Geekery: ‘True Detective’ Returning in 2019 – A Mystery in the Ozarks

The twisted detective series is returning – can this new season recapture what made the first one a must see?

The first season was brilliant. The second season was a hot mess – a hot mess HBO seems to have learned from when it comes to season three. This project isn’t being rushed to completion, it’s being given time to get things right.

The series is headed back east to tell a macabre tale of murder the Ozarks. The investigation spans decades, and the series will look at several different time periods over the course of the season. This brief description doesn’t reveal much, but it does sound closer to what drew audiences into the show the first time.

Nic Pizzolatto has written all but one of the episodes solo, and he’s taking to the director’s chair in tandem with Jeremy Saulnier for this season. Some of the names on producer’s list are nice to see: Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, and Cary Joji Fukunaga (who directed the first season) are included with a number of solid industry names.

The cast list so far…

Mahershala Ali – Wayne Hays, a state police detective from Northwest Arkansas

Stephen Dorff – Roland West, an Arkansas State Investigator whose career has been influenced by a unsolved crime over three decades

Carmen Ejogo – Amelia Reardon, a schoolteacher with a connection to two children that went missing in 1980

Scoot McNairy – Tom, a father who suffers a terrible loss that ties him to two state police detectives for more than 10 years


Everything points to the show bringing back the elements that made the first season so amazing. I’m going to reserve judgement till I can watch it, but I will say that I’m intrigued.

Will you be giving the series another chance?

  • EnTyme

    The first season was so good! The second was . . . less so. I didn’t hate it, but it was just so bleak, and it didn’t allude to supernatural elements like the first season did. Season one really felt like watching an investigation in the Arkham-verse.

    • Pizzolatto developed the first season over 3 years. They had more time to plan out the production, and get schedules lined up so that Fukunaga and Adam Arkapaw could work on every episode.

      Season 2 went from green light in January 2014 to on air in June 2015, and went with the standard multiple directors model that TV shows in the US have. It shows. It’s not a horrible show, but it def doesn’t live up to it’s predecessor I think part of that was time invested.

      • Rob brown

        Plus MConnaghy and Harrelson were a match made in heaven! Perfect pairing. Those were very big shoes to fill.

        I remember watching the entire first season in one day. Amazing experience.

        • Jeff Daniels

          Yeah, they did have a fantastic chemistry.

    • dave long island

      No I hated the 2nd season. IMHO the 1st season was very good. Not great. But very good.

  • Jeff Daniels

    They really dropped the ball with Season 1 by not following through with the mythos (Robert W. Chambers and Thomas Ligotti) references.

    Obviously, having Great Cthulhu show up in the finale would have been silly, but if some subtle-but-evil supernatural events had occurred in the last few episodes, the series would have been exceptional.

    My guess is that that was the original intent, but the producers ran out of time/money.

    There were hints that the cult was going to play more of a role—the grandparents of Harrelson’s kids were set up as being involved, and the younger daughter drew creepy drawings of children being led somewhere, but then this thread was abandoned.

    It was so disappointing to have heard The King in Yellow named-dropped so often (especially that scene when the one perp is getting interrogated) only to have the “cult” turn out to be the stereotypical crazy hillbilly couple in the woods.

    Personally (this is probably blasphemy to some), I would have liked to have seen more horror and less action. That one long tracking shot in the raid on the drug house was masterfully done, but it really didn’t fit in with the tone of the series.

    Making McConaughey’s character a genius, and mysterious, and world-weary, and a bad-ass combat expert was a little too over the top.

  • weskitts

    Yeah, they did have a fantastic chemistry.

    • euansmith

      I wonder how the bot picks which comment to echo?

      • Jeff Daniels

        I wonder how the bot picks which comment to echo?

        (Ha ha, just kidding.)

  • euansmith

    Stephen Dorf! I don’t think I’ve seen him in anything since Blade.