Here's a sentence that feels truly beautiful to type: Mahershala Ali is in talks to join True Detective Season 3. Should he be cast, it would be one of the smartest decisions that HBO and the True Detective team could make in regard to future installments of the anthology series. In fact, it could very well be the one decision that would return the show to high public favor.
After a critically and publicly well-received first season of True Detective (which garnered Matthew McConaughey particularly high praise for his role), the show swiftly fell out of favor during Season 2. Despite bringing on heavyweights like Colin Farrell, Rachel McAdams, and Vince Vaughn, the excitement around the series cooled significantly and left the show's future hanging in the balance.
Now, with the possibility of Ali getting cast — as implied by the use of "in talks" in these early reports from sources like Variety — and the ensuing elated reaction from fans, it seems like a no-brainer to bring him on board. Let's be real: the mere fact that Ali carries the laudable cachet of being an Oscar-winner is enough to return to respectability to the True Detective name. Additionally, Ali has the skills and the credentials that work in his favor when being considered to lead a crime drama.
Ali's track record with dramas of all shapes and sizes would serve incredibly well as a training ground for True Detective. Nabbing the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Moonlight, starring in Luke Cage and House of Cards, as well as appearing in TV shows like Treme, Law & Order: SVU, The 4400, and Crossing Jordan, leave Ali prepared for anything cooked up by True Detective's team for Season 3. Plus, Ali leading the show could open the door to more critical success and awards — something he's proven time and time again in his work.
In truth, there are a select few who could really help revive True Detective and bring it back to the kind of critically acclaimed, must-see status from Season 1. With the popularity and success Ali is enjoying right now, casting him would be the right (and smart) way to make that magic happen.