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The Night Of: The Great American Murder Mystery

September 2016Words by Mr Ed Cripps

Mr Riz Ahmed as Nasir “Naz” Khan in The Night Of. Photograph 2016 Home Box Office, Inc. All rights reserved

If the Holy Grail of US literature is the Great American Novel, HBO may have hit the jackpot with the Great American Murder Mystery. Currently airing on Sky Atlantic, after launching on HBO earlier this year, The Night Of is, like the country itself, a mix of local pedigree and foreign influences. Writers Messrs Steven Zaillian and Richard Price (who between them have worked on Schindler’s List, Gangs Of New York and The Wire) have tailored the British series Criminal Justice to the trial of Nasir “Naz” Khan, a Pakistani-American student who borrows his father’s cab to drive to a party and is accused of murdering a female passenger. In the year of Mr Donald Trump, Brexit, a failed Turkish coup and the refugee crisis, its portrait of immigrant communities and the Western prejudice they encounter also has a socio-political resonance rarely seen in a TV drama, let alone one as purely thrilling as this. As we wait for episode four to air on Sky Atlantic next Thursday, here are five spoiler-free reasons The Night Of is the most impressive show of 2016 so far.

It looks amazing