HBO Executive, and President of Programming, Micheal Lombardo took blame for True Detective Season 2’s cold reception by viewers and critics in an interview with The Frame. Lombardo suggested that he didn’t give writer Nic Pizzolato enough time to completely create Season 2 of the hit show:
“when we tell somebody to hit an air date as opposed to allowing the writing to find its own natural resting place, when it’s ready, when it’s baked — we’ve failed.”
Lombardo even went so far as to suggest, in regards to Pizzolato, that he “set him up” by enforcing strict deadlines.
That is some good self-reflexivity on the behalf of someone in an administrative position. Creative people need time to do their thing. A large portion of the creative process is sitting around and being frustrated that you can’t think of anything good and then suddenly it hits you. But then you write the idea down, read it, toss it in the trash, and you’re back to square one again. That’s how great ideas are made.
Also, I really enjoyed True Detective Season 2, probably as much as Season 1. However, I can see how the excessive neo-noir style of darkness and despair in the plot and production would turn people off.
In my opinion, those exaggerated elements like the long shots of factories at night, the most depressing bar ever, and Colin Farrell’s manic behaviors make the show stand out. I’ll concede that Season 2 lacked the same mysticism that was really a draw in Season 1. Also, Cohle is not the Yellow King. If it were one of them, it would definitely be Hart, but that’s a discussion for another blog. Anyway, Season 2 took a less Gothic direction with the plot, but still maintained the nihilistic overtone that was present in Season 1. It was complex, full of antiheroes, and the good guys were up against monumental odds. Maybe the general dislike for Season 2 was rooted in the fact that the good guys didn’t win in the end. Regardless, it looks like HBO has learned their lesson. I hope that we get a Season 3.