The new season of True Detective featuring Jodie Foster and Kali Reis is one of our must-watch Max shows for 2024, and now the reviews are coming in it looks like we’re right to be excited. It’s currently sitting with a very respectable 92% on Rotten Tomatoes from the critics, although there are a few dissenting voices.
Season four of the show (subtitled 'Night Country') is set in Alaska, and follows Foster and Reis as they investigate the disappearance of a group of men from a research station. Hopefully they haven't been The Thing-ed or it's going to go very badly for everyone.
True Detective’s first season was one of the best things I’ve seen on TV, but successive seasons failed to capture the same magic: season 2’s reviews were largely terrible, and it ended up with just 47% on Rotten Tomatoes. It seems that this time, though, the magic is back in a tale of a frozen scientist and a rocky relationship between our two leads.
What are the critics saying about True Detective season 4?
Calling it “the return of TV’s most soulful show,” The Atlantic says that it’s “enough to seriously justify the revival of the True Detective moniker.” TIME says it “throws a bucket of ice water on a flagging franchise”: “While not without its flaws, [director Issa] López’s gorgeously realized story grounds its hardboiled mystery in multidimensional characters, believably immerses viewers in a unique community, and makes a strong case for the continuation of the franchise.”
RogerEbert.com’s Brian Tallerico loves the darkness. It’s “a mesmerizing study of murder, misogyny, racism, cycles of abuse, and possibly something out of H.P. Lovecraft.” And Roxana Hadadi of New York’s Vulture magazine says that “True Detective cast a spell with the directorial flourish, and it’s been struggling to recapture that alchemy in the 10 years since,” but with this season the show is reinventing itself. “Night Country prioritizes things about True Detective that the series, in its second and third seasons, let fall by the wayside”.
While most of the reviews are very positive, a few critics are disappointed. CNN says it feels “like a slog through deep snow”, while Observer.com says it’s “six hours of characters who do not enjoy each other’s company… whether the mystery is worth the misery is a question each viewer will have to answer for themselves.” The The Chicago Sun-Times clearly thinks it is, saying that “at times there’s so much going on that the series almost loses its way — but then there’s another great jump-scare or an intricately staged set piece in the abandoned lab or beneath the ice, and we’re all in.”
We could be off to a strong start in 2024 with one the best Max shows of the year landing right in January.
True Detective: Night Country is streaming now on Max. UK viewers can watch it on Sky Atlantic, and it's on Binge in Australia.
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Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.