There’s a War Between True Detective’s Creator, Fans, and the Fourth Season Showrunner

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Summary

  • True Detective: Night Country received critical acclaim despite a battle between the show’s creator, fans of the first season, and the season 4 showrunner.
  • Creator Nic Pizzolatto distanced himself from the new season and criticized its connections to the first season.
  • The shift to a female-led perspective in Night Country may be a factor in the backlash from certain viewers.


The newest season of True Detective recently debuted on HBO and has been met with resounding critical praise. Set 150 miles north of the article circle in the fictional town of Ennis, Alaska, the latest season follows Chief Liz Danvers (Jodie Foster) and Trooper Evangeline Navarro (Kali Reis) as they navigate their jobs in the wake of Polar Night, a time in which the sun doesn’t rise for several weeks. The catalyst for the show kicks off after a group of scientists from the local Tsalal Arctic Research Station disappears without a trace, except for a severed tongue left behind at the scene. After discovering the tongue belongs to an Inupiat woman named Anne Kowtok, whose unsolved murder occurred six years earlier, the two women reluctantly join forces to solve their respective cases.

Despite its positive critical response, True Detective: Night Country appears to be in the midst of a battle between the show’s creator, its fans, and the new Season 4 showrunner. While it seems the latest season saved the series’ reputation after its sophomore season failed to meet expectations with major plot holes, series creator Nic Pizzolatto and diehard fanboys of Season 1 appear to disagree.

Since its premiere in January 2024, Pizzolatto has shown no admiration for the newest iteration of the series. The show’s new showrunner, Issa Lopez, who also co-wrote and directed every episode, has called out possible review bombing as a result of the tension that’s arisen in recent weeks surrounding Pizzolatto’s comments. It would seem since the new season is predominantly led by women, both in front of and behind the screen, certain viewers have taken issue with such a new perspective, which clearly differs from the previous three seasons.


Nic Pizzolatto Has No Love For True Detective: Night Country

true detective
True Detective

Release Date
January 12, 2014
Cast
Mahershala Ali , Stephen Dorff , Carmen Ejogo , Scoot McNairy , Jodie Foster , Kali Reis , Matthew McConaughey , Woody Harrelson , Alexandra Daddario , John Hawkes , Colin Farrell , Vince Vaughn

Seasons
4

In response to viewer critiques of the newest season from supposed disappointed fans, Pizzolatto has seemingly distanced himself from the show and urged fans not to blame him for its perceived issues. He’s even gone so far as to allegedly call out the connections Season 4 has made to the show’s inaugural season as “so stupid” in now-deleted social media posts.

Tweets from Nic Pizzolatto regarding the latest season of True Detective
Instagram

However, he hasn’t specifically detailed why he holds such contempt for Lopez’s direction of Night Country. Instead, he’s posted comments on Instagram when fans of previous seasons disparage the new one. As such, his position unfortunately comes across as petty rather than run-of-the-mill, valid criticisms of the show.

As creator of the series, Pizzolatto also oversaw its first three seasons. However, he now acts as an executive producer on Night Country without any writing credits, which is a first for the series. Because he’s still attached to the project, it seems odd that Pizzolatto would make such an effort to bash the creative forces behind the latest season. Lopez clearly has an appreciation for Pizzolatto’s original concept, which is evident to anyone watching the show, given its clear inspiration and references to Season 1. As soon as she was brought in by HBO, she revisited the first season to analyze it and try to figure out what made the initial season so magnetic for its viewers.

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Issa López Calls Out Reviewing Bombing

Despite its phenomenal Rotten Tomatoes score, the Audience Score sits nearly 30 points lower, which is undoubtedly a massive difference for such a well-crafted, quality series. In the wake of Pizzolatto’s comments, Lopez faults “bros and hardcore fanboys” for reviewing bombing the new season in a coordinated effort to disparage the show despite its critical success. While there doesn’t appear to be an explicit, unified reason why the newest season has received so much hate from certain viewers, the shift away from its male protagonists may have played a significant part. Such a possibility isn’t lost on Lopez.

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Female-Led Perspective Could Be the ‘Problem’

Unlike previous seasons, True Detective: Night Country centers its story through the eyes of women and embodies a female-led narrative to tell its story. In a series whose male characters have dominated the narrative time and again, such a shift undoubtedly plays some sort of role in the backlash that’s emerged since its premiere. While Pizzolatto, and others disappointed with the new season, would likely be hard-pressed to attribute their disdain for the season to the show’s new female perspective, such a possibility is hard to overlook given the writing on the wall.

The fourth season possesses the same tone, as well as the same partner dynamics within its law enforcement, as the first season. The difference with Night Country is that women effectively lead the charge and wholeheartedly remain at the center of the narrative. “They’re working in the setting of a corner of America that is not often portrayed in media, and that is full of secrets and stories that are not told,” Lopez told TheWrap.

Night Country is clearly a return to the essence and roots of the first season but with a female twist. Two detectives are at the helm of the ship, steering the story accordingly, just as they were in the first season. However, this time, women are at the forefront as well as underrepresented communities, which can be an uncomfortable narrative shift for some viewers. True Detective: Night Country is currently streaming on Max. New episodes premiere every Monday night on HBO.

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