Original True Detective creator keeps whining about new season, cast member responds

True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto isn't involved in Night Country, but he still profits from it. He's reposting messages calling it "a hot mess" that "butchered and misappropriated" the first season.
True Detective: Night Country episode 3
True Detective: Night Country episode 3 /

The latest season of True Detective, this time subtitled Night Country, wrapped up this weekend. This was the first time that a season of True Detective would be made without original show creator Nic Pizzolatto. Filmmaker Issa López stepped in as showrunner, taking us to the fictional town of Ennis, Alaska where detectives Liz Danvers (Jodie Foster) and Evangeline Navarro (Kali Reis) try to solve the mystery of how a bunch of scientists ended up naked and dead in the snow.

Overall, Night Country has been a success. I especially liked the finale, which tied up the mystery in a surprising way that played fair with the audience and delved into themes that Pizzolatto's seasons wouldn't have touched. Viewers have responded too. According to Variety, the finale was watched by a season high of 3.2 million people; it's always a good sign when more people watch your show as it goes on, since it means audiences are getting swept up in the story. Night Country averaged around 12.7 million viewers across all six episodes, a series high. Night Country did feel a bit different from what had come before, but we were due for a change, and it looks like it paid off.

But Night Country has endured backlash from some fans online. The IMDb ratings are lower than for any other season, and a lot of user reviews are pretty harsh. It's hard not to notice the "no chicks in my treehouse" vibe to a lot of that backlash, with fans complaining that Issa López was pushing an "agenda," or that all the men on the show are "useless" (which comes as a surprise to me, since fresh-faced lieutenant Peter Prior might be my personal breakout character). Many take issue with the focus on family drama, trashing the show as a "high-budget telenovela" more concerned with sex and relationships than solving the case.

Basically, a lot of these reviews read as though the critics are upset that Night Country has a pair of women for leads, but they don't want to say that out loud, so they tip-toe right up to the edge of the water without diving in. The show wasn't perfect — I didn't like how it leaned more into outright horror than the previous seasons did, and not every plot turn made perfect sense — but it definitely got more grief than it deserved on account of it revolving around women.

Pizzolatto, for his part, seems to endorse the critiques. He opined earlier in the season that Night Country was "so stupid" and recently shared some harsh user reviews describing the show as a "hot mess" that tried to push a "Men=Problem" agenda.

The reviews Pizzolatto shared also slobber all over Pizzolatto's work on the first season of True Detective. Also, I remind you that Pizzolatto is shading the new season of True Detective even though he remains an exectuve producer, which means he gets a check. It's all pretty pitiful and embarassing. It conjures images of Pizzolatto in mustard-stained sweatpants reading mean reviews of Night Country with blood-shot eyes at 4 in the morning reassuring himself that he's a mistreated genius.

Kali Reis, for the record, responded on Twitter. "That’s a damn shame," she wrote, "but hey I guess 'if you don’t have anything good to share, shit on others' is the new wave lol."

And Issa López responded to some of Pizzolatto's earlier shady comments with way more class than they probably deserve. “I believe that every storyteller has a very specific, peculiar, and unique relation to the stories they create, and whatever his reactions are, he’s entitled to them. That’s his prerogative,” she told Vulture. “I wrote this with profound love for the work he made and love for the people that loved it. And it is a reinvention, and it is different, and it’s done with the idea of sitting down around the fire, and [let’s] have some fun and have some feelings and have some thoughts. And anybody that wants to join is welcome.”

Given the success of Night Country, it's very possible we'll see another season from Lopez, which I'd welcome. I liked her take on the series and would be curious to see what she and her team could do with some experience under their belt.

Next. td. All 4 seasons of True Detective, ranked from worst to best. dark

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h/t The A.V. Club