On January 13, the long-awaited third season of HBO’s hit anthology crime series True Detective debuts, after a more than a three-year gap. This time around, Academy and Golden Globe Award winner Mahershala Ali (Moonlight, Green Book) takes on the central role of a detective struggling with the dark side of a troubling case.
Anthology series hit their stride during the first “golden age of television,” with the structure of a loose thematic framework holding together seemingly separate stories ruling the small screen in the 1950s and 1960s. Since then, however, the format was largely relegated to horror stories and Masterpiece Theatre, until 2011 brought to small and streaming screens everywhere American Horror Story and Black Mirror, leading to a new wave of interest in the genre.
In January 2014, True Detective joined the ranks of prestige anthology television, developed by the masters of prestige TV, HBO. The gritty but visually striking crime drama examines brutal crimes through the journey of the troubled detectives investigating them, and how the cases often push them to—or sometimes over—the edge. Each season features different stars, and a slightly different storytelling structure, with the first season following Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson through a non-linear pursuit of a serial killer over 17 years. The second season (2015), focused on the stories of three detectives from separate cooperating police departments and starred Colin Farrell, Rachel McAdams, Taylor Kitsch, and Vince Vaughn.
Season 1 Trailer
The third season finds Ali playing detective Wayne Hays over three separate time periods, as he looks back from 2015 on the disappearance of two siblings in the Ozarks in 1980, and a 1990 break in the case. It costars Stephen Dorff (Somewhere) as his partner, and Carmen Ejogo (Selma) as a local teacher and writer involved in the case.
While the second season didn’t quite hit the critical success of the first—which garnered an average of 87% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, and received 11 Emmy nominations with five wins—the third season is already gathering buzz, and fans are eager to see what writer/creator Nic Pizzolatto delivers. Pizzolatto once again wrote the season (joined by cowriters on two episodes, David Milch and Graham Gordy), and this time around also co-directs several episodes.
Check out the Season 3 Trailer below:
How to Watch True Detective Without Cable
What is the difference between HBO NOW and HBO GO? While HBO GO is the mobile access point for streaming HBO with a cable login, HBO NOW allows fans to subscribe to HBO without a cable TV subscription. HBO NOW is available for $14.99 a month after a 7-day free trial. Both options have apps and websites that allow viewing via laptop, phone, or TV, as well as through devices such as Roku, Google Fire, and Apple TV.
However, if you don’t want to add another streaming login or app, it is easy to get HBO NOW as an add-on to many major streaming services.
Both Amazon Prime and Hulu offer an HBO NOW add-on channel through their sites, at the same rate as the standalone service, including the 7-day free trial. It is also available as an add-on with PlayStation Vue ($15/month) and DIRECTV NOW (starting at $17.99/month).
For viewers interested in catching True Detective, but who don’t want to subscribe to it, digital episodes and seasons are available for purchase through Amazon, iTunes, GooglePlay, YouTube, and Vudu. Episodes start at $2.99 for SD, $3.99 for HD, and seasons are $22.99 (SD) and $29.99 (HD).
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