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‘True Detective’: Understanding Its Decline in Three Easy Charts

The second season of HBO’s “True Detective” is truly defective.

It’s not just TV critics sensing a drop-off in evidence of positive buzz that the series generated in its first year. Canvs, which tracks sentiment regarding content on Twitter, detected that tweets with emotional reactions citing “hate” and “boredom” are up 52% and 97%, respectively, when the first six episodes of the season are compared with the first six from last year. On the flip side, “love” has decreased a whopping 81%.


Similar dynamics are playing out on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, where a huge 38% drop is rippling across likes, shares, comments and views, according to ListenFirst Media. What is more worrisome is the major drops in the number of likes, shares, comments and views across Facebook, Instagram and Youtube, which went from 2.9 million to 1.8 million.

Source: ListenFirst Click here for full-size image

“While a decrease in fan acquisition and organic search volume is normal for most programs as they transition from season one to season two, a drop in post engagements is something we don’t frequently see, particularly since the community size is larger in a series’ second season.”-Jason Klein, Co-CEO/Co-Founder of ListenFirst Media.

Even the star-studded cast of the second season doesn’t seem to be registering much, with Vince Vaughn in particular drawing some high negative numbers, according to Canvs data.


In aggregate, Vince Vaugh, Colin Farrell, Taylor Kitsch and Rachel McAdams comprise 18.4% of the emotional reactions–down over 28% from the tweets demonstrating previous stars Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey were resonating.

It’s not like season 2 is being ignored on Twitter; There’s 27% more tweets around the first six episodes of “True Detective” season 2 than season 1. However, while the Twitter buzz built over those episodes last year, it’s headed in the opposite direction over the same span this season.

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