Nic Pizzolatto Has to Let His Characters Grow in True Detective Season Three


True Detective season two has received a large amount of criticism. This isn’t an opinion, it’s simply a fact. Some of it has been fair and level-headed, while some of it has been just because it’s easy. We’ve looked into the possibility before that Nic Pizzolatto is True Detective’s actual worst enemy. He’s the only writer on the show, and that hasn’t always worked out in the series’ best interest. But True Detective season three doesn’t have to suffer the same fate.

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We’ve learned through interviews that Pizzolatto writes a mountain of backstory for his characters. Most of that work is done to inform the character in their current situation and isn’t shown on-screen. Some of the actors also aren’t privy to all of their own character’s motivations or background. True Detective season three needs to function differently.

Although there is character growth in season two, some of it feels forced and awkward. We never really learn what happened to Paul in Afghanistan, but it involved money and a tryst with another man. That’s about all we really get, and because we’re going on practically nothing his death doesn’t feel genuine. This is because we don’t see enough; we aren’t made to feel enough.

We know Osip is bad news because that is how Frank perceives him.

The same can be said for a few characters, including Osip. We know Osip is bad news because that is how Frank perceives him. We are told that he is serious business, but we see very little of that. Therefore he comes off as a well-acted, but ultimately unconvincing, villain. Nic Pizzolatto has not yet found the correct balance for his writing, but it’s something that True Detective season three is really going to need to set itself apart from the first two.

If True Detective is going to continue to be more about the detectives themselves than the case they are trying to solve, we need to feel like the personal investment is worth the time. Perhaps the reason that season two doesn’t pull it off is because it’s juggling too many characters. True Detective season three should be a fresh start, hopefully in a wildly new locale

But, please, allow the characters more growth. Even if that means letting us see their oddly guarded backstories.

Next: Rachel McAdams is officially joining Marvel.

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