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You Better Watch What You Say: 7 'True Detective' Female Dream Teams

By Cindy Davis | Seriously Random Lists | February 17, 2014 | Comments ()


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From the moment True Detective began, we’ve all been bowled over by Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson—both absolutely fantastic actors, and each at the top of his game. Add in their odd couple-ish chemistry, and it almost doesn’t matter what happens with the serial murder case they’re working; we just want to watch these two chewing the scenery. Rust’s dour outlook on humanity often inspires Marty’s comedic incredulity, and Cohle is the calm to Hart’s sometimes raging storm. Together, these boys are a thing of beauty, but we’ve known all along they’d only be around for eight too-short episodes. If you’re anything like me, you’re already imagining future series pairings. What I’d really like to see is creator/writer Nic Pizzolatto writing for a couple of great women (and a female director would be the icing on my cake). Here are seven dream teams who’d be perfect True Detective pairings.

1. The Friends: Katee Sackhoff and Tricia Helfer

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Like Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey, Sackhoff and Helfer are real-life friends who have worked together before, and their personal connection shows. Likewise, they both have the chops to play whatever kind of twisted detectives Pizzolatto might have stuck in his brain.

2. The Classics: Helen Mirren and Holly Hunter

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Brilliant ladies; brilliant detectives both (albeit with very different styles). Putting them together would be as perfect a combination as peanut butter and chocolate.

3. The Power Couple: Angela Bassett and Joelle Carter

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Bassett and Carter are both great at strong, fierce characters who won’t hesitate to take anyone down. To see them play off each other…a gift.

4. The Quiet Ones: Naomi Watts and Elisabeth Moss

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These gorgeous ladies have a quiet strength that often lulls people into underestimating them. Make no mistake, they’d take down anyone and everyone.

5. Front and Center: Erica Tazel and Rutina Wesley

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Both Tazel (Justified) and Wesley (True Blood) play background characters who deserve more screen time, and both are clearly ready for starring roles. True Detective would be their perfect breakout, giving them both a chance to shine.

6. The Wild Ones: Frances McDormand and Ruth Wilson

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Unpredictable, possibly crazy, clever, clever girls. Look out criminals.

7. The Misfits: Summer Glau and Lili Taylor

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I’ve really enjoyed seeing a different side of Taylor on Almost Human (mixed bag of a show); she’s great as Captain Maldonado, but she deserves a front and center role. Taylor and Glau share a certain offbeat quirkiness, but they’re dissimilar enough that each actress would stand out. And I love the idea of Glau as a supersmart, badass cop.


Cindy Davis, (Twitter) is so deeply immersed in True Detective, she never wants a way out.



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Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned


  • Kip Hackman

    I love all of these, but my favorites are probably four, five, and six.

  • Anton

    What about Jessica Lange as the villain and Helen Mirren as the detective? Wouldn't that be the bomb? They would tear up the screen together. Sadly, Jessica Lange wants to retire for now... So, Helen Mirren and Ellen Burstyn as gal pal detectives? Or what about Frances Conroy and Kathy Bates? They were great together in Six Feet Under.

  • ASFan

    I have a female casting suggestion for another season that will probably get laughed at, so I won't mention exactly who it is. I'll just say that she's been getting a lot of attention lately, but she hasn't gotten a good meaty role yet, so I'd like to see her get a substantial role on this show in a later season.

  • LD

    Timothy Olyphant and Walton Goggings.
    I know they are no girls but they would be for girls.

  • BWeaves

    Cagney and Lacey?
    Rosemary and Thyme?

  • Marc Greene

    Yeah, you lost me at the suggestion that Tara from True Blood is a background character that needs more screentime. That is just straight up insanity. You know a character is disliked when they take a shotgun blast to the head and the audience cheers.

  • lowercase_ryan

    I have to say that your 5 & 6 pairings are the only ones that interest me. But they are brilliant choices.

  • lowercase_ryan

    Archie Panjabi could do dark and foreboding really, really well I'm guessing.

    Also, Robin Wright?

  • e jerry powell

    Also, Lily Taylor in EVERYTHING.

  • e jerry powell

    BITCH PUDDING!

  • Lovely Bones

    Laura Dern with someone else, maybe Naomi Watts, and Lynch directing.

  • St

    I would pair Elisabeth Moss and Katee Sackhoff. Someone must put Katee Sackhoff as lead detective in something. She did few episodes of CSI. And she was good in it. And she works in police in Longmire. They could seriously cast her as regular on CSI

  • e jerry powell

    I love me some Katee, but mostly when she's being a BITCH.

