• True Detective: Night Country fixed TV’s dark problem by keeping scenes visible, unlike other recent HBO shows like Game of Thrones.
  • The constant darkness in True Detective: Night Country enhanced the story, setting it apart from previous seasons and other HBO series.
  • The unique Alaskan setting and production quality of True Detective: Night Country made it a popular hit for HBO, with a renewed fifth season confirmed.



True Detective: Night Country was able to fix a common TV problem that has plagued many popular shows in the past several years, including several from HBO. In its six-episode run, True Detective: Night Country offered a new take on the popular detective drama that first premiered in 2014. The fourth season of the anthology series was a popular one for HBO, as True Detective: Night Country scored big ratings for the premium streaming service.

The cast of True Detective: Night Country includes Jodie Foster (Liz Danvers), Kali Reis (Evangeline Navarro), Fiona Shaw (Rose Aguineau), and Finn Bennett (Pete Prior) who are caught up in a series of murders and crimes committed in fictional Ennis, Alaska. One of the defining features of the season was that True Detective: Night Country took place during a long winter night in northern Alaska, a time when the sun did not appear for weeks. Despite the lack of daylight in the entire series, HBO was still able to overcome what has become a problem with television shows.

All episodes of
True Detective: Night Country
are available to stream on Max.

True Detective: Night Country Was Never Too Dark, Despite Being Set At Night

Many television series, and especially recent prestige series on HBO, have struggled with shows being too dark. True Detective: Night Country takes place in a setting where there are absolutely zero daylight hours, and yet HBO was able to find a way for it to never be too dark to see what is going on. True Detective: Night Country has been praised for its production value, considering it often worked with the stark contrast of the dark exterior of Alaska juxtaposed with the bright, luminescent interiors of places like the Tsalal research station and the Ennis police building.

The high quality of the show’s production, which takes place entirely at night, was a relief considering some of the recent criticism of other popular HBO shows.

The high quality of the show’s production, which takes place entirely at night, was a relief considering some of the recent criticism of other popular HBO shows. Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon have both suffered from being too dark during nighttime scenes or scenes where characters are in dark, dank locations. For a show that premiered almost 10 years after Game of Thrones and had the benefit of past feedback, the unwatchable darkness scenes were one of the things that did not work well in House of the Dragon.

True Detective: Night Country’s “Dark” Setting Made Its Story Much Better

Jodie Foster as Chief Liz Danvers, Kali Reis as Trooper Evangeline Navarro, and Finn Bennett as Officer Peter Prior in True Detective: Night Country

In True Detective: Night Country, the darkness and constant state of the night became as essential to the story as any of the characters or the mystery of the various murders. The darkness served as a tool to disorient the viewers, as the audience could never tell what time of day it was, how many days had passed, or simply what tasks the characters should be doing because there was no sunlight to orient anything. This setting was a nice counterbalance to certain aspects of previous seasons of True Detective.

True Detective
has been renewed for a fifth season by HBO, with Issa López returning as showrunner.

The night in Ennis, Alaska was the opposite setting of the Louisiana heat of True Detective season 1 or the muggy days in Arkansas in True Detective season 3. In addition, the concrete jungle atmosphere of True Detective season 2, set in Vinci, California, made for brighter settings than anything in season 4. In the end, the darkness and the atmospheric conditions of True Detective: Night Country being filmed in Iceland and the constant state of darkness in True Detective: Night Country elevated the show’s story and themes, and was much easier to watch than previous HBO shows.

True Detective

In this anthology series, each season follows a different detective or set of detectives as they forced to confront some horrific truths about their town and themselves. No matter the setting and characters, each detective must unravel lies and clues to solve the chilling mysteries around them.

Matthew McConaughey , Woody Harrelson , Colin Farrell , Rachel McAdams , Taylor Kitsch , Mahershala Ali , Carmen Ejogo , Michelle Monaghan , Michael Potts , Ray Fisher , Jodie Foster

Release Date
January 12, 2014



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