Night Sky Season 1 Review – A meandering slow burn that fizzles out

Season 1

Episode Guide

To The Stars -| Review Score – 3.5/5
La Capilla -| Review Score – 3.5/5
The Caretaker -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Boilermakers -| Review Score – 3/5
Driving Lessons -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Dear Franklin -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Lake Diving -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Compensation -| Review Score – 2.5/5


Amazon seem to be in the market for slow paced sci-fi thrillers as of late. Between The Wilds and Outer Range, Night Sky is the latest to join the fray. Unlike those previous two choices though, Night Sky is a tonally disparate, slow-paced and meandering journey that never really goes anywhere. At its best, the story drip-feeds crucial information to keep you hanging on for more crumbs, and the acting is undoubtedly excellent all round.

At its worst, the show slips into eye-watering boredom, depicting everything from shopping and playing chess to a pointless campaign for a side character to become mayor.

It’s perhaps more frustrating that Night Sky takes the route that it does because there’s definitely potential here. But like listening to your grandparents discuss an interesting story, layering that with tangents, diversions and distractions, Night Sky doesn’t seem to be in a particular hurry to get anything done.

With 8 episodes clocking in at a little under an hour, most of Night Sky’s heavy lifting can be attributed to Sissy Spacek and J.K. Simmons who are both fantastic in their respective roles. There are some genuinely show-stopping moments, including one particular heartfelt moment late on with Franklin in tears. The point is, these characters are deep and they’re well written throughout the show, with depth and tinges of poignancy to show for it. Their chemistry is what ultimately keeps this slow burn ticking by.

The story revolves around this couple, who happen to be living their lives, trying to weather the storm of old age and all the crippling frailty and inevitable senility that comes with it. However, they both have a secret. Under their shed happens to be a doorway holding a teleport pad that leads them up to a strange alien landscape. Irene (Sissy Spacek) is convinced that there’s a deeper meaning here while Franklin (J.K. Simmons) sees it as nothing more than an interesting little sideshow to a wasteland of nothingness.

As the pair navigate their feelings toward this – and each other – their world is turned upside down when a stranger shows up in the observatory deck, clutching his stomach and in pain. As secrets begin to tumble out, Frank and Irene find their lives changed forever. as they try to make sense of what’s happening.

Running parallel to this story is a road-trip featuring Stella and Toni, who go off in search of the truth themselves. They’re also joined by a stranger, who we don’t actually find out the name of until near the end of the final episode. Unless I missed something while watching of course. It’s Cornelius, by the way.

This story ultimately amounts to about 10 minutes of crossover with Franklin and Irene in the finale but mostly stays separate to their narrative, making one wonder what the point of it all was. For those who remember Heroes Season 2, this is akin to the Maya and Dani storyline that went absolutely nowhere. While that show had the benefit of the writer’s strike to chalk off the creative decisions, Night Sky dos not.

Honestly I cannot emphasize how much it pains me to write a negative review for this show. There are parts of this that I absolutely adore. The two leads are incredible, the ideas are interesting and there’s definitely scope for a deep lore to be explored if this is renewed. But this is soured by a host of uninteresting side characters, pointless tangents and side quests that go nowhere and a frustrating cliffhanger that fails to reward any of the patience one may have had leading up to this moment.

Night Sky is ultimately a meandering slow burn that fizzles out before the final credits. With very little of the main questions answered and a laborious pace that’ll test even the most patient of watchers, Amazon’s latest mystery box is likely to be one that remains firmly locked. Ah well, at least we get to see the brilliance of J.K. Simmons and Sissy Spacek. So it’s not all bad I guess!

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  • Verdict - 5/10

30 thoughts on “Night Sky Season 1 Review – A meandering slow burn that fizzles out”

  1. Loved season 1. Kept looking forward to the next episode. Please continue to Season 2 so we can find out about the new city they find. Enjoyed the loving acting of Sissy and J.K.

  2. Accurate review. The writing is lazy. No, I don’t need “profanity-laced, explosion-riddled” scenes. I *do* ask writers to create suspense without the lagging filler. Thus: lazy.

  3. I disagreed with the reviewer but that is nothing new for me. I guess that he was yearning for his normal diet of gratuitous violence and profanity and found it challenging to have to interpret anything that required an attention span greater than a first grader’s. I found it enjoyable.

  4. I find it exceedingly sad. The story is unfolding at a snails pace which is aggravating. Yes, the acting is excellent… but it’s just too slow and to troubling for me to watch beyond episode 2, and I really wanted to like it.

  5. I really enjoyed this first season. Yes, the mystery slowly unfolds, but I found my curiosity increasing with each passing episode. Besides the two leads having great chemistry and being great actors—as many have already mentioned—l found watching this series to be oddly relaxing. Less violence and profanity actually seemed refreshing for a change! Personally, I’d love to see the series renewed. Could the portal to a new world be a last refuge for a self-destructing humanity, perhaps? Or, does life on that planet make ours look like paradise? The fact that Jude was in such a hurry to leave makes me think the latter.

