Tone Is Everything: "The Night Of"
If tone is everything, and it is, then the recent HBO series "The Night Of" totally nailed it. The hard-boiled atmosphere of the NYC justice system was pitch perfect, the cynicism so well and convincingly presented that the whole thing didn't just ring true but also on occasion edged over into that sacred realm of dark comedy. And you can't do dark comedy unless you are fully in command of tone. The plot was riveting as well, but the world and characters being portrayed was so rich that even when no plot point was being advanced, or if a plot point seemed iffy, the viewer was hooked. At least this viewer. The photo above shows John Turturro as the beleaguered low-end lawyer John Stone. His performance grounded the show, but everyone was great, especially Bill Camp as the phlegmatic Detective Dennis Box, whose cheerlessness was infectious.