Season three of True Detective is showing a lot more promise than the previous season that dropped in ratings. Based on Rotten Tomatoes, season three has been given a rating that sits at 74% currently while season two was at 63%, and season one was the highest at 87%. While certified “fresh,” the show follows the case of a missing brother and sister Will and Julie Purcell who first went missing in Arkansas in 1980. It is a case that detective Wayne Hays (Mahershala Ali) had taken on years ago and is still involved with, 35 years later.
True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto and executive producer Scott Stephens have worked together since the first season. They have gotten to understand what the other person is looking for. Stephens is familiar with the creative process of Pizzolatto’s and is always ready to do it justice. “I don’t pretend to be a writer and try to dictate content that should be written into or out of the script, and he trusts me a lot with a lot of the execution of the written vision he presents to us,” he said.
Concerning the lead role, the previous two seasons had white men fill that slot. Ali pushed himself for an opportunity to work as the lead detective as this climate of diversity discussion is talked about greatly. Pizzolatto wanted someone who could tell the story of the detective in the right way while going through the time changes. He did not look at a particular race for the role.
“‘I don’t want to tell a story about race; I just want to tell this man’s story,’” said Stephens quoting Ali. “It resonated, and Nic rewrote a couple of the drafts, and it worked really well. It really wasn’t more complicated than that. Mahershala read those drafts, and everyone was very happy — we were kind of off to the races at that point. It made a lot of sense.”
Casting Ali was the right choice as his character has been well-received by fans and critics. True Detective airs on HBO every Sunday at 9 PM.