Sunday, July 10, 2016

TV Premiere: The Night Of

The new show to get hooked on this summer from HBO is The Night Of. Telling the story of Naz (Riz Ahmed) as he tries to go out to a party stealing his father's cab for the night, the pilot begins his troubles when the off-duty light won't get out. People hail him and some even get in the cab. When a young woman Andrea (Sofia Black-D'Elia) gets in the back of his cab, he decides to take her where she wants to go, the beach.

The events quickly get out of hand and Naz wakes up in a compromising situation. It is hard not to sympathize with the main character's confusion but the evidence is so damning, it is easy to see how Naz won't receive fair judgment. Riz Ahmed does a wonderful job as the young guy in over his head with tragic circumstances.

The rest of the cast is full of a lot of great character actors. The lead detective Dennis Box (Bill Camp) is sympathetic but only so that he can get to the bottom of the case, looking at the evidence this points at Naz. Then there is John Turturro as the lawyer Jack Stone. His interrogation finds out how Naz will be prosecuted and how the narrative will shape that prosecution.

The show is fast past and intense. I was immediately hooked and look forward to seeing how this powerful show will move forward. I was also glad to see J. D. Williams from The Wire and Oz as a witness to the crime. The show has a unique style of directing and creates an environment that is haunting, especially in the police station as Naz is being searched. The show has such potential it could be one of the best of the year despite tough competition with television all over. 

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