‘True Detective’ season 1 writer dislikes season 4’s ties to it, showrunner responds

I may not really be enjoying True Detective: Night Country all that much, but I am also not the guy who wrote the past three seasons of the show. That would be Nic Pizzolatto, who wrote the beloved first season, but also the disastrous second season, and the solid enough third season.


But now with True Detective season 4 being tied back to season 1 in a number of ways, Pizzolatto has taken to social media to more or less mock these developments, and it’s clear he doesn’t like or approve of them. The comments on Instagram:

When asked about Matthew McConaughey potentially returning to the show, given that it revealed his father lived in the town where it took place, and it has to do with the season 1 case:

“I certainly did not have any input on this story or anything else. Can’t blame me. Matthew doesn’t show up, nor would he.”

Then, when asked about how the Tuttles went from local business and political magnates to some sort of global megacorp funding an arctic research station:

“Haha. So stupid.”


This got so widely circulated it actually drew a response from season 4 showrunner Issa López, who handled it a bit…more gracefully than we saw from Pizzolatto’s probably ill-advised public criticism:

“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,” López 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.”

It’s a good answer! And I do believe she loved season 1 and wanted to honor it. But this reminds me of the new Star Wars trilogy having different writers/directors jerking the story all around, the visions not working with each other. If you don’t have the originator of the idea working to shape the “sequel” season, you get something like…Night Country, which has turned a local death cult into a vast, potentially global, potentially supernatural conspiracy in a way that varies wildly in tone and subject matter from the first season. So far, it really is not working as a sequel to season 1, even if it may work slightly better on its own (again, this was originally supposed to be a different murder mystery project, and HBO had López turn it into a True Detective season, adding the season 1 ties).

I think Pizzolatto was not wise to post those comments publicly, but I appreciate Lopez’s response, even if I am not loving the season and agree with much of the season 1 sequel criticism.

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