  • John G.

    What about her?

    http://i.imgur.com/toLPF9B.jpg

    What up Kima!

  • Theodora K Mullins

    Regina King and Angela Basset!! I would watch them steely eye their way to justice all day long!

  • Sean

    Helen Mirren doesn't need a partner to solve crimes. She is way above such things. We learned that a long time ago in Prime Suspect.

  • Well, these are all...stimulating pairings.

    I need a moment.

  • L.O.V.E.

    Keeping the LA setting and flashback device: Jessica Chastain and Margo Martindale investigating the kidnapping of Q. Wallis.

  • Sean

    The hell with Rutina Wesley in anything! While extremely buff and beautiful, she is an annoying actor. At best. Quite awful.

  • Alberto Cox Délano

    Geena Davies and Susan Sarandon in a Penn State-type of case. Nuff said.

  • Three_nineteen

    Gina Torres and Khandi Alexander. Just because.

  • grr arrgh

    Gina Torres and Laurence Fishburne as a husband and wife P.I. team. I would watch the hell out of that.

  • Guest

    So Hart to Hart? Who's the driver? Alan Tudyk?

    *Also if there gonna do H2H can we get a female version of Simon and Simon? Cheryl and Pam for the sisters and
    Bill Murray for the dad type thing.

  • emmalita

    Please make that happen. Pleasepleasepleaseplease!

  • Guest

    I thought CBS or ABC was trying to reboot H2H so it could happen.

    *H2H was just a rip off of The Thin Man so I'd rather they go with Nick and Nora Charles.

  • emmalita

    I'm watching True Detective and The Bletchley Circle. One of the amazing things about Bletchley Circle is watching the women work outside and around social structures and the male authority.

  • emilya

    bletchly circle is easily one of the best series i've seen in the last year. i do not do well watching tv late at night and my whole family sat down and watched this from 9:30pm to maybe 12:30 and NO ONE fell asleep, which is unheard of in our house!

  • Melina

    Your comment made me go look up Bletchley Circle. I can't wait to watch it now, it looks really amazing!

  • emmalita

    It really is amazing. Well worth your time.

  • Stu Rat

    Yeah. It is. I watched it a few weeks ago.
    The dismissiveness of the women's opinions/thoughts/etc. in a post-war world (when so many women took up "men's roles" successfully) is unbelievable. Except I do believe it.

  • emmalita

    My grandmothers both talked about what it was like shifting from being an important part of the work force to being wives and mothers. It didn't take with either of them. They both found ways to have careers.

  • Stephanie

    Co-signed!

  • Mrs. Julien

    The Mirren/Hunter pairing is an inspired juxtaposition.

  • snrp

    I want it. I want it ALL

  • Melina

    Casting Summer Glau is the equivalent of trying to make fetch happen. Sorry, but it's true. She's beautiful, she has moments where she can act, but they are few and far between.

  • TimeTravelMan

    And it would get cancelled straightaway

  • ASFan

    Remind me again. Is that a Mean Girls reference?

  • Melina

    yes, but I think it has taken a life of its own in my house...

  • Alicia

    Same goes for pretty much anyone who is a female millennial, as far as I can tell.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Affirmative.

  • janeite1900

    No Jennifer Lawrence? Really? Winter's Bone? She kind of already did True Detective there, didn't she?

  • RollandsOwn

    She´s too young.

  • ASFan

    If they were going for another buddy cop story, these would be good pairings. But I think Nic is planning for different kinds of cop stories. Of course, I'd love to see a good female detective driving a season.

  • Guest

    Lucy Liu with Tracie Thoms (Stephanie Beatriz or Regina Ling or Sonia Sohn).

    Liu's turn as Jessica Tang on SouthLand was the moment I first recognized what a truly great actress she is and Watson cemented my love for her.

    I've loved Tracie Thoms since Wonderfalls and I've always thought she was super talented but she's never had a part where she was gotten mainstream recognition.

  • grr arrgh

    How about a revival Wonderfalls season where she and Caroline Dhavarnas solve crimes? It could crossover with Hannibal. (...I wonder if this fanfic exists...)

  • Guest

    Totes! I'm sure the twist / stringer for T.D. will be that they don't find the Yellow King and each season will be different detectives on the trail. So as long as the Wax Lion can be worked in I am looking already looking forward the Jaye and Mahandra T.D. conversation Tumblr.

  • emmalita

    It will shortly.

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