I’m very tired right now. This past week, I’ve been staying up until almost 3:00am watching The Night Of. If you know anything about me, then you know I believe in the paranormal very strongly. I say that because I hate being awake past three in the morning. That is the witching hour, when spirits come out. If I did experience any sighting or feeling of a spirit, it would have been worth it. That’s because The Night Of is a pretty damn good show.
I’ve been watching HBO a lot lately. I watched Lisa Kudrow’s The Comeback, Ballers, and Vice Principles. The cable network plays a lot of the same trailers for it’s own upcoming programming. Don’t even get me started on WestWorld. That show looks incredible. Anyway, I had been seeing a lot of trailers for The Night Of. The trailers didn’t do much for me. They were very slow and weren’t very descriptive. I’m guessing that’s what they were doing to pull people on; make them dig a little more. I kept thinking the show was going to be a more serious version of The Black Donnelley’s. This was a short-lived show on NBC that followed the lives of an Irish family in New York City. The whole show is told in the past. It is told by Joey Ice Cream, a friend of the Donnelly brothers since childhood, who is now in jail and is somewhat ratting his friends out for less jail time. The episodes started and ended with Joey Ice Cream being interrogated. the show was far from The Black Donnellys, however, the star of The Night Of has a strikingly similar voice to the star of The Black Donnellys.
Whenever I talk with my mom, I always ask her what she’s been watching. She doesn’t keep up with many shows, but if she has managed to get more than a few episodes into something, I know it’s probably good. She told me she had been watching The Night Of and she was really enjoying it. So I decided to start it earlier this week.
The Night Of is an eight-part mini series on HBO. The show stars John Turturro (The Big Lebowski, O’ Brother Where Art Thou) as a shady detective who mostly deals with bailing out drug dealers and hookers. He’s the type of lawyer with the skeazy ads on trains and benches who promises you the best, but really is just in it for the money. While giving his card to a transvestite prostitute in jail one night, he comes across Riz Ahmed’s charachter, Nasir ‘Naz’ Khan. Naz is sitting in a jail cell after getting pulled over while driving under the influence. Shortly after, he is accused of the murder of a young woman who was stabbed 22 times in her own bed. And it makes sense they think it’s him. He was seen fleeing her apartment early in the morning and is holding a knife with her blood on it. Is it him who did it, though? I won’t tell you that.
The show follows Naz in Rikers, NewYork City’s main prison, that is filled with murderers and other criminals you don’t want to cross. We see Naz find protection and fit into the system. Before he was arrested, Naz was a college student in New York. He is a Pakistani-American who comes from a family who moved here and built their own business. Naz is a hard-working student and has never really gotten into trouble before. Michael Kenneth Williams (The Wire, Boardwalk Empire) plays Freddy Knight, a seasoned prisoner who takes Naz in under wing.
The show also follows Turturro’s Jack Stone as he works on a case, unlike any other case he’s ever worked on before. He gets in over his head and solicits help from some helpful and some unhelpful people. Stone is also quite the character. He is a divorced man who is trying to reconnect with his son. He is a hypochondriac, for good reason. He is awkward, uncomfortable to be around and just reminds me a lot of Woody Allen. While Naz seems to be the primary focus of this series, Stone is the real focus. He is not only shown more throughout the show, but his background and character development are a big part of the show.
I mentioned that I thought the show looked a little slow and dry. And it is. But it works. There’s not much action on the show. A lot of it follows Turturro feeding his cat. But like I said, the show is great when it comes to character development. You might hate the ending, you might not. It’s not a bad ending in terms of writing or anything. It’s just a little upsetting. It’s eight episodes. One hour episodes. Watch the whole mini-series over the long weekend.