We’re Still Holding Out For a Lady Hero on ‘True Detective’

It was just announced that Vince Vaughn and Colin Farrell will be taking over for Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson on season two of True Detective. Farrell will play Ray Velcoro, a corrupt detective “whose allegiances are torn.” Vaughn is set to embody Frank Semyon, a career criminal who “is in danger of losing his empire when his move into legitimate enterprise is upended by the murder of a business partner.”

While I’m super excited for a second season of the series, I’m also a little disappointed. Too many television programs—especially crime fiction—don’t do a great job of equally representing men and women. The last season ofTrue Detective was particularly failing in this endeavor, since I didn’t think it included a single strong female character in any of the major plot points. I was willing to look past the fact that all the victims of the Yellow King were women, because I had some hope for Marty’s wife, Maggie. I waited for her to get involved with the investigation in some way. She’s so stubborn and quietly resilient, why wouldn’t she? Well, she doesn’t.

The show is amazing, but it’s surely lacking in lady power. I was really hoping season two would be different—and maybe there’s still hope. Rachel McAdams and Elisabeth Moss have both been linked to the upcoming season. And according to HBO’s official synopsis for the show, released Tuesday, “three police officers and a career criminal must navigate a web of conspiracy in the aftermath of a murder.”

Did you hear that? They said THREE police officers. They also state in the press release, that “additional casting will be announced as it is confirmed.” So it’s possible that Moss, McAdams or another awesome woman could play the third cop. Right?

It’s true—there aren’t as many women in law enforcement in real life. Only 1 in 8 local police officers are women, says the Bureau of Justice Statistics, and only 12.7% are in law enforcement as a whole. But perhaps casting more women in fictional crime noir could call attention to this very real social problem.

If nothing else, it would just make great TV.

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