Whether you think True Detective's second season was good or bad, one thing's for sure - there was a serious gulf in quality between the two seasons.
Don't get us wrong, there were issues with both seasons but, for the most part, the first season was much better than the first. We're not the only ones who share that opinion, either.
Michael Lombardo, HBO's President of Programming, said as much in a recent interview and took a measure of the blame for True Detective's drop in standards.
"Our biggest failures - and I don’t know if I would consider True Detective 2 - but 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."
"...I take the blame. I became too much of a network executive at that point. We had huge success. “Gee, I’d love to repeat that next year.” Well, you know what? I set him up. To deliver, in a very short time frame, something that became very challenging to deliver. That’s not what that show is."
That's a pretty bold statement coming from HBO, especially when you consider their impressive track record. It's almost a given that, come Golden Globes and Emmys time, there's usually a mob of HBO shows up for an award. It also explains why there won't be a new season of True Detective this year or, for that matter, until next year.
We did a podcast with John Crowley, who directed the climactic episode of True Detective, who opened up about working with Pizzolatto on set and discussed a lot of the pressures working with a show that's as hotly anticipated as True Detective.