HBO always brings to us the best on television. A new addition to this has been ‘The Night Of’. It begins with a college kid trying to get to a party who sneaks out in his dad’s cab and ends up, just hours later, in jail charged with murder.
In the first episode, the audience watches the night slowly unfold from the perspective of Nasir Khan (Riz Ahmed) — a Pakistani boy who looks so innocent that he feels like a child entrusted to the viewer’s protection. Naz, as he likes to be called, is feeble with girls, sheltered by his parents, ignored by most of his classmates. As a funny situation goes south from weird to complicated to outright bad, Naz retains that essential vulnerable sweetness, that innocence that shouts that it must be protected.
And yet, at the same time, he might be a murderer. The thing is, Naz doesn’t remember what happened in between going to bed with a beautiful girl and waking up a few hours later at the kitchen table. He just knows that he went upstairs to say goodnight to her but found her dead instead with loads of evidence lying around pointing towards him as the suspect.
The eight-part limited series leads us as this case winds through the criminal justice system, as the police, the prosecution, and the defense attempt to recreate the events of the night in question. The series is rich with enough details to make Naz look responsible for the murder but on the contrary misleads the audience brilliantly with his innocent look. It is difficult not to be swept up in the world “The Night Of” creates. Creators Steven Zallian and Richard Price makes it an intriguing venture.
“The Night Of” is watchable and extraordinarily addictive mystery that inspires the viewer to go back and watch the same scenes again, looking for hints and clues. In its quiet and stealthy way, the show manages to become tense and exciting thus ensnaring the viewer in a net of confusion, half-truths, and the endless, deceptive fog of memory.