HBO's THE NIGHT OF begun on Sky Atlantic this week and stars John Turturro and Riz Ahmed, the show centers around a murder investigation and the fight to clear the name of the main character, Nasir.
The entire series (eight episodes) is shrouded in mystery, as Nasir himself is unsure if he actually killed the young woman, Andrea, after a one night stand gone wrong. A series of mistakes leads to Nasir's arrest, when bottom feeding lawyer, Jack Stone (Turturro) takes the case.
As Nasir's family and legal team desperately try to build a case, he goes through a major transformation in prison, succumbing to criminal activity and life-changing actions that will forever alter his character. Watching Nasir's downfall was hard to watch, as he started off as a completely innocent character. By the end of the series, I found myself liking him less, despite his circumstances.
While I believed in Nas's innocence for the most part, his 180-degree turn around instilled a sense of doubt in me that made me question whether he actually did it or not. There were a bunch of other characters with larger motivations for killing Andrea that certainly could have fit, but the finale left us without a definitive answer.
This series was masterfully done, as it was captivating throughout its run and kept my mind going, trying to solve the mystery. While most of the actors are relative unknowns, they all played their roles remarkably well and were wholly believable. I loved how engaged I became while watching. It had the feel of 'Law & Order: SVU' on steroids.
Although there is only 8 episodes, the series wrapped up the story in such a way that it doesn't warrant multiple seasons, and leaves audiences with a sense of wonder and doubt, which made for great storytelling. I can see this type of storytelling becoming more prevalant in the future with the way people are watching TV.
Self-contained stories like THE NIGHT OF have more of a cinematic feel and don't need to be dragged on for multiple seasons. Stations like HBO and streaming services like Netflix and Hulu have a real opportunity to produce great content without making fans wait long periods of time in between seasons.
- Aired on Sky Atlantic, September 1 2016 at 21:00.