What Happened to the Lady Duo Idea?

by Arielle Dachille

Alright, True Detective speculators, we have some official answers for you about next season's cast. HBO has confirmed that Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn have been cast in True Detective Season 2, which is reportedly set to air next summer. A short list of past rumored leads includes Brad Pitt, Taylor Kitsch, Rachel McAdams, Elizabeth Moss, Josh Brolin, Christian Bale, and more. Hey, guys. Remember when we thought there was hope of the show starring two female detectives? Just saying, who canned that good idea?

According to a HBO press release, Farrell will portray Ray Velcoro, "a compromised detective whose allegiances are torn between his masters in a corrupt police department and the mobster who owns him." And as The Wrap reports, this new season will focus on three detectives appointed to solve a murder connected with a sleepy California town's railway infrastructure. As they find out, the crime has father-reaching and more sinister implications than standard municipal corruption. So, check that off: one of the detectives is Colin Farrell, and Taylor Kitsch was rumored to be the first choice for a second male lead detective, Paul Woodrugh, "a handsome, 28-year-old military veteran who has seen his own share of violence and destruction."

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Vaughn has been confirmed, after copious rumor-mongering, as the show's primary antagonist Frank Seymon, "a career criminal in danger of losing his empire when his move into legitimate enterprise is upended by the murder of a business partner." OK, so we have one definite detective choice, one maybe detective choice, and one for-sure villain. So, where are the girls? After all, series creator Nic Pizzolatto told HitFix back in March that the show would follow "hard women, bad men and the secret occult history of the United States transportation system."

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We know that the show is said to have three leads. So, is this where the aforementioned hard women come in? The Wrap reports that one of the show's three detectives is likely to be female. The role of Ani Bezzerides, "a tough, no-nonsense Monterey sheriff whose troubled upbringing has driven her to gambling and alcohol" is being considered for seven actresses including Elizabeth Moss, Rachel McAdams, Jessica Biel, and Rosario Dawson. For the record, I'm thrilled to hear that there will be at least one female officer on this season (and that this lady might be Peggy), but I sincerely hope the writing doesn't cast Ani Bezzerides as the brassy token lady detective who ultimately doesn't solve the crime, but is great at being the resident practical matriarch. Or worse, the brash on the outside, wounded on the inside girl with daddy issues. This will do nothing to mitigate the show's gender problem.

Creator Nic Pizzolatto garnered some criticism for the show's reductive portrayal of women in Season 1. Even as a fan of the show, I found serious faults with its gender politics and agree with the general sentiment that the show's women are extremely flat. Female characters like Maggie Hart, Lisa Tragnetti, and the various women who fell victim to the Yellow King's crimes filled the roles of hard-worn wives, mistresses, or murder victims and had limited agency at best. Only men like Marty Hart, Rust Cohle, or even Errol Childress could be protectors, problem solvers, predators, or villains. Anyone who had the agency to get things done in this world and propel the plot forward —good, bad, human, or completely psychotic — was male.

As far as I'm concerned, the prior season has plenty of sexism to make up for. I mean, I know time is a flat circle and all, but we're not getting any younger.

Image: Getty Images (2); Giphy