True Detective has always featured a lot of driving. Sometimes it felt like the first season was composed of Matthew McConaughey driving around in a Lincoln and philosophizing in the one-minute bursts that came on while you were watching other shows. But at least Detectives Cole and Hart limited their travels to a relatively small area of the Louisiana bayou.
Season two splits most of its time between Los Angeles, which is in Southern California, and Monterey, which is in Central California. Now, TV has always famously glossed over the difficulties of driving around L.A.—Jack Bauer could reliably drive from anywhere to anywhere in the span of a commercial break. But Detectives Bezzerides and Velcoro make the 420-mile jaunt halfway across the state in seemingly every episode, and always during the course of an otherwise-busy day.
How far does that stretch credulity? Wired is glad you asked. The tech-savvy magazine has charted exactly how much driving season 2’s detectives do, and how unrealistic that driving is. The magazine’s Jordan Crucchiola calculates how long these frequent trips take, and even works out, based on time of year, how much daylight is available to the show. It turns out, the detectives frequently make a drive that would take eight hours only if there were no traffic whatsoever in the entirety of Southern California, yet even on short winter days still have plenty of daylight hours left over for true detecting. What’s worse is that most of these day-long excursions are to have a conversation that could have just as easily been had over the phone.
At one point, Bezzerides tails Velcoro’s father from central California to Eugene, Oregon, having already made a 4.5-hour drive earlier in the day. It’s clear that, of all the elements of season 1 to not make the leap to season 2, the one thing creator Nic Pizzolatto decided America loved about True Detective was all the commuting.