Good science fiction uses genre to tell deeply human stories. I know, I know, a genre populated by extraterrestrials and tech that regularly try to alienate us from humanity seems to be doing the opposite. But with weak sci-fi uses of the genre, storytellers have the ability to step outside our reality world slightly to explore what our lives mean and our connections to others. That’s what night sky Is.
A series of eight Prime Video Original episodes, night sky, comes from showrunner Daniel C. Connolly, is written by Holden Miller and stars JK Simmons, Sissy Spacek, Chai Hansen, Kiah McKirnan, Adam Bartley, Julieta Zylberberg and Rocío Hernández. Starting with elderly couple Irene (Sissy Spacek) and Franklin (JKSimmons), night sky spans space, place and time weaving people through it all.
You see, Irene and Franklin discovered a buried chamber in their backyard years ago. But this is not a bunker meant to emerge from a cold war; instead, it inexplicably leads to a strange, deserted planet. Looking at the stars together has become a nocturnal pastime as they guard their secret carefully. But when an enigmatic young man named Jude enters their lives, the Yorks’ quiet existence is quickly turned upside down, and the mysterious room they thought they knew so well turns out to be much more than they could have imagined. Their personal refuge quickly unravels as one room in vast mystery as we see them, their family, and those affected by the mysterious chamber.
First of all, night sky is beautiful. Right from the opening, the detail and care taken in designing the bedroom, putting house elements in it with books and furniture, and setting it against the night sky of an alien world is the right kind of fantasy. . And that’s where the night sky seat in series. It uses low-concept sci-fi to cling to a very real world with little bits of cutting-edge technology that rub up against mundane life in a way that works. This allows moments when the chamber and its science interact with the rest of the world to have a sense of grandeur that erupts.
Without revealing too much, night sky uses these eruptions of the marvelous to bring people together and soothe their fears. While the whole cast of night sky has something to offer, in fact there is no bad performance in the peloton; the series is owned by Sissy Spacek and JK Simmons. The two are a couple who have seen life together, been through a loss together, and are just trying to live for the little excitements. But despite their love, the two work against each other for most of the series.
Irene and Franklin aren’t completely against each other, no. Instead, Irene’s curiosity and sense of exploration is what drives her through the story and helps Jude uncover her past. Franklin, on the other hand, is practical and sensible and rightly fears that the mysterious man and the unknown past he brings to their doorstep is a trap. Fixed by whom? He doesn’t know, but he is driven by the need to protect his wife. Slowly however, Franklin discovers his own sense of wonder and curiosity which leads to a better understanding between the two of them.
Besides, night sky uses two separate storylines and flashbacks to reveal the mystery of the chamber. How it started, what it’s connected to, and ultimately what Irene, Jude, and Franklin found themselves drawn into. This mystery takes time to develop, and the second storyline, told almost entirely in Spanish, seems out of place at first glance. While the cast and characters in this separate but important narrative thread are interesting, the pacing made me want to go back to Irene and Franklin. That said, by the end of the season, it’s seamlessly integrated into our main story.
night sky has a lot to offer sci-fi fans, but it also has a lot to offer drama fans. A mystery drama that uses sci-fi concepts to explore relationships and the impact we leave on others, this series is one to watch. I just need to know if we are going to have a season 2.
night sky premieres on Prime Video on May 20, 2022.
Night Sky Season 1
night sky has a lot to offer sci-fi fans, but it also has a lot to offer drama fans. A mystery drama that uses sci-fi concepts to explore relationships and the impact we leave on others, this series is one to watch.
Kate is co-founder, EIC and CCO of BWT. She’s also a certified Rotten Tomatoes reviewer, host and creator of our flagship podcast, But Why Tho? and Was it necessary?. She also handles all PR dealings for comics, manga, movies, TV, and anime. She holds a master’s degree in cultural anthropology and religious studies focusing on the impact of pop culture on society.