WHAT: HBO made it official this morning: Rachel McAdams is joining the the second season of True Detective. Better yet, she’s not playing the wife, girlfriend or most favored stripper of a male character. McAdams will play Ani Bezzerides, a Ventura County Sheriff’s detective “whose uncompromising ethics put her at odds with others and the system she serves” (that’s from the press release).
THE VERDICT: Good! The HBO anthology series created by Nic Pizzolatto was a bona fide hit in its first season, but as many critics have noted it had a woman problem. True Detective’s female characters seemed to exist only as props for its men, either as romantic interests to be exploited or as victims to be saved. McAdams’s character may help change that.
The second season of True Detective is set in California, and it unfolds around an investigation into the murder of a corrupt official in a fictional California town. McAdams joins the already announced cast of Colin Farrell, who plays a corrupt detective whose allegiances waver between his corrupt bosses and a local mobster, and Vince Vaughn who plays a criminal trying to go legit. Taylor Kitsch was finally confirmed as the main cast’s youngest character: a war veteran and CHP officer who’s “running from a difficult past and the sudden glare of a scandal that never happened” (we have no idea what that means). You’ll also see British actress Kelly Reilly as Vaughn’s wife, a former D-list actress who’s every bit as shady and ambitious as he is.
The eight-episode hour-long drama has already begun shooting in California. Pizzolatto is, again, writing the show. The first two episodes will be directed by Justin Lin.