Published Jan 06, 2016A lot of shitty things happened in 2015, and among them was the second season of HBO's serial crime drama True Detective. Until now, no one has wanted to take the blame for its shittiness. Cary Fukunaga quietly disowned it, while director David Cronenberg admitted he passed on the script because it sucked. Now, however, it looks like an HBO executive has kind of, sort of taken the blame for the show's garbage qualities.
Michael Lombardo, president of programming at HBO, recently discussed the show with The Frame [via A.V. Club], and while he didn't quite admit that the show was a piping hot turd that was both boring and exasperating, he did circle around some ideas about why it didn't work.
Specifically, Lombardo said the network put too much pressure on writer and creator Nic Pizzolatto, who was forced to meet deadlines rather than work at his own pace. Lombardo offered the following explanation:
Our biggest failures — and I don't know if I would consider True Detective 2 — but when we tell somebody to hit an air date as opposed to allowing the writing to find its own natural resting place, when it's ready, when it's baked — we've failed. And I think in this particular case, the first season of True Detective was something that Nic Pizzolatto had been thinking about, gestating, for a long period of time. He's a soulful writer. I think what we did was go, "Great." And I take the blame. I became too much of a network executive at that point. We had huge success. "Gee, I'd love to repeat that next year."
Well, you know what? I set him up. To deliver, in a very short time frame, something that became very challenging to deliver. That's not what that show is. He had to reinvent the wheel, so to speak. Find his muse. And so I think that's what I learned from it. Don't do that anymore.
And I'd love to have the enviable certainty of knowing what my next year looks like. I could pencil things in. But I'm not going to start betting on them until the scripts are done.
In other words, Pizzolatto's second season of True Detective might have been better if he was allowed to work on it for a bit longer. Maybe time's not such a flat circle after all.