Nic Pizzolatto’s True Detective is easily the year’s most talked-about television event. The dark HBO crime drama has garnered a slew of Emmy nominations and the sort of attention and praise from critics and audiences that make TV executives drool. In our cultural moment of binge-watching and episode recaps, the Internet is on the verge of collapsing under the weight of obsessive analysis of the show’s themes. In contrast Mad Men can only look to its laurels: last year the 1960s ad-man drama generated a tidal wave of online discussion – much of it ludicrous – but this year’s airing of the first half of the final season o f Matt Weiner’s drama, though well-received, seemed overshadowed by talk of the McConaissance. Even the Game of Thrones juggernaut seemed to stall a little on the Zeitgeist Highway and be overtaken by the True Detective Maserati, in spite of several outstanding moments (mostly involving a lot of blood). In other words, forget White Walkers; let’s talk about Carcosa.
The show is currently preparing its second season, and “eagerly anticipated” doesn’t quite cover it. The cast has not been confirmed, but we’ve had a glut of rumors about who might be in it and what it might be about. And viewers are eagerly dissecting every scrap of information to come from HBO in order to discern hidden details about the show. So much so that HBO is in danger of letting viewer anticipation turn to viewer fatigue before the season even airs.