Photo: Lacey Terrell/HBO

What probably started with David Lynch and Twin Peaks, in the early 1990s, continued through a run of great shows—The Sopranos, The Wire, Deadwood, Mad Men. Pizzolatto is now attempting to take the next evolutionary step. Some part of the success of The Sopranos is attributed to James Gandolfini. As some part of the success of Mad Men is attributed to Jon Hamm. As some part of the success of True Detective is attributed to Matthew McConaughey. Credit and power are shared. But by tossing out that first season and beginning again, Nic has a chance to finally undo the early error of Fitzgerald and the rest. If he fails and the show tanks, he’ll be just another writer with one great big freakish hit. But if he succeeds, he will have generated a model in which the stars and the stories come and go but the writer remains as guru and king.

— Rich Cohen in Vanity Fair, on the rise of “True Detective” creator Nic Pizzolatto in Hollywood, the evolution of television writer as auteur, and the HBO crime drama’s second iteration set in Southern California.

Cheri has been an editor at Longreads since 2014. She's currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area.