Should Nic Pizzolatto Change True Detective?


A few days ago, Nic Pizzolatto signed a deal with HBO that will keep him with the network through 2018. The exact details have not been shared, but thanks to some mysterious sources speaking with Variety, we know that HBO may not be happy with how True Detective season two was handled. None of that has been confirmed, and it likely never will be, but if it is true it means that critical reception of season two was bad enough to warrant a change of direction.

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You don’t even need to search far and wide to see what HBO may be concerned about. One of True Detective’s own producers said that season two wasn’t up to snuff. Does season two bombing — even though it had incredible ratings — warrant a change in production?

Nic Pizzolatto was able to create the first season of True Detective on his own. The major difference between the two seasons, from a direction standpoint, is that season one had Cary Fukunaga and season two didn’t. That can be phrased another, less inflammatory way: season one had a single director while season two used multiple directors.

The options that HBO supposedly presented to Pizzolatto have nothing to do with going back to a single director. Nic Pizzolatto can either stay the course, hire writers, or hire a new showrunner while he remains the sole writer. Just because True Detective season two didn’t hit the highs of season one doesn’t necessarily mean that something has to give.

If this were another series, that might actually be true.

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True Detective has suffered greatly due to season two. Public perception is at an all-time low, and many now consider the series to be a joke. This is an image problem that needs fixing. HBO can’t afford to leave Nic Pizzolatto alone and hope that season three happens to be better — they need it to better, and they are offering Pizzolatto the tools to make that happen.

There is so much that could be done with True Detective, and it isn’t well served by having Pizzolatto helm the ship alone. Switching things up would show that Pizzolatto is willing to find ways to improve True Detective outside of the vacuum that he has created. True Detective season three could turn out poorly either way, but all it really has to achieve is to be better than season two.

Next: True Detective won't be winning an award for cinematography.

Production hasn’t even begun yet, but handing of True Detective season three is already turning into a bit of a circus.