Few recent series showed a decline in quality as sudden and staggering as "True Detective." The first season won multiple awards and received nearly universal love from critics. Written by Nic Pizzolatto as a follow-up to his novel "Galveston", HBO eventually commissioned the project and decided it should be an anthology series. Like "American Horror Story", every season would feature an entirely new cast, story, and location. Although this could easily allow a series to remain fresh and to take risks, it also guarantees viewers will always be comparing the latest story to the one before.

In some ways, season 3 is in a much better position than the previous entry, as it does not need to follow-up the fantastic first season. Instead, it just has to be better than the disappointing second.

What we know

Unlike the second season, where HBO brought in a writer's room to assist Pizzolatto, season 3 of "True Detective" will be penned solely by the show runner, with a bit of assistance from "Deadwood's" David Milch, who co-wrote the fourth episode for the upcoming season.

In another smart move, HBO decided to cut down on the number of directors called in for season 3. One of the main reasons "True Detective" season 1 worked so well was due to their only being one director for its entire run.

Cary Jojo Fukunaga's presence, who also directed Netflix's "Beasts of No Nation", brought a coherency which is rarely present on TV shows. The pacing and stylistic choices remained consistent throughout the story, creating one of the most cinematic experiences in recent history.

Forgetting season 2

For awhile, it started to seem like "True Detective" was down for the count.

Speaking honestly, season 2 was hardly the worst eight hours of television of the last few years. It even had a few genuinely interesting plotlines and featured a fantastic cast, but disappointment is a much more damning emotion than anger.

Looking back, its failure was inevitable. "True Detective" was hailed as the best thing to happen to TV since "The Wire", so the second season had to be better.

HBO also tried to take advantage of the hype surrounding the series and rushed out the sequel in under 18 months. The meticulous storytelling which made Rust and Marty's season so fascinating gave away to an over-convoluted plot, lackluster dialogue, and Vince Vaughn failing to convince as a serious actor.

Thankfully, season 3 only needs to be better than what came before it. Do not misunderstand us, we hope it blows away the first season as-well, but the pressure has definitely been lightened.