'Night Sky' Review: JK Simmons and Sissy Spacek shine in an otherwise muddled series
The series, created by Holden Miller, works splendidly when it's just about Simmons and Spacek, but gets too cluttered when it switches to other storylines
What genre can 'Night Sky' be pegged under? That's one of the questions that runs on your mind when you watch the series. There are more but this happens to be the primary query. Is it science-fiction? Is it a story about the hunters vs the hunted? Or is it a heartwarming series about an elderly couple who can't have enough of each other even after spending over five decades together? The show, created by Holden Miller, is all of those but the blend is tricky, at times, as the storylines begin to get intertwined.
'Night Sky' starts on a pleasant note (for most parts) and we get a feel of the small but wonderful world of Franklin (JK Simmons) and Irene York (Sissy Spacek), an elderly couple living in a fictional town in Illinois by themselves. The Yorks have a secret and it's something that's out of this world. Under the shed in their backyard is a secret chamber that leads them to a strange and deserted planet. They've gazed at the planet from the chamber 856 times over the last 2 decades but haven't ventured beyond. Irene has an encounter with someone that makes her want to do so and in the process, she finds an injured Jude (Chai Hansen).
While Irene is pleased to meet Jude and keen on nursing him back to health, Franklin is extremely skeptical about the whole affair and is only interested in looking out for Irene's safety. Over time, we find out that Jude is looking for his father who he hasn't seen in years, and the Yorks, eventually, assist him in any way they can. However, it's eventually revealed that Jude is being pursued by Cornelius (Piotr Adamczyk), Stella (Julieta Zylberberg), and Nick (Stephen Louis Grush). The trio happen to be members of a secret society that considers Jude and his kind apostates and seeks to exterminate them. Tagging along with them is Toni (Rocío Hernández), Stella's teenage daughter, who is brought into the hunt rather forcefully. Whether the Yorks and Jude make it out alive and what happens to the others form the rest of the story.
'Night Sky' juggles way too much way too often, making it a mostly muddled experience. There's an elderly couple trying to make the most out of life while individually grieving the loss of their child. There's a mysterious man looking for his long-lost father. There's a secret society whose mission isn't all that clear. The elderly couple's granddaughter has issues of her own. There's also a nosy neighbor, whose curiosity lands him in unfavorable situations all the time. The show tries to focus on the abovementioned storylines and more, which results in it getting too cluttered. In all honesty, 'Night Sky' works splendidly when it's just about Franklin and Irene. There's so much to the couple but it doesn't get boring, not even for a moment.
The other two storylines, a science-fiction trajectory (teleportation and interplanetary) and the one about the secret society hunting down the apostates, lack clarity though they appear to be intense. They work but only in parts.
Watch 'Night Sky' not for its slow-burning mystery but for the feel-good chemistry that JK Simmons and Sissy Spacek share. The veteran actors have given their best and they will definitely make you fall for them.
All episodes of 'Night Sky' are available for streaming exclusively on Amazon Prime Video