HBO are no strangers to producing great drama series. With titles such as Game of Thrones and True Detective under their belt it’s only natural that they added to the CV this year with their new mini-series The Night Of.
So whether you’ve just finished Narcos and looking for something to quench your television thirst or just don’t fancy going out this weekend, here’s 4 reasons why The Night Of is your next show to binge on.
Classic Crime Drama
Without spoiling too much The Night Of is about a young, Muslim college student Nasir ‘Naz’ Khan, who, after spending a drunken, drug fuelled night with a mysterious young girl, wakes up to find her dead and faces being charged with her murder. It sounds quite formulaic but what this show does so beautifully is leaving out just the right amount of details. You’ll constantly find yourself second guessing your own conclusions as you get caught up in a classic ‘everyone’s a suspect’ story that we don’t see enough of any more.
Great characters are just as important as the plot and boy is this show full of them, from hard-nosed, cynical detectives to convicted ex-boxing champions. But best of all the Night Of gives us John Stone. The ever brilliant John Turturro nails his performance bringing to life the down on his luck but ultimately brilliant attorney with a failed marriage and debilitating eczema. He’s funny, he’s smart he’s painfully relatable, and he steals every scene he appears in. Plus his final courtroom speech ensures that Stone will go down in history as one of the best characters on TV.
The Zaillian Factor
Director Steve Zaillian(writer of Schindler’s List) creates a dull, gritty and ominous atmosphere, reminiscent of film noir, putting a dark spin on Manhattan and boy does it make the show look and feel great. With the help of his cast he creates some expertly executed dramatic and comedic moments that make the show so much more than a modern day courtroom crime drama.
A Deeper Meaning
Islamophobia, the American jail system, drug abuse, struggles with physical deformities. This show is packed with underlying themes. There’s just so much to digest you can’t focus on any one issue. And that’s the beauty. It’s not a ham fisted attempt to tell us that we’re bad people or that we need to change but it normalises these issues making them part of the character’s everyday lives. We get to see them face these challenges and both adapt and accept them in a way that we ourselves sometimes do in our own lives making it both tragic and uplifting all at once.