Looking into HBO's The Night Of

Looking into HBO's The Night Of

Your next crime/drama/mystery show is here. The Night Of is reminiscent of Making a Murderer and Adnan Syed’s case in Serial, co-mingled with the unnerving environment of True Detective. And in quite a fitting time, racial and criminal justice issues are quite potent in this new HBO series where details like facts, truth and dishonesty are vigorously stacked against an allegedly guilty suspect. And now with two episodes in the bag, we start to better understand what happened The Night Of.

In episode one, we meet Nasir or “Naz” as he likes to be called. Naz is an American born Pakistani attending university and living with his parents in Brooklyn. One night he is invited to a swanky party downtown but his ride bails on him. With dreams of cutting loose and having fun Naz takes his Dad’s cab and heads off to the party. Unaware of how to turn on his “off-duty” light, a beautiful woman enters his cab while he is stopped. The night careens from drugs and alcohol to a disturbing knife game to stripping off their clothes. It comes to a screeching halt when Naz wakes up in her kitchen a few hours later. He finds the mystery woman cut up and bloody in her bed and he flees the scene immediately, no doubt still feeling the drugs and alcohol. Things get much worse when Naz is taken into police custody for reckless driving and a bloody knife is found in his coat pocket. The police identify the dead woman as a Ms. Andrea Cornish and take in a black witness who identifies Naz as the “towel head” he saw enter Andrea’s place earlier that night. Naz, terrified and confused, is given a shimmer of hope when he meets his lawyer, John Stone, who bluntly tells him to keep his mouth shut from now on.

The second episode digs deep into the distance between those who do and don’t know the justice system. Whether it’s the police’s poor treatment of Naz’s parents, Detective Box trying to squeeze information out of Naz or John Stone telling Naz “I don't want to be stuck with the truth. Not until I have to be”, a clear line is drawn. Detective Box calls Andrea’s step father, who identifies her body and gives Box a little insight into Andrea’s life. Naz also continues to suffer the slings and arrows of being an American born Pakistani. Later, in Naz’s preliminary trial, he is officially charged with multiple crimes including murder. This trial segment only widens the gap between those who do and don’t know the system, as lawyers and judges discuss the case in a language of their own. His bail is denied due to the severity of the crimes and he is shipped to the infamous Riker’s Island prison. The shots of him being pulled out of holding, drug into court and transferred to Riker’s are bleak and dark, surely foreshadowing what awaits him.

Watching The Night Of makes you grip your chair and shout at your TV, hoping that Naz might hear your pleas and advice. But of course, he doesn’t and it is simply spell bounding to watch him fall so far from grace because of one blurry night fueled with sex, drugs and violence. Trust me, this is a show you do not want to miss. The Night Of will continue to run on HBO for six more weeks.

 

Learn more at: http://www.hbo.com/the-night-of

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