Hated True Detective S4? Watch Criminal Record Instead

Hated True Detective S4? Watch Criminal Record Instead
Image credit: Apple TV+, HBO

Apple TV Plus almost simultaneously released two shows in the tradition of the Season 1 of True Detective, and a separate project turned out to be better than the rightful heir.


  • True Detective 's fourth season, Night Сountry, was recently released and failed to live up to the expectations of fans, following in the footsteps of the first season and introducing nothing new.
  • Almost simultaneously with Night Country, Criminal Record was released, which also follows the traditions of the first season of True Detective, but does it better.
  • Criminal Record follows June, a police officer who tries to solve an old murder case after receiving a strange phone call, while the inspector who investigated the case claims that the real killer is in prison.

It's been exactly ten years since Rust Cohle's mysterious and philosophical project drove TV viewers crazy, and five years since True Detective's credits last appeared on the screen in Season 3.

The anthology has returned with a new showrunner: regular writer Nic Pizzolatto has been replaced by Issa Lopez, who made a name for herself with the social horror Tigers Are Not Afraid.

Night Country Didn’t Live Up to Expectations

However, the long wait raised the already high bar for the show, and it did not do the fourth season, titled Night Country, any favors.

Here, despite all the external beauty of the polar night, the charisma of the leading actresses, including Jodie Foster herself, everything that has happened so far does not look very convincing. The main focus of the season is not the innovative plot or groundbreaking ideas, but not a pretty uninventive return to the first season.

Criminal Record Follows the Footsteps of True Detective S1

Almost simultaneously with the fourth season of True Detective, Apple TV Plus released the show Criminal Record, which, oddly enough, follows in the footsteps of the cult first season of True Detective more successfully than Night Country.

The shows are similar not only in plot – two very different detectives investigate a complex case that becomes more and more personal for them – but also visually, filmed in cold colors.

But while the new season of True Detective stars two women, played by Jodie Foster and Kali Reis, Criminal Record features a duo of a man and a woman – the novice June and the experienced Hegarty, played by Cush Jumbo and Peter Capaldi.

Criminal Record's Plot

London Police Sergeant June is tasked with investigating a call to the hotline: a frightened girl reports threats from her boyfriend. During the knife attack, he told her that he had stabbed his ex-girlfriend and gotten away with murder, and that another person was serving time in prison for the crime.

June decides to conduct her own investigation. She contacts Chief Inspector Hegarty, who investigated a murder ten years ago. The young woman was found with multiple stab wounds, but Hegarty insists that the real killer is in prison.

Is Criminal Record Better Than True Detective?

In Criminal Record, the detective intrigue that unfolds because of a phone call draws out one social problem after another: dark-skinned June, who begins her investigation, is confronted with poorly hidden racism and gender discrimination, police nepotism and corruption.

At the same time, the main topic of the series remains domestic violence. The creators make an important point: the most terrible crimes are not committed by terrible villains, as in spy action movies, but by ordinary people, someone's colleagues and neighbors.

First of all, Criminal Record captivates with its detective intrigue. At the same time, the show does not run out of steam in the middle – on the contrary, it becomes more intense with each episode.

True Detective fans can't say the same about the newest season of their favorite project, so maybe it's time to binge something new.