7 July 2016 | lvilardo-551-49220
It's not the story; it's the telling
What struck me after watching the first episode of "The Night Of" is that this is a story that has been told on countless iterations of "Law and Order". The difference is the luxury of not having to tell it in 40 minutes and the bringing to bear of HBO's prodigious production values combined with a first-rate cast of mostly little-known actors.
The portrayal of the police is unlike anything I've seen before: annoyance about working past the end of a shift, the passing of the buck so someone else gets a case that will doubtless go into the wee hours of the morning, the careless handling of evidence due to available manpower. Here the police are neither heroes nor villains, rather they're just working men and women doing a job.
The atmosphere of the precinct house in the middle of the night is palpable as is the overwhelming sense of helplessness felt by the naive lead character as his night goes from bad to worse. John Torturro's portrayal of a low rent defense attorney who stumbles onto a case much bigger than he imagined holds great promise for future episodes.
As I said at the beginning, it's hardly a story we've not seen before but we've never seen it told this well. I look forward to watching it develop.