Will you watch Mahershala Ali in a lead role in ‘True Detective’ Season 3?

The 2013 Hampton Classic

I recently tried to list all of the TV shows I’ve seen from start to finish, like Mad Men, The Closer, 30 Rock, etc. I forgot to add True Detective to the list. I loved the first season of True Detective – it wasn’t the most brilliant thing ever (certainly not as brilliant as the hype), but it was a good, creepy drama/procedural. So I was interested in Season 2 and by the third episode, I just made the commitment to hate-watch the season just to find out what happened. I still don’t know what really happened. Season 2 was shambolic storytelling and dumb action setpieces and nothingburger storytelling. It was awful. Every part of it was awful.

So I said I would never watch True Detective again. Enter Mahershala Ali. Mahershala won a well-deserved Oscar for Moonlight, and he spent that entire awards season being amazing and lovely. I’m a huge fan. So if Mahershala is the centerpiece of True Detective Season 3, should I give it another shot??

Season 3 stars Mahershala as “Arkansas state police detective Wayne Hays,” who is haunted by an unsolved (???) case in the Ozarks. Mahershala apparently investigates this crime in three different time periods. This season also stars Mamie Gummer, Stephen Dorff, Scoot McNairy and Carmen Ejogo. Mamie looks good and trashy in that one little glance we have of her. Unfortunately for everyone, this season was still written by Nic Pizzolatto, the same dude who wrote the first two seasons (he created the show). I mean… I’ll watch it. I’ll watch it because I love Mahershala. But I’m not expecting much.

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Screencap from HBO, additional photo courtesy of Getty.

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28 Responses to “Will you watch Mahershala Ali in a lead role in ‘True Detective’ Season 3?”

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  1. JanetFerber says:

    Yes! I met him once at a gym and I didn’t know who he was. He was very low-key, humorous and kind. As always, not as tall as one imagines. He is an absolute kick-ass actor and I’d LOVE to see him win an Academy Award for Best Actor (he won one for Best Supporting Actor). He is the BEST.

  2. Tiffany says:

    *only reads title*

    The answer is yes.

    *reads story*

    The answer is still yes.

    • Chelsey says:

      ^ yup

    • Mia4s says:

      You’re more optimistic than me. My reaction to the title was:

      “Will you watch Mahershala Ali…”


      “….in True Detective..”

      *Oh. Ummmm. Well I would. But I have, things….. Ummm.* 😬

    • Anna says:

      Yes, yes, and yes again. Love him so, so much. I will watch anything he’s in and love it. He is mesmerizing and I believe one of the greatest actors alive, just waiting to see what new roles and characters he has in store.

  3. Lightpurple says:

    I will watch Mahershala Ali read a cereal box.

  4. AnotherDirtyMartini says:

    Yes. Yes, I will.

  5. isabelle says:

    His face, can’t take my eyes from it and he has maybe one of the most interesting faces in Hollywood. He is captivating on screen. Definitely watching and it can’t be worse than S2 right?

  6. Incredulous says:

    Yeah, season 2 needed more time at the script stage. I’m pretty sure season 3 has had enough time so, it should be pretty fantastic.

  7. TaniaOG says:

    I would watch Mahershala in ANYTHING because he elevates everything he does. Even True Detective. Let’s hope it’s reminiscent of the first season, which was excellent–with Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey.

  8. Shijel says:

    Yeah, I will. HBO hella rushed S2. I think S1 was some of the best TV I’ve ever seen. I’m looking forward to what S3 brings because it’s had time to be developed.

  9. Yeahright says:

    Two black leads?
    Yes I’m watching because I have to support my people.

  10. Lala11_7 says:

    Mos Def!!!!

  11. Scotchy says:

    As horrible as TD Season 2 was, I will still watch this, but, I have very very very LOW expectations.
    Nic Pizzolatto is horrible writer.

  12. Case says:

    I’ve never even watched this show before but I’d DEFINITELY watch him in it.

  13. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Nic Pizzolatto is an okay writer. He’s a *hitty director and that was proven by Season 2 and how utterly incoherent it was. He needed someone like Cary Fukunaga (who directed Season 1 and rewrote parts of the script) to rein him in. Hopefully Pizzolatto – and HBO – learned their lesson and hired actual an director for this season.

    • SK says:

      This. Season one was incredible because of Cary F. Without him the show was a mess. Unless they have another great director on board I don’t have high hopes for season 3.

  14. KBeth says:

    I’ll watch. Season 1 was awesome.
    I hated Season 2 the first time around despite my fondness for the cast (exception being the woman who played Vince Vaughn’s wife, her acting was distractingly awful) I recently rewatched it and actually really enjoyed it.
    Perhaps my standards are lower these days, lol.

    • Sunnydaze says:

      Just wanted to comment when you mentioned the distractingly awful acting…I haven’t seen season 2, but I could not get through season 1 because of the whistle in McConaughey’s voice whenever he said a word with an “s” in it. I think I would have really enjoyed season 1, but every time I heard the whistle I damn near lost my mind. It’s SO irrational, and I don’t notice it in anything else as badly….but man, something about him in that role. Oof.

  15. Jerusha says:

    In anything, actually.

  16. Nope says:


    Finally it looks like they’ve got that Season 1 energy back!

    And Mahershala Ali has that 5 star acting ability too

  17. Teresa says:

    I would watch even if they only show a photo of Mahershala Ali!
    Kidding aside, I think he is one of the greatest actors of today, hope the script gives him something towork with

  18. antipodean says:

    Short answer, Kaiser! Yes, yes, and yes again. I would watch him read the phone book (do they still have those?)!!!!!!!!

  19. SM says:

    I am with you on this, Kaiser. I loved the forst one and that enthusiasm managed to get me though first two episodes on the second season. It was awful, but I will five it a try hoping that that self absorbed diva Nic Pizzolatto heard about at least a few percents of the shit the secons season got dumped on.

  20. hqoiuewroi says:

    oh I’ll watch Mahershala, he is amazing. And season 1 was amazing, I still hope they can turn it around.

  21. Digital Unicorn says:

    Yes, and I will also watch it as i have a soft spot for Stephen Dorff (I know he can a bit of a douche) but he is a good actor.