True Detective star Kali Reis responds to franchise creator posting negative comments about finale

Boxer-turned-actor Kali Reis has clapped back at True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto after he reshared posts criticising the season four finale.

True Detective: Night Country, starring Reis as Alaska State Trooper Evangeline Navarro, is the first in the franchise not to be created by Pizzolatto, although he did executive produce the series.

Night Country was created by Issa López and stars Jodie Foster as Liz Danvers, the local police chief of a fictional town on the fringes of the Alaskan wilderness.

During the show’s six-episode run, which concluded with the finale on Sunday (18 February), Pizzolatto has distanced himself and aired criticisms, including saying in a now-deleted post that the series’ callbacks to the first season were “so stupid”.

“I certainly did not have any input on this story or anything else. Can’t blame me,” he reportedly added.

According to screenshots from Pizzolatto’s Instagram Story that were posted on Twitter/X, the screenwriter reshared comments after the finale aired that called the season a “hot mess” and criticised the final reveal as “self righteous vigilantism”.

Responding to news of the original creator’s negativity, Reis wrote on X on Monday: “That’s a damn shame. But hey I guess ‘if you don’t have anything good to share, s*** on others’ is the new wave lol.”

Elsewhere on his Instagram profile, Pizzolatto liked and responded to a commenter this week who wrote: “Watching night country (not true detective) and I must say not only is the acting terrible, even from someone as great as Jodie Foster but the story telling is even worse.”

Responding to another who praised Night Country and called Pizzolatto a misogynist, he responded: “Of course, anyone who doesn't like the show must be a misogynist. And have a small penis. And something something ‘muh patriarchy’. Nobody cares about your opinion policing, you brain-broken misandrist.”

The Independent has contacted HBO for further comment.

Kali Reis in ‘True Detective: Night Country’ (Michele K Short/HBO)
Kali Reis in ‘True Detective: Night Country’ (Michele K Short/HBO)

Asked about Pizzolatto’s criticisms in a 31 January interview with Vulture, López said: “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.”

“I wrote this with profound love for the work he made and love for the people that loved it,” she added. “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.”

After Night Country debuted in January, López accused “hardcore fanboys” of the first series (starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson) and misogynistic “bros” of review bombing the show on Rotten Tomatoes.

“Review bombing” is a term used to describe when people post negative reviews of a film, TV series or video game en masse, in a coordinated effort to lower its rating on aggregator websites.

In an interview with The Independent, Reis asked the fanboys to “get their heads out of season one’s ass”.

Reis and Foster in ‘True Detective' (© 2023 Home Box Office, Inc. All rights reserved. HBO® and all related programs are the property of Home Box Office, Inc.)
Reis and Foster in ‘True Detective' (© 2023 Home Box Office, Inc. All rights reserved. HBO® and all related programs are the property of Home Box Office, Inc.)

“Everyone loved the first season, including myself,” she said. “Issa did not attempt to rewrite the first season or do better than the first season. There are connections to the first season, there’s a homage, there’s a love letter to the first season. But you’re not going to duplicate the first season.

“So, if they could get their head out of season one’s ass that would be great. If they could just take it for what it is and if you don’t like it, fine. But it’s kind of unfortunate because you have people who count on fanboys and these ‘true fans’ and are like, ‘Oh, well if they’re saying that then I don’t even want to watch it.’”

Elsewhere in the interview, Reis said some trolls had accused her character of raping her boyfriend, Eddie Qavvik (Joel D Montgrand).

In one scene, Navarro has sex with Qavvik while grabbing his throat. “I got accused of my character being a raper!” she said. “I’m like: what century do you live in?”

True Detective: Night Country is available to watch on Max in the US and on Sky Atlantic and NOW in the UK.