'True Detective' Season 4: HBO Working With New Writers On A Potential New Season

Do more creepy mysteries await with True Detective season 4? HBO is reportedly working with writers on a potential new season of the dark, moody drama that usually involves at least two detectives tracking a labyrinthine case. But when and if True Detective returns, it certainly sounds like original creator and writer Nic Pizzolatto won't be involved. And that may not be such a bad thing.

The first season of True Detective was a big deal and felt like something of a revelation. The moody Southern gothic series teamed up Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as a pair of cops trying to solve a murder with occult overtones, and most people were glued to their TVs to see where the story would go. However, the season finale left some people cold – and things only got worse from there. True Detective season 2, while not the complete disaster some people made it out to be, was a huge downgrade. Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams, and more were part of that season, and while they did their best, season 2 felt bloated and pointlessly confusing. It didn't help that they had to deliver lines like, "It's like blue balls...in your heart."  Things were so dire that it seemed like True Detective was dead.

But True Detective returned for a third season, featuring Mahershala Ali and Stephen Dorff. In many respects, season 3 felt like the show trying to get back to its roots. While it was an improvement over season 2, season 3 was still not quite as good as that first season. So what now? Will the show continue? Should it continue?

Maybe! Speaking with Deadline,  HBO and HBO Max's chief content officer Casey Bloys revealed that the network is working with writers on a potential True Detective season 4:

"It's safe to say we're working with a couple of writers to find the right tone and take. It's definitely an area that could be very interesting and I think it would be interesting with a new voice. Quality is what's going to guide us so if we end up with scripts that we don't feel are representative or are not at a high enough quality, we're not going to do something just to do it."

The comment about a "new voice" certainly sounds like a potential season 4 won't involve Nic Pizzolatto, and that's not very surprising at this point. While it's mostly unconfirmed gossip and hearsay, Pizzolatto is reportedly not the easiest guy to work with. He seems to be the type of writer who is rigid about his artistic vision, and while that's not always a bad thing, it's apparently rubbed a lot of people the wrong way and resulted in some considerably mixed seasons of TV. Bringing in writers who are more willing to compromise on some things might result in a much better show.

If I were running things over at HBO (and I'm clearly not!), I would start looking at mystery or thriller novels for inspiration. Scoop up the rights to a well-constructed thriller and adapt it as a new season of the show. I'd also consider different time periods. While all the seasons of the show jump around in time – season 3, for instance, was set in 1980, 1990, and 2015 – I'd love to see a True Detective season set even further back in time. An 1800s True Detective, perhaps. Or 1930s. I guess the point I'm making here is that there's a lot of room for growth and exploration for the show – HBO just has to find the right balance.