard by season two’s casting of Vaughn is proof enough that we’re putty in HBO’s hands. And as long as they continue to cast the unobvious choices, we’ll continue to be taken off guard.

What True Detective does need A-listers for is to bring in viewers in droves. You’d love to see how Vince Vaughn and Rachel McAdams handle True Detective, right? Two actors that aren’t necessarily known for their dramatic chops, not that they’re not there.

True Detective is one of the strongest series that HBO offers, and most critics are placing it on their year-end lists. The material is strong enough to support this sort of gimmickry, and that makes it difficult to be cynical about it.

So, yes, we are all being manipulated by the True Detective casting choices. But as of right now it hardly matters.

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