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Glitch: Pilot

This is the first in a series of pilot analysis, where I review how the pilot works as such. Eventually if there’s enough interest I may pick up a whole series. First up is Glitch. A good pilot establishes; that’s almost its only job. It establishes the main story, the setting, characters, the look and … Continue reading

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The Night Of: Season 01, Episode 08: The Call of the Wild

These episode titles have all been intentionally provocative; the finale’s is a treatise on nature, man’s animalism, and the ultimate inability to escape one’s basest instincts. Its “previously on” highlights Naz’s mother asking “did I raise an animal?” In the episode itself we have a Prodigal Son scene, a physical leper sitting across from the metaphorical one, and … Continue reading

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The Night Of: Season 01, Episode 07, “Ordinary Death”

The very first line – in a stark, noir-y opening observed from the POV of a murder victim looking up at Box – is “what we have here is the same scenario as Andrea Cornish, would you agree?” Why are there no news trucks, he asks. Then the camera cuts to a black woman, answering his question. Then … Continue reading

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The Night Of: Season 01, Episode 06, “Samson and Delilah”

At some point, Stone’s litany of absurd eczema treatments and extreme methods of dealing with a dead woman’s cat are going to collide into a grand epiphany relating to Naz’s case. The heavens will open, we will all realize the point to incessantly showing all minutiae of two wildly insignificant plot points which substituted for character development, … Continue reading

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The Night Of: Season 01 Episode 05, The Season of the Witch

Cold open: closeup on blue lights lights flickering intermittently, an electronic hum in the background. It’s very horror-esque, until the camera pulls back to show a blue UV light aimed at Stone’s scaly feet. The episode ends the same way, in flickering blue light, only this time Stone is truly in danger, alone in a dark … Continue reading

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The Night Of: Season 01, Episode 04, “The Art of War”

Like the opening closeup on flaming sheets, many shots in The Night Of feel experimental, almost like a film student applying some avant garde shots to a gritty crime master’s thesis. Actually, exactly like that. Then, cut to a mildly gross shot of Crisco being applied. When Stone’s conscience gets to him about Andrea’s cat, bring up the sound … Continue reading

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The Night Of: Season 01, Episode 03, “The Dark Crate”

This episode has even more literal and figurative closeups than the prior two. Closeups on grimy tiles, directive signage, broken windows (get it?). Closeups on  the monotony, the paperwork, Naz hyperventilating, newspaper front pages in the lawyers’ nice briefcase, stone lions in Naz’s neighborhood. Slow scenes revolving around diets based on religion, washing of hands, cops having to … Continue reading

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The Night Of: Season 01, Episode 02, “Subtle Beast”

The first episode was intense, packed with information and events. The second is a slow inhalation, and feels much more like a traditional series establishment: here’s the system, the major players and some hint at their motivations. Here, too, are the various mundane procedures which accompany a murder. “Subtle Beast”‘s opening scene covers territory we saw … Continue reading

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The Night Of: Season 1, Episode 01, “The Beach”

I watched the pilot of The Night Of solely on the basis of seeing a blurb which called it “Agatha Christie meets The Wire.” If I hadn’t already been sold, the opening 20 or so minutes are so beautiful, and such well-executed economy of storytelling and worldbuilding, I would have been. They get the credits … Continue reading

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The 100: Season 03, Episode 16, “Perverse Instantiation – Part Two”

Cold open to Abby, with rope burns on her neck, jolting upright in Clarke’s arms in a classic example of Waking Up To Realize You Did A Horrible Thing. The acting nails it, though. Some of these stories don’t deserve the acting they’re getting, but the actors are giving their all. That cold open is … Continue reading