True Detective Called Out For Going “X-Files” With Mixed Rotten Tomatoes Audience Reactions


  • True Detective: Night Country has received the best reviews of the HBO franchise from critics, but audience opinions have been more divided.
  • Some fans feel that the show has strayed too far from its roots and has become more supernatural, reminiscent of The X-Files.
  • Despite the criticism, Night Country has pleased a large part of its audience and currently has a 75% approval rate on Rotten Tomatoes.

True Detective: Night Country delivered the best reviews of the HBO franchise from critics prior to its first episode airing. The audience reviews have been less positive, with the show seeing many 1-star and 5-star reviews dropping in on Rotten Tomatoes in a very love-it-or-hate-it pattern.

The Jodie Foster-led fourth season of the crime drama has been praised for its spine-chilling Alaskan-set story, and, naturally, the performances of its Oscar-winning lead and her costars. However, that is only half the story, as some fans feel that it has strayed too far from its roots, leaning more towards supernatural elements reminiscent of The X-Files rather than maintaining the gritty realism of its predecessors.

Among the first 250 reviews to hit Rotten Tomatoes, one viewer commented, “It’s like they’ve crossed over into X-Files territory, with actual ghosts.” Another echoed similar sentiments, saying, “I miss the old True Detective. This new season feels too supernatural, almost like watching a different show.” A third eloquently articulated the simple argument of, “Not True Detective.”

Despite these criticisms, Night Country has pleased a large part of its audience and is currently sitting on a 75% approval rate. Although this is a long way from the 87% achieved by the first season back in 2014, it is significantly higher than season 2’s 20% and season 3’s 49%.

The fourth season, starring Jodie Foster and Kali Reis, explores a new storyline set in Alaska. The show delves into the disappearance of six people during the harsh winter, with the story taking place as the state is plunged into its annual period of darkness. Foster’s performance as Liz Danvers, an obsessive and brilliant detective, has been particularly lauded by critics, and many audience reviews have echoed the praise for Foster’s first lead role in a TV drama.

Critics Have Been Full of Praise for True Detective’s Comeback

Jodie Foster's face in True Detective season 4

Despite the divergence in audience opinions, Night Country has received overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics. The series entered the exclusive Rotten Tomatoes 100% club when the first reviews began to come in. Since then, the average Tomatometer score has dipped to 92%, but this still remains the highest for the franchise.

Despite some fans of the show not being on board with the otherworldly events going on in the opening episode, Night Country seems to have already done enough to cause a stir that will likely see more people tuning in to see what the fuss is all about. This has not happened since Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson-led first season a decade ago. With the initial gripes out of the way, it will be interesting to see if audience opinion rises in the coming weeks as new chapters of this latest investigation are released.

true detective

True Detective

Release Date
January 12, 2014

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



True Detective: Night Country releases new episodes on HBO and Max weekly on Sundays.

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