The Night Of – Corey Washburn

I’ve recently started watching The Night Of. I’ve been thoroughly impressed with the show so far, but have noted a few things I’d like to share.

First, the show is the worst possible case of bad luck of all time. Period. If you’ve watched just the first episode of the show, I’m sure you’ve picked up on this – but don’t worry, it gets worse. It’s the kind of thing you think about but never really actually happens… and then it does, in The Night Of.

Second, the storyline is ridden with racial innuendos, especially towards Naz’s parents whose lives are (obviously) totally altered forever. In exploring my wandering thoughts about this show, I came across this article which outlines the star’s (Riz Ahmed) own perspectives on racist stereotypes based on his personal experiences.

Third, and most importantly, is the representation of what it means to be non-white in present-day America, AND that the white male can always come in and save you. I find this problematic, to say the least. (See Vulture’s article, and DB’s article for more on representations of “other”…)

season 1 episode 2.jpg

I was glad to see that the New York Times mentioned the podcast “Serial,” because I, too, found similarities both in representations of other, “bad luck,” and the white lawyer swooping in to save the day.

All in all, I highly recommend this show (especially if crime television strikes your fancy), but I challenge you to look beyond the story and see the representations at stake.

Sorry for the article overload, but they really are worth your read!

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4 Responses to The Night Of – Corey Washburn

  1. mediaphiles says:

    It’s so important to critically view even our favorite shows and find what’s problematic about them, even though it’s often hard to do so. It is important\ to make sure that we continue to look critically at shows so we can improve in the future. I really enjoyed your post! This show looks interesting.-Valerie Medoff

  2. mediaphiles says:

    I have watched The Night Of and have listened to the entire Serial podcast on my long drive from Chicago to school. With that said, I could not agree more with your post. There are many similarities between the two and both slowly unravel the unfortunate events of non-white (and very often discriminated against) men. If Naz was white would more people favor him? I felt bad for Naz and his family the entire show, however I do not believe viewers would accept nor believe the story line had he been white … which is a huge problem throughout television. –Jenna Romano

  3. mediaphiles says:

    I completely agree with Valerie on this! Being able to critic your favorite shows is always so hard to do, so I applaud you in doing so. I’ve never heard of this show, but the way you describe it makes me want to watch it. Theres always so many things that one doesn’t notice when watching a show and I feel like you really picked up on them, for example the representation of non-white America.

    Alexandra Peralta

  4. mediaphiles says:

    This show is amazing! I watched it over the summer and was most struck by its criticism of the prison system that aggravates criminal behavior through a hostile environment–this is why Jack London’s “Call of the Wild” is the prison leader’s favorite book. It also comments on the hypocrisy of the justice system, but I think the show’s biggest indictment is its condemnation of modern life.

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