(HBO)Contrary to what Rust Cohle might have you believe, time is not a flat circle when it comes to True Detective. As much as fans would like to see Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson don wigs and hunt down another Yellow King, it's not going to happen. The show will go on, yes, but it will do so with two new detectives played by two new actors. Since nobody in the digital age is good at waiting, fantasy casting #TrueDetectiveSeason2 has become its own meme, so we thought we'd get in on the action by making a case for our Cohle-Hart replacements. This is what we came up with.
Give me Sean Penn and give me Frances McDormand. First, cop shows like True Detective work best with older actors. Experience equals believability. Second, the show would evolve with a male/female partnership. Its biggest fault during season one was the lack of a three-sided female character. McDormand would bring just as much intensity and credibility as any seasoned male lead. She could even play a part written for a man she's so good. As for Penn, well, what's not to like? I can see him slipping into a role similar in spirit to his Jimmy Marcum in Mystic River — a quietly intelligent man with a boiling intensity under the surface. Honorable mentions: Gary Oldman, Chris Cooper, Michael Shannon, Denzel Washington, Cate Blanchett, Viola Davis.
I have no idea how Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson can possibly be replaced in season two of True Detective because McConaughey and Harrelson forever. But if I had to choose a new duo to take over, I'd go with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. They'd bring the fierceness, the light comedic banter, and spout nihilistic existentialist thoughts like a pro. Oh, and Lone Star beer can stick people would somehow be used in the best drinking game ever. #TrueDetectiveSeason2 with Tinamy — you heard it hear first.
True Detective is at the top of my very, very long list of shows to watch (seriously, my DVR queue gives me nightmares), but I have seen enough snippets to know that some serious man candy needs to replace Rust and Marty. Talented man candy, that is. My picks are Ryan Gosling and Channing Tatum. Predictable? Yes. Perfect? Obviously. Gosling will be hip and angsty, the perfect foil for Tatum's charming, beefy image. Trust me, the ladies will LOVE it.
In one deleted tweet, True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto hinted the second season would focus on women instead of men. After the short shrift given the show's scant female characters this season, this would make everything about the show so much more awesome for me, so allow me to suggest Elisabeth Moss and Rooney Mara in the starring roles. Both have proved they can get tough with men on camera, and I can already picture the two having a slightly antagonistic-yet-professional relationship. Of course if they decline, here are a few other actresses I'd love to see on the show: Jessica Chastain, Michelle Rodriguez, Michelle Hurst (favorite thing about Orange Is the New Black), Charlize Theron, Hilary Swank, or Juliette Lewis.
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I want the next season of True Detective continue as an opportunity for actors to erase the mediocrity on their IMDb pages from public memory and reassert their awesomeness, so I'm going with a tale of two Eds: Edward Norton and Eddie Murphy. Do you realize the last movie to score above 75 percent on Rotten Tomatoes with Edward Norton in a lead role is 2003's 25th Hour? It's been more than a decade since he's starred in anything worth talking about, and he's way too great an actor for that. Pair him with Eddie Murphy throwing it back to his 48 Hours and Beverly Hills Cop days, and I'm renewing my HBO subscription for sure.
Angela Lansbury, aka Jessica Fletcher aka murder she done wrote the book on it while McConaughey was still a pimply-faced teenager, is 88 years young and deserves a television comeback. Betty White, meanwhile, is way cooler at 92 than I can ever hope to be. Basically I just want to watch these two badass babes sit in a car and riff on all things existential.