True Detective Season 2 Primer: Colin Farrell, Rachel McAdams, and Vince Vaughn Bring Their A-Game

Rachel McAdams and Colin Farrell in True Detective
Rachel McAdams and Colin Farrell play law enforcement in Season 2 of True Detective. Lacey Terrell/HBO

True Detective's sophomore season is coming to HBO this Sunday, June 21, and it's pretty much shrouded in mystery. What we do know about the plot so far is that it’s centered around another murder, and that there will be plenty of conspiracy and betrayal.

The evocative and creepy crime show was brilliantly plotted and even more brilliantly acted during its first season, and this time will be no different –– with outstanding performances from Vince Vaughn, Taylor Kitsch, Colin Farrell, and Rachel McAdams. The casting sounds like the makings of a romantic comedy, we know, but trust Us: There's nothing funny about this A-lister hang session.

Prepare yourself for Sunday night with everything you need to know about True Detective's next installment!

Rachel McAdams Is Bringing Her A-Game

We're not in The Notebook anymore! McAdams is best known as Hollywood's favorite girl next door, but she plays tough and jaded Det. Ani Bezzerides in True Detective –– a far cry from Allie Hamilton or Regina George. Rachel's performance as Bezzerides is impressive, dark, and nuanced, so don't be surprised if there's an Emmy with her name on it.

Vince Vaughn Has Way More Range Than You Realize

Vaughn is famous for his hilarious performances in Wedding Crashers and The Internship, but he's serving dramatic realness in True Detective. His performance as career criminal Frank Semyon is shockingly impressive, so expect to be floored.

Fear Not, the Entire Season Was Written By Nic Pizzolatto

Pizzolatto is the genius who brought us True Detective's first season, and he's also responsible for the new installment. However, the show's Emmy award-winning director, Cary Fukunaga, didn't come back as a director for Season 2. This is traumatizing news for some superfans, but Fukunaga is an executive producer. Meanwhile, True Detective's first two episodes were directed by Justin Lin, known for his work on The Fast and the Furious franchise. While the show definitely has a different feel without Fukunago behind the camera, Lin's first two episodes are solid.

Sophomore Slump? Not So Much

Early reviews are already claiming that True Detective's second season isn't as strong as its first, and while this might be true in some ways (don't worry, no spoilers!), it's hard to judge the show based on just the first few episodes. What we do know is that the season is well acted, well plotted, extremely engaging, and just as addictive as ever –– though there's no denying that Matthew McConaughey's musings are much missed.

Colin Farrell Is the Best Part –– At Least So Far

While McAdams, Kitsch, and Vaughn are all bringing their A-games to True Detective, Farrell's performance is especially impressive and devastatingly morose. He's brilliant at emoting detective Ray Velcoro's pain and inner turmoil, and it goes without saying that his eyebrow game continues to be strong.

It Takes Place in a Fictional City

While True Detective's first season took place in Louisiana and had a sinister backwoods vibe, the new season takes place in the fictional city of Vinci, Calif. But the big-city setting doesn't lessen the feeling of isolation and despair that the characters feel, and the show has a haunting and somber feel –– in part thanks to its setting. Who knows what's in Vinci's water, but everyone is epically bummed out.

It's Not That Scary –– At Least Not Yet

We could barely get through parts of True Detective's first season due to being absolutely terrified, but this season seems slightly less intense when it comes to the creep-out factor. Yes, watch with the lights on, but you probably won't have to binge three hours of Gilmore Girls to get over your spooks.

True Detective Season 2 premieres Sunday at 9 p.m ET on HBO.

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