The Ozarks are officially the avocado toast of the TV world. Everybody’s doing it. The backwoods region—which recently rose to pop culture prominence thanks to Netflix’s Ozark—will provide the backdrop for season three of True Detective, Entertainment Weekly reports.
After rumors that Mahershala Ali was circling the project, HBO officially gave its polarizing show (and its equally polarizing creator Nic Pizzolatto) the go-ahead. Ali will play detective Wayne Hays, an Arkansas state police detective who—you guessed it—gets embroiled in a murder investigation. Much like the sprawling first season, this installment’s central mystery “deepens over decades and plays out in three separate time periods.”
If Ali’s presence isn’t enough to ease your skepticism—completely understandable after the trauma we all suffered from True Detective season two—there is one more item that might place you firmly on team TD3. One of season two’s main issues was that it often felt like a patchwork, because unlike the first season—which was directed entirely by Cary Fukunaga—season two was helmed by multiple directors. We didn’t feel like we were watching the cohesive vision of a single auteur, which is precisely what made season one feel so game-changing.
Well, it seems as though HBO has learned the error of its ways. Season three will be directed by Jeremy Saulnier, whose 2016 thriller Green Room is by far one of the most unsettling watches of the last decade. Apparently Saulnier will direct alongside Pizzolatto, which tempers our expectations just a little. Pizzolatto has been known to be a bit self-indulgent, so leaving him to his own devices might have led to disaster. Hopefully Saulnier will check Pizzolatto’s worst impulses while simultaneously injecting the show with his own unique sensibilities.
Pizzolatto will also have help on the writing side of things. David Milch, the mastermind behind HBO’s Western saga Deadwood, helped develop the season’s concept, and co-wrote episode four. There’s no telling what influence or impact Saulnier and Milch will have on the new season, but both pedigrees are mighty impressive. We’ve learned to manage our expectations when it comes to this show, but screw it. It’s time to get excited.