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When social justice > good writing: HBO’s ‘True Detective: Night Country’ finale FLOPS spectacularly

When social justice > good writing: HBO’s ‘True Detective: Night Country’ finale FLOPS spectacularly

“True Detective: Night Country” is the fourth season of HBO’s popular crime drama series that follows the lives of several police officers as they hunt down criminals and confront their own demons.

It’s a show that Lauren Chen “wasn't initially planning on reviewing.” But that all changed once she watched the season finale.

When the season first dropped, Lauren was “immediately interested in the premise of the show.”

“‘True Detective: Night Country’ is about crime in Alaska,” she says, adding that the season begins with a team of scientists working for a research center mysteriously vanishing just as the country enters the sunless winter season.

“They actually do leave behind one clue, and that is a severed human tongue,” says Lauren.

Thus begins the story of how police Chief Elizabeth Danvers, her underling Detective Hank Prior, and State Trooper Evangeline Navarro untangle the mystery of the missing scientists.

“For concept alone, I would give this a 10 out of 10,” Lauren admits.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t far into the series before red flags started popping up. For example, Lauren discovered that the show had “a female lead writer,” and while she’s certainly no sexist, “in this day and age, that just screams DEI hire.”

While Lauren admits that she likes Jodie Foster in the role of Elizabeth Danvers, the fact that the two lead characters are “strong, empowered, competent, hard lady cops” while there’s “no good, strong male character” is “a bit much.”

Further, “the issue of race does come up,” specifically “whiteness,” says Lauren, although she was willing to “overlook all of those things as long as the writing as it pertains to the mystery … was good.”

But … it wasn’t.

These red flags culminated in one of the worst endings Lauren has ever seen.

“More so than any other genre, the ending of murder mysteries … can make or break the series or movie, and that's exactly where, unfortunately, ‘Night Country’ fails so, so spectacularly,” she sighs.

“The ending doesn't really make sense; it's completely unsatisfying,” she continues, adding that the big reveal is “cartoonish” and “social justice-infused.”

To hear specific spoilers for “True Detective: Night Country,” watch Lauren’s review below.

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