September 27, 2016

How does HBO's The Night Of Stand?

HBO is back at it again with some gritty crime drama in an eight-part mini-series, The Night Of. A cast including Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler), John Turturro (O Brother Where Art Thou?), Peyman Moaadi, Amara Karan and Michael Kenneth Williams (HBO series Boardwalk Empire).

The series created by Steven Zaillian and Richard Price (loosely based on BBC series Criminal Justice) examines the New York City criminal system through attorney Jack Stone (Turturro) and his client Pakistani-American college student Nasir “Naz” Khan (Ahmed), who is accused of murder. The series examines the police investigation, the legal proceedings, racial discrimination and tension created within the Ahmed family.

The series starts out as we watch the night slowly unfold from the perspective of Naz, a wide-eyed boy so seemingly innocent that the audience wants to protect him. Naz, sheltered by his parents doesn’t have much of a social life, and is feeble with girls. Given the chance to join a party Naz jumps at the opportunity, doing things he certainly wouldn’t normally do to get there. From meeting Andrea things spiral out of control, all while Naz retains that vulnerability and sweetness you just can’t get out of your head. But Naz doesn’t remember what happened in between going to bed and waking up a few hours later in the kitchen. All he knows is he went upstairs to say goodbye and there was blood everywhere.

When Attorney Jack Stone, and when I say Attorney, think Better Call Saul/Breaking Bad style, ‘No fee ‘till you’re free’ is his slogan. Stone sees something within Naz that he doesn’t see with his other guilty clients, although it sounds cliché, Stone is also not as he appears, as we see deeper into his life as the shows flows episode to episode.

If you’ve ever had that urge to become a criminal investigator this show is defiantly for you. If you like a dark, crime, with some of that are they/aren’t they action, you will also love this. If you like a mystery crime drama, with superb acting by all of the cast, you defiantly should watch this. You get the idea, if you like crime television, you will like this.

James Gandolfini played the role of attorney for the pilot episode but sadly passed away before any further filming occurred so the producers and HBO decided to credit him as Executive Producer, so look out for that. Robert De Niro was set to take Gandolfini place, however due to scheduling conflict was not able to play the part that Turturro was eventually given. Once you know all this, when you watch the show you will not believe that anyone other than Turturro could have played this part so perfectly, it really feels like it is a role made for him.

The Night Of will get under your skin, you will be addicted, you will be wanting to re-watch episodes to try and catch some hidden clues, you will feel like the creators and Naz are fooling you. The stealth, style and characters are all reasons to stay. This mini-series is told throughout a scale that is perfectly suited for the story, not dragged out and full of pointless side stories. This may not be a review but more of a ‘It’s-so-good-trust-me-if-you-like-crime-and-mystery-you-must-watch-this’. But really, Price and Zaillian have bought us one of THE most stressful television shows, and you should be a part of it.

4.5 out of 5

What would I have changed? (Spoilers)
Click here to read what I would Change

Hannah Hannah (Contributor) spends her days in Texas. She'll be found watching movies, reading scripts, making movies or eating.