If you want news about the second season of True Detective, a gritty HBO anthology series that just wrapped its wildly popular first season in March, you don't have to look very hard.
Here is some news about how the next season of the show will feature three lead characters. Here is some news about how one of those lead characters is maybe going to be Jessica Chastain. Here is some news about how Jessica Chastain is definitely not going to be one of those lead characters. Here is some news about how Brad Pitt is maybe going to be in the second season. Here is some news about how Christian Bale is not going to be in the second season. (Every single living actor and actress in Hollywood, from Seth Rogen to Angela Lansbury, will apparently inspire a separate news item denying his or her involvement in this show.) Here is an "investigation" revealing "everything we know (so far)" about the second season of True Detective. It contains a header that reads, "NUMBER OF DETECTIVES"—I now wish I could go back in time and write a preview of season two of Friends with a "NUMBER OF FRIENDS" section—and passages like this:
Casting rumors have come fast and furious. The first shots were fired a couple of weeks after Season 1 came to a close, with pals Ellen Page (Juno) and Kate Mara (House of Cards) joking around on Twitter that they'd love to star together in Season 2 of True Detective. When the #truedetectiveseason2 went viral, with various Twitterbugs sharing pictures of their ideal cast, Mara shared a photo of her and Page together and HBO favorited the tweet, which got them very excited
Which, fine. No show since Lost has incubated a culture of obsessive fans like this one has, and many of these obsessive fans probably appreciate having minute-by-minute updates about casting rumors and the NUMBER OF DETECTIVES that may or may not be featured on the show. But yesterday's announcement that there'll be three lead actors this time breathed much-unwelcome new life into the already long-tiresome #truedetectiveseason2 meme, in which everyone on Twitter posted every possible photo of two people. Now they're doing photos of three people! It's hilarious! And then, along with all of overwhelming coverage of an upcoming season of television that has yet to even begin filming, we get blog posts with headlines like "What Beer Will Replace Lone Star In True Detective Season 2?"
This is what happens when a predatory internet begins to see a collection of obsessives as fish in a barrel. "Beer" and "True Detective" are nothing more than good words to put in a headline that wants to be clicked on, and the new crop of blog posts that pop up in the wake of every single frivolous casting rumor are written by people who don't actually give a shit about any of this.
There's also a very strong possibility that the second season of True Detective is going to be terrible. The best things about season one were the performances of Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, and Cary Fukunaga's directing (hello, you beautiful six-minute tracking shot). Both of those things are going to be absent from the second season, and writer Nic Pizzolatto—who is maybe not the auteur everyone thinks him to be and freely wields phrases like "psychospheric ambience"—is left to find a new skeleton to hang all of his metaphysical meat on. Making a good TV drama is hard enough without having to invent new characters and an entirely new plot every season, and all of this anticipation is going to make it damn near impossible for this show's encore to live up to expectations.
So, please, can all we just stop talking about the new season of True Detective for awhile? Possibly until it premieres?