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The Night Of Season 1 Blu-ray Review

The Night Of Season 1 Blu-ray.jpg

“The Night Of” is one of the best TV series of 2016.

“The Night Of” is an 8 episode HBO mini-series of sorts. I say of sorts because there are rumors of a second season. So really, I just think of this as season 1. Whatever the case may be, the series revolves around a New York Pakistani-American college student (Naz) who was at the wrong place at the wrong time. One fateful night, Naz decides to attend a party. In order to get there, he decides to take his father’s cab without his permission. While driving, he picks up a strange but beautiful random woman (Andrea) by chance. After some conversations, the two hit it off and eventually have a wild night together. When Naz wakes up, he is horrified to find her brutally murdered. Shortly thereafter, he is arrested for the murder. A lot of evidence points to him being the murderer, but is he really guilty? That’s the basis of the series, but the rest of the series chronicles Naz’s brutal time at Rikers Island, his trial in court, his parents struggles, potential murderer suspects, a struggling defense attorney (John Stone) who tries to make a name for himself and put his life back on track, a prisoner (Freddy) who essentially runs Rikers Island, a Detective (Dennis) trying to make sense of the case, and an assistant (Chandra) who becomes a lawyer.

When I heard about “The Night Of,” I can’t say the premise grabbed my attention as court room dramas and procedurals are generally formulaic drivel. Not only is “The Night Of” is in a different league than the average court show, but it’s also a show that is something else entirely. Yes, it is part court drama, but the event series is also a mystery, a character study, a prison drama, and a hard hitting drama about racism, the justice system, and the prison system. It’s a deep show with a lot on its mind.

What really makes “The Night Of” such a dark riveting drama is that it feels grounded in reality. The premiere episode is so eerily realistic that you feel like you are right there with Naz in this gut wrenching, stress-inducing nightmare situation. Seeing the rest of the series unfold through the various characters perspectives also proves to be very effective as it gives the story an almost natural progression. You really see these characters change (particularly Naz) in what feels like real time.

On the subject of the characters, the show boasts some truly incredible performance. Rising star Riz Ahmed (soon to be seen in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”) gives such a naturalistic and believable performance. Likewise, Amara Karan is also impressive as the complex Chandra. The real scene stealer though is John Turturro who gives one of the best performances in an already prolific career as an itchy foot defense attorney named John Stone. Give this man the Emmy, the Golden Globe and whatever else already.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.78:1 1080p. How does it look? This Blu-ray set boasts spectacular hi-def transfers but I would expect nothing less from an HBO release.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? This is a very layered audio track that handles everything from the music and dialogue to the NY city sounds and prison background noise exceedingly well.

Sadly, this is a pretty bare bones release. The only extra is a Digital HD copy.

 

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October 16, 2016 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , ,

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