  6. Loved the series, stayed up till 1am to watch all 8(wish there were more). Well done, acted and can’t wait for season 2. The review is totally wrong!

  7. I agree with the earlier person that states I think the younger generation does not like the show do to having to put some thought into what they are watching! The actors are wonderful and I can’t wait for more! Yes I am over 30 years old! Not everything is fast paced, that doesn’t make Night Sky bad!! Love it!

  8. I started watching Night Sky as soon as I saw it was streaming. Got me from the start and finished all 8 ep. in one day. I want more I mean where the heck is Byron?

  9. I have not finished season 1 yet, but so far, I am really enjoying it. One commenter noted that perhaps the slower pace of the show appeals to those of a certain age. I tend to agree and I must be just the right age to enjoy. Hopefully there will be a second season!

  10. I’m glad I watched the whole thing. It was way better than I expected and I completely disagree with this review, other than it’s a slow burn at first. Well worth sticking with it. The acting was magnificent. The story was superb. I hope there’s a season 2.

  11. The lead characters are mesmerizing. I have watched the first 2 episodes, and am eagerly planning to binge season 1 episodes.

  12. I loved Night Sky. I don’t understand how anyone could find it boring! I can’t wait for Season 2. Please, please, please renew!

  13. I didn’t really think I would like this show, but I have too much time on my hands and I decided to watch. After a couple of episodes, I saw that it has a tremendous amount of potential. It could be a very good concept with older characters to lead us into a world to explore. (Shades of Stargate:SG1) It has a ton of potential with a pair of very good actors to carry out the mission. It just needs a mission. So much potential. It could still be saved. And I’m very frustrated right now. It left viewers on a highway with too many exits, and no signposts. Is it going to be saved?

  14. What a total waste of time. I could not agree more with the review. Yes, the actors were terrific, but at the end of this , I actually said out loud ; what! That’s it? Too many unanswered questions. A meandering slow fizzle indeed.

  15. Brilliant first season. Slow burn shows don’t do well because people nowadays can’t handle to think while they watch. The characters are great, the pacing perfect for the genre. Sets up an intriguing second season. Shows like this are few an far between and out shone the fast food shows that people dine on now. I hope it continues

  16. Totally agree with the main reviewer – great acting by the two leads let down by painfully slow pacing and cynical use of cliffhangers to hook viewers into the next tedious hour. Avoid.

  17. The review is 100% on point, maybe it could be harsher. I’m 68, v.disappointed by this show – not even masterful acting of two leading actors saves the day. Slow, boring, confusing and the ending is a bloody traverse, con job open on all fronts.
    BTW – after suffering through ST Picard and this – please send the geriatrics away…

  18. IMO; am thinking if you are over a certain age, the pace of this show is fine and makes sense… However, younger viewers have grown up with technology and the faster, sometimes frenetic, pace of life, and this would seem way too slow for them. Just a thought…

  19. Have watched 2 episodes and enjoying it .. really just want to watch Franklin and Irene! They rock! Other ongoing storylines and characters make me miss Franklin and Irene even more!

  20. I profoundly disagree with the reviewer. This is an incredibly high quality show. There are very few shows on streaming television with this level of high quality writing, and great acting and direction. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but this reviewer is just plain wrong. It’s hard to understand how someone could give it a poor review.

  21. Thank you for this review. I made it through episode 4, and was dying on the vine here. I agree with everything Greg Wheeler said, and thankfully have been saved from trudging through 4 more hours in hopes of this story moving faster. Agree that Spacek and Simmons do a great job acting and would love to see both of them together again. Also, love the plot line and the potential, but this show just moves way too slowly for me!

  22. Sadly critics couldn’t recognize good tv if it hit hem across the side of their heads. Absent is profanity, explosions and violence. Present is above and beyond great acting, an in-depth story line and introductions into the varying personalities. It’s unfortunate folks need stories spoon fed to them, which this series does not. Please let there be more seasons.

  23. I binge watched the whole season 1. I found the actors very good! I love the old couple interaction with Sissy and J.K Simmons and their son. This show is slow but deserve a well deserve acting performance passing the emotions to the audience. I love this new sci-fi show! A well balance action & suspense and romantic building up with some characters! Well done 👏 from a fan in Quebec!

  24. Sorry you feel that way I’ve sat through 2 episodes and I’m bored to tears, and I seldom cry. So so so slow.

  25. Just spent my whole saturday watching Night Sky! ABSOLUTELY HOOKED. This season 1 was brilliant. I now have to wait for (hopefully) season 2.

  26. Whoever wrote such a terrible review of Night Sky knows nothing about what IS considered good or not. Night Sky in my opinion was FANTASTIC and I stayed up all night watching the first season and pray there will be more seasons to come PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE

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