It's time to face the fact that the story of Rustin Cohle and Marty Hart is over. The first season of "True Detective" came to an end on Sunday in a way that satisfied fans of the characters played by Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, but it also probably pissed off anyone who just didn't want the story to end.
Little by little, writer and creator Nic Pizzolatto has shared some of what to expect for his next installment in the anthology, but that's hardly enough to sate you, right?
So what now? With details on a second season relatively scant, it's time to look elsewhere for your fix of intelligent crime dramas, and I have a number of recommendations that will help get you through to whenever HBO decides to make another set of episodes.
What We Know About Next Season
Despite the Internet's enthusiastic recommendations for #TrueDetectiveSeason2, Pizzolatto hasn't revealed all that much about what's next. Actually, HBO hasn't either. The network has yet to officially green light another entry in the anthology, but considering that the series raked in about 11 million viewers for the premium channel, it seems likely that they're just waiting on Pizzolatto's scripts and possibly for the principal casting to come together.
From what Pizzolatto has said about his second tale, the only elements sticking around from the story of Rust and Hart are strangeness and "bad men." The series creator told HitFix that the major lesson he learned from season one was not to "play the next one straight," and he summed up his next story by saying it's about "hard women, bad men and the secret occult history of the United States transportation system." Sounds pretty different, huh?
What To Watch And Read Until Then
Cary Fukunaga didn't just come out of nowhere to deliver a masterful eight-hour crime story. He had already established himself as a talent to watch on the indie scene with two great and distinct feature films. His first, "Sin Nombre," follows a young girl and the gangster trying to help her across the border into the U.S, and it's abundantly clear that Fukunaga was a serious talent from the word "go."
This trilogy of crime dramas based on David Peace's novels experimented with format as well. The three installments — "1974," "1980," "1983" — were filmed simultaneously with a shared cast and three different directors. Each feels distinct but is an integral part of one haunting story about some very bad men. Plus, you can see a pre-"Amazing Spider-Man" Andrew Garfield.
"Top of the Lake"
If you found the male-centric focus of "True Detective" off-putting, there's already a great alternative out there for you. "Mad Men" star Elisabeth Moss led this seven-hour crime drama from director Jane Campion about a young girl who goes missing in New Zealand. With "Top of the Lake," you get a similar format to "True Detective," but — you know — a woman who speaks more than a handful of lines before leaving the scene.
Since I couldn't in any good conscience recommend watching episodes of "The Killing" that Pizzolatto worked on, I direct you toward his novel. "Galveston" tells the story of a terminally ill tough guy who is on the run from his former employers. Fans of the show will recognize Pizzolatto's smart, tough style from the very first page.
Where You'll See Woody And McConaughey Next
One of the silver linings of "True Detective" ending is that we get to continue seeing Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey in movies. Winning an Oscar hasn't stopped the McConaissance in any way. His next project, Christopher Nolan's "Interstellar," is probably the most ambitious of his comeback so far. That opens this November.
Next up for Harrelson is another wig, but one that's a good deal longer than Marty Hart's '95 hairpiece. He'll be back for the final two installments of the "Hunger Games" series: "Mockingjay: Part 1" this November and "Part 2" in November 2015.