Night Sky is a sci-fi, adventure TV series directed by Holden Miller and stars J.K. Simmons, Sissy Spacek and Chai Hansen, alongside other cast members. The series has 8 episodes each with a runtime of around an hour.
Amazon Prime Video describes the series as:
Irene and Franklin York, a retired couple, have a secret: a Chamber buried in their backyard that miraculously leads to a strange, deserted planet. When an enigmatic young man arrives, the Yorks’ quiet existence is upended and the mysterious Chamber they thought they knew so well turns out to be much more than they could have ever imagined
– Night Sky review does not contain spoilers –
Night Sky is a mess of plotlines. Unfortunately for it, it misses out on something that it should have gone with from the first moment – J.K. Simmons and Sissy Spacek. The series, instead of focusing on its lead pair, the ones with the most heartwarming story and with something to ground us, takes us on a journey to different planets through such paths that it’s almost impossible to follow or enjoy.
Irene and Franklin, in the first episode, pull you into their lives so well that you question how you can see anything other than their perspective after that. They’ve known each other for a long time and the ease with which the actors showcase that familiarity and love is absolutely stunning. It feels like Simmons and Spacek were destined to be together, sitting in in comfy armchairs looking out into a vast planet filled with nothing but stars. It’s not like they do anything shocking, honestly, it’s pretty mundane, but there’s something absolutely magnetic in their chemistry and it shows.
However, Night Sky goes deep over the edge soon enough. As the familiarity and quintessential questions of this strange planet fade into the distance, along with the comfort of our old couple, we are introduced to subplot after subplot that go absolutely nowhere. Now, you must be wondering what might one talk about for 8 episodes? It’s not like Irene and Franklin’s lives are without their fair share of troubles – they are growing old and that itself comes with its own problems. Add to that the mystery of their backyard secret and you could’ve had a nice little story filled with heart and warm revelations.
Alas, that’s not what we get. We, instead of all of the above things, get secret societies, odd neighbours and a guest who no one could’ve thought would be included, along with a myriad of other characters. All of these people are meant to amp up the mystery and action quotients of the series which makes me ask one fundamental question – why? Why is that necessary? Do all sci-fi shows need to be extremely action-packed with a hundred storylines? Do everything these days have to be so complicated that you’d lose interest a few episodes in?
That’s the problem with Night Sky. In an effort to make itself busy, the series goes overboard with what it feels to be interesting and fresh concepts. On that… they are not. They are not new or interesting but are rather expected. It’s a repetition of things and situations we have seen before. If only they focused on our lovable couple going through life! There are moments when these situations do feel somewhat immediate and entertaining but they are few and far between, which is honestly just sad.
That’s not to say there’s absolutely nothing good about Night Sky. The series looks great and there are some moments that are truly mysterious and shocking. Certain revelations are very well made and will keep you questioning. The problem is most of these things are left hanging without much consideration or resolution. Sure, something starts off great but then it’s just… there. Apart from that, the actors do a great job and although most of the characters are unnecessary, at least they look somewhat realistic.
Summing up: Night Sky
Night Sky could’ve been a lot of things. With two very able actors as its protagonist, the series should’ve been able to achieve something new in the sci-fi genre. Instead, it repeats all that we have seen several times before, only to bring us a stale viewing of shows past. You expect to go back to the Yorks but that never happens and you sit there wondering why this is the route the show decided to take in order to tell whatever story that it tried to bring forth.
In the end, I just need someone who will look at me the way Franklin looks at Irene but maybe that’s too much to ask.
Night Sky will stream on Amazon Prime Video from May 20, 2022.Instagram & Facebook to keep yourself updated with the latest news and reviews.