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45% Of People Agree This Is The Worst Season Of True Detective

The history of "True Detective" is a fascinating one. The HBO anthology series premiered in early 2014 and proceeded to gain more and more attention as its eight-episode first season went on. The season's two lead actors, Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, received widespread praise for their performances in the crime drama, and the mystery at the heart of the show's first season managed to engage viewers in a way that few other murder-mysteries have been able to. While the "True Detective" Season 1 finale proved to be fairly divisive at the time of its airing, the series was still a major hit for HBO.

The popularity of "True Detective" began to falter when it debuted its second season in the summer of 2015. The show's sophomore outing received a far more mixed reception from both critics and casual viewers alike than its first season did, and left many wondering if the series would ever return for another season. Those viewers got their answer four years later when HBO premiered "True Detective" Season 3 in 2019, which received mostly positive praise from critics but ended up being the series' least popular season to date (via TVSeriesFinale).

It's been over two years since the third season of "True Detective" aired on HBO, but debate amongst fans about the show's various highs and lows continues to rage on. With that in mind, Looper recently conducted a survey of 537 people in the U.S. and asked them which "True Detective" season is its worst. The results may come as a surprise to some viewers.

Fans think the second season of True Detective is its worst

A majority of "True Detective" fans seem to be in agreement about the show's worst season. Of the 537 U.S. residents polled by Looper, around 45% voted the show's California-set sophomore season to be its worst to date. Elsewhere, around 37% of the poll's respondents said the divisive third season of "True Detective" is its worst, while just 17% ranked its first season lowest. The responses, while a little varied, seem to reflect the general critical opinions of the show's three seasons.

Although Colin Farrell, Rachel McAdams, and Taylor Kitsch all received acclaim for their performances in "True Detective" Season 2, the season itself is generally regarded to be its most uneven and disappointing. The head of HBO programming even acknowledged the season's lackluster quality back in 2015 (via The Frame), and went so far as to blame himself for putting pressure on "True Detective" creator Nic Pizzolatto to write the season too quickly. Now, that's not to say that the show's first and third seasons don't have their own divisive qualities. In fact, the finales of both seasons continue to provoke wide ranges of responses from the show's fans.

But no matter how controversial certain episodes of the show's first and third seasons may be, neither season seems to be quite as negatively regarded as "True Detective" Season 2.