Amazon Prime’s new show Night Sky, starring J.K. Simmons and Sissy Spacek, was one of those times I watched the trailer, added it to my ever-increasing watch list, and then forgot all about it. That was until Sunday when I definitely didn’t have a hangover and wanted something easy on my not at all bloodshot eyes.
A Hidden Gem
Oh boy, was I happy I didn’t have that hangover because this show was great. I watched all eight episodes in two days!
Night Sky centers around the lives of Franklin (Simmons) and Irene (Spacek) York. Still madly in love with each other after 50-odd years, they are facing the realization that they are also increasingly dependent on one another for day-to-day living.
Irene has recently had a nasty fall causing her to rely on a wheelchair and Franklin seems to be losing his marbles little by little.
However, all is not what it seems because hidden in an underground bunker beneath their garden shed is an alien teleportation device. So rather than sit in front of a TV watching the latest streaming service, Franklin and Irene whisk themselves off to a deserted plant where they sit and relax by watching the stunning views of the alien galaxies.
According to Franklin, they have visited the planet 856 times but never dared open the door that would allow them to step outside. This was due to an experiment with mice that obviously went wrong and scared the shit out of them.
It’s Not A Star War
This is a slow burn of a show, similar in pace to another of Amazon’s new shows called Outer Range (I’ll write that up later) so don’t go into this expecting laser swords and uncivilized blasters. A lot of Night Sky is focused on human interactions and everyday problems, but Simmons and Spacek are true masters of their craft and are mesmerizing together.
Their lives are turned upside down when Irene finds an injured stranger called Jude in their alien viewing room in need of help. Due to an earlier tragedy in Franklin and Irene’s life, which we learn about later, Jude is immediately taken under Irene’s wing. This is much to Franklin’s understandable hesitation.
Without giving it all away, Jude is nursed back to health. Over the next few episodes, we learn a lot about him, where he came from, and why he’s here. Jude has a positive impact on Irene who has a new lease of life. Franklin moves in the opposite direction and probably for the first time in their married life, we start to see rifts developing between the two.
Mixed with Franklin, Irene, and now Jude, we are also introduced to their granddaughter Denise who has her own issues she’s dealing with.
Franklin and Irene have a new neighbor called Byron who is overly inquisitive and who tries too hard to be liked. He’s pretty much disliked from the minute you meet him but trust me, give him time.
We also meet a mother and daughter called Stella and Toni who live in a remote village in Argentina. They have their own “church” in their garden. They have a frequent visitor who is clearly a nasty bit of work known only as Tall Man.
And finally, we come across Hannah and Paul who… well, let me just leave that there.
All these characters’ story arcs crisscross over the eight episodes that left me wanting more. Night Sky has the potential over the next few seasons to grow into something quite special.
Check out the trailer below and let me know what you think.