“True Detective: Night Country,” the latest season of the acclaimed HBO crime series, debuted with a mix of critical acclaim and controversial audience reception. Showrunner Issa López, taking the helm in this new chapter, has openly addressed a concerning trend in the show’s audience ratings.
Issa López, in a post on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter), expressed her concerns over the negative trend in audience scores on Rotten Tomatoes. Despite the season receiving a high 92% score from critics, the audience rating stands at a lower 69%.
López urges fans who enjoyed the premiere episode to voice their opinions on Rotten Tomatoes to counteract the negative ratings, which she attributes to a specific group of fans.
The phenomenon López is tackling is known as “review bombing,” where groups of fans coordinate efforts to lower a film or TV series’ audience score on platforms like Rotten Tomatoes or IMDB. This practice has been observed in several instances, particularly against projects featuring women or inclusive casts. Notable examples include Marvel’s “Captain Marvel” and the 2016 “Ghostbusters” reboot.
“True Detective: Night Country,” starring Jodie Foster and Kali Reis, marks a significant shift from the series’ previous seasons. The new season focuses on a murder mystery involving an Indigenous Alaskan woman, with a heavier emphasis on supernatural elements compared to past installments. TV critics, including Variety’s Alison Herman, have lauded the season as a “rewarding reboot” and a “haunting murder mystery.”
The shift in showrunner from Nic Pizzolatto, who led the first three seasons, to Issa López, a Mexican screenwriter and filmmaker known for her 2017 horror film “Tigers Are Not Afraid,” signifies a new creative direction for the series. López’s involvement as director and co-writer of all six episodes of “Night Country” has been a point of contention among some long-time fans, evident in the one-star audience reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.
The season premiere of “Night Country” is currently available for streaming on Max, with new episodes airing on HBO and Max on Sunday nights.