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'Mare of Easttown' Season 2? Don't hold your breath

Kate Winslet as Mare in "Mare of Easttown."
(Image credit: HBO)

As we approach the end of Mare of Easttown on HBO and HBO Max, we arrive at the obvious question? Will there be Season 2 of Mare of Easttown?

It's a fair question, if for no other reason than Mare of Easttown is one hell of a series. It's in the same vein of, say, True Detective — another HBO standout — minus the supernatural or occult elements. And like True Detective before it, Mare has one hell of a cast, starting with Kate Winslet and Jean Smart. 

But, no. There will be no Mare of Easttown Season 2. Probably.

That's because the series was billed as a "limited series" from the jump. That's industry code for "Look, we're making this thing. And we have a really good feeling that you're going to like it, because we know it's really good. But we're not going to make any more of it, because sometimes when you love something you have to set it free."

Why go ahead and tell us that Mare of Easttown is a limited series and that we shouldn't expect a Season 2? Because the internet. Better to go ahead and set expectations early, rather than let fans (whether out of earnestness or trollishness) do what fans tend to do, and go overboard. If the intention was to only have a single season of Mare of Easttown, then that's what we're going to get.

MORE MARE: A killer "revealed," but questions remain

Billing a show as a limited series also may help out the actors and directors. It's one thing to sign on to a show for half-dozen or even a dozen episodes. It's another thing to get involved with an open-ended production, with no exit in sight. And, quite possibly, no way to wrap up the story that doesn't lead to disappointment down the road. Think about Lost, or Game of Thrones

It's the same sort of thing we had with the nine-episode run of Damon Lindelof's take of Watchmen in 2019. (Which, by the way, also included Jean Smart.) It also was excellent. It also was a limited series. It also left fans clamoring for more. But so far as we know, everyone is sticking to their guns and letting very good thing be.

Need one more reason to not have Mare of Easttown Season 2? Think about how much this show has been through. The tight-knit and overlapping families in a small town, far outside the suburbs, where even the good ones are lucky to get out. What's going to be left of the families we've seen wrecked so far? How much more death and despair could anyone realistically wring out of it? At what point are you just bouncing the rubble?

Yes, it could be done. But that doesn't make it a good idea.