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Ash & Fern: ‘True Detective’ – Looking Ahead

For those of you who have been living under a rock the past 8 weeks, there has been a new HBO drama rocking the boat of the television world.  True Detective premiered right in the midst of awards season and rode Matthew McConaughey’s Dallas Buyer’s Club popularity right out of the ratings ballpark. Sunday night’s finale literally broke HBO Go because so many people were trying to stream it.

While people might have started watching for McConaughey, they stayed for the whole package. Woody Harrelson and Michelle Monaghan matched McConaughey scene for scene, and the writing outshines them all. Basically, if you haven’t binge watched it yet, I’m telling you it’s worth 8 hours of your life.

The short run is part of the reason the show scored such bankable talent in the first place; the other is each season is going to be a different cast in a different place working on a different case.  Seeing that HBO has already asked writer/creator Nic Pizzolatto for scripts, I might be dreaming for nothing, but I still have a few suggestions of who’d I’d like to see next season.

While Monaghan was heart-breaking as Harrelson’s betrayed wife, I would love to see a female detective as one of the main leads. A female perspective on the emotional toll of a case would open itself up to great writing possibilities, but it needs to be an actress that can hold her own. I don’t want to see an actress who would be overwhelmed by the crime scenes and and material or one that would be so sickly sweet and naive that she isn’t believable as a real person. One of the most compelling parts of the show was that each character had his or her own faults. There wasn’t one wholly good character to weigh everyone else against. With this said, here are a few of my picks for a potential female lead on True Detective.

Kate Winslet


Kate Winslet is someone who is comfortable enough in her own skin to play a stretching emotional role, and strong enough to be believable as a detective.  I would love to see the power struggle she would put up against a strong male partner as well.  She’s given plenty of leading men a run for their money: Leo, Johnny Depp, and most recently Josh Brolin.


Michelle Dockery


A newer star already used to playing a part of high emotional content, although in a much different setting, is Michelle Dockery.  Giving Lady Mary a chance to get a little dirty but still keep her rock hard, unemotional exterior on the job could set the series up for quite a few interesting insights into her backstory.  The hardest part would be to find time for filming away from Downton.


Jessica Chastain


If we want to keep on the Oscar train as with McConaughey, Jessica Chastain has proved herself as a total badass in the face of tension and stress.  The Zero Dark Thirty star not only courted the Academy, she made the audience see what happens to someone seeped in operations and intelligence work over the period of many years. The obsession that overcame her would translate well to a case that covered a decade or more.


Charlize Theron


The last female I’d love to see in True Detective is Charlize Theron. We know from experience she can get dirty, crazy, and frightening in the matter of a few minutes. I’d love to see what she could bring to a role in this setting.

I have a few ideas for the men as well. While most people are looking for another A-List leading man, I vote we give a look at a few that might not be at the forefront of people’s minds lately, but who would bring an incredible amount of depth. Men like Edward Norton or Ralph Finnes would be my ideal casting, but I also think while Pacific Rim wasn’t the best movie, Charlie Hunnam has proved his acting worth over the course of time on Sons of Anarchy. If the writers wanted to take a more mentor/mentee direction, I would love to see what someone like Liam Neeson could do as a worn-out detective damaged after years on the beat.  Finally, I think HBO could really shake it up a bit and get a flamboyant, over-the-top persona with a deep, menacing backstory out of an actor like Robert Downey Jr.

Alright HBO, ball’s in your court, but I can promise you this–no matter who you cast, you have millions waiting for the outcome. Good luck.

P.S. Fern votes Benedict Cumberbatch for everything. I personally think he should just get on making another season of Sherlock and make everyone happy.

Who would you like to see as a lead on the next season of True Detective? Aside from casting choices, what are some other ways that HBO can grow and improve the show’s brand? Let us know what you think in the comments!