If you’re still seething about the mumbled, limp-haired mess that was True Detective Season 2, you should (1) move on and get a life! Everybody’s talking about Fargo now! And (2) you finally have someone to direct your anger at: HBO’s President of Programming, Michael Lombardo, who says it’s mostly his fault.

Sitting down to talk television with The Frame, a radio show on Southern California’s KPCC, Lombardo was asked to address the difference in reception between seasons one and two of True Detective, both of which were penned entirely by showrunner Nic Pizzolatto.

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“Our biggest failures—and I don’t know if I would consider True Detective 2 [a failure]—but when we tell somebody to hit an air date as opposed to allowing the writing to find its own natural resting place, when it’s ready, when it’s baked—we’ve failed,” Lombardo replied.

He continued:

“And I think in this particular case, you know, the first season of True Detective was something that Nic Pizzolatto had been thinking about, gestating, for a long period of time ... he’s a soulful writer ... I think what we did was go, ‘Great.”

And I take the blame. I became too much of a network executive at that point. We had huge success. ‘Gee, I’d love to repeat that next year.”

Well, you know what? I set him up to deliver, in a very short time frame, something that I think became very challenging to deliver. That’s not what that show is. He had to reinvent the wheel, so to speak. Find his muse. And so I think that’s what I learned from it. Don’t do that anymore. ... I’m not going to start betting on them until the scripts are done.”

(Emphasis ours.)

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So can we really blame time (and Lombardo) for exchanges like this one?

Velcoro: Oh, frankly…I’m apoplectic.

Semyon: I’m feeling a little apoplectic myself.

Or this kind of dialogue?

“That guys has been around less the past three months than my wife’s period.”

Or:

“A lady cop...I meant you’re a lady. You have dignity.”

Maybe we can. Maybe we can.

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In November, HBO signed an overall deal with Pizzolatto, but it remains unclear if this will lead to a third season of True Detective or other projects. Either way, it might be awhile.

Anyway, you should really be watching Fargo.


Contact the author at madeleine@jezebel.com.

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Image via HBO.