Netflix’s Sandman Spin-off Repeats True Detective’s Best Supernatural Storytelling Trick

Netflix’s Sandman spin-off show repeats the same storytelling trick that True Detective season 4 adopts and even executes it better. Despite initially receiving positive reviews from most critics, True Detective: Night Country garnered some backlash after its finale because of its inability to fully resolve many of its underlying plot lines. However, despite the negative feedback, the show earned great viewership numbers, allowing its creator, Issa López, to land the opportunity to helm True Detective season 5.

While only time will tell whether True Detective’s next season will make up for the pitfalls of season 4, a new Netflix spin-off show has interestingly adopted one of True Detective: Night Country’s supernatural story elements. Despite sharing this common story arc, both shows treat it relatively differently. Arguably, Netflix’s Sandman spin-off’s execution of it is relatively superior to True Detective’s.

Both Dead Boy Detectives & True Detective Night Country Reimagine The Sedna Myth

While The Legend Connects To True Detective Season 4’s Main Story, Dead Boy Detectives Presents It In A BackstoryTrue Detective Night Country Issue season 5 shouldnt repeat

In True Detective: Night Country’s episode 1, Peter’s son draws a picture of Sedna, seemingly hinting at the show’s underlying supernatural story beats. Although True Detective season 4 walks the thin line between supernatural and psychological themes almost throughout its runtime, this initial reference to a local Inuit legend highlights how the show is using the Sedna myth as a narrative device to add more cultural symbolism and intrigue to its otherwise formulaic crime drama. Unfortunately, despite subtly referencing the myth in its opening arc, True Detective does not fully capitalize on its narrative richness and thematic significance.

Instead, in its final moments, it only indirectly implies that the Inuit goddess of the seas, Sedna, might have punished the show’s main antagonists. Dead Boy Detectives, on the other hand, first recites the original Sedna myth, in which a young girl turned into a fiery goddess after she was abandoned by her father in the sea when he dropped her from his boat and chopped her fingers to drown her. The Sandman spin-off then brings a unique spin to the legend by highlighting how one of the side characters, Tragic Mike, was once a walrus but turned into a human by Sedna.

Dead Boy Detectives’ Interpretation Of The Myth Is Arguably Better

Dead Boy Detectives Seamlessly Merges It In Its Narrative

Crystal, Edwin, Charles, and Niko in the middle of the forest, looking at something with suspicion in Dead Boy Detectives season 1Since True Detective: Night Country never truly pays off its initial reference to the Sedna myth and does not even explore its supernatural ideas to their full potential, its nod to the legend seems too forced. In Dead Boy Detectives, however, the Sedna myth is not even a part of the main overarching storyline, but the show still integrates it into a character’s backstory while bringing a creative twist to its traditional narrative. While both True Detective and the Sandman spin-off deserve credit for effectively reimagining the Sedna myth, its inclusion in Dead Boy Detectives seems more organic and purposeful.

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