Pilot – | Review Score = 3/5
Phenomenon of Interference – | Review Score = 2.5/5
Dark Flower – | Review Score = 3.5/5
Matador – | Review Score = 3/5
Aloha – | Review Score = 3/5
Queen’s Gambit, Accepted – | Review Score = 2/5
On paper, I Am The Night has all the ingredients to be a competently written, exciting mini-series based on a true story. The infamous tale of George Hodel is something that certainly piqued my interest when I first heard about TNT’s mini-series but sadly the execution leaves a lot to be desired. With slow pacing accentuated by long, drawn out scenes, I Am The Night never quite gets going, stumbling over its own narrative before delivering an underwhelming finale after five episodes of build-up.
The story itself revolves around two key characters – a journalist called Jay whose unable to move on from an old case in his past, and a young girl named Fauna, desperate to find her birth parents. Split across 6 episodes, these two protagonists remain largely separate to one another before an infamous character named George Hodel, Fauna’s grandfather, brings the characters together. From here, the story then changes to much more of a thriller than an investigative drama, as Fauna navigates the murky criminal underworld while Jay tries to piece together evidence from old cases as a slew of new bodies crop up around the city.
All of this builds up toward an exciting ending that never really arrives. While the story itself is resolved and most of the plot wrapped up neatly, there’s a real underwhelming feel to I Am The Night that’s hard to shake. It’s a shame too as within the plethora of long, drawn out scenes there’s some real moments of promise and bursts of dramatic tension that work really well. As the pieces of the puzzle begin aligning and the focus turns to the finale, I Am The Night feels at its strongest but the pay-off from these episodes never really arrives.
Stylistically at least, I Am The Night is certainly pleasing on the eye. A dominating use of reds and blues run throughout the first 5 episodes although the finale does take a bit of a backseat to this stylistic flair. The minimal jazz influence in the musical score helps too and the harsh violin strings accompanied with brass instruments introduce elements of danger and mystery surprisingly well, complementing the pleasing aesthetic running through these episodes.
Along with the stylish presentation, I Am The Night does really well to showcase Chris Pine’s acting. While Fauna does okay in her role, it’s really Chris who stands out here in his portrayal as the disgraced journalist Jay. His demeanour, scruffy appearance and general charisma throughout the show is the one thing that really helps elevate this beyond the realm of mediocrity but it’s such a shame the story just doesn’t follow suit.
I Am The Night is a difficult one to review because it’s not particularly a bad show. Nor is it a particularly good one either. It’s simply an inoffensively mediocre series that has both good and bad points to it. While Chris Pine and the show’s various stylistic ticks keep this one watchable, there’s far too many overlong, drawn out moments here to recommend this over other mini-series tackling the same subject matter.
Verdict - 5/10