I Am The Night, the new TNT limited series starring Chris Pine, and India Eisley, is a stylish mystery that will draw you in. Eisley, most know for Underworld: Evolution, portrays a fresh faced ingénue searching for her true identity. Her quest brings her to Los Angeles, down a trail of twisted and sinister secrets, and across the path of a disgraced journalist (Pine) determined to untangle them.
Directed by Patty Jenkins, I Am The Night is a bit of a Wonder Woman reunion. The famed director shares executive producer duties with Pine, while Connie Nielsen makes an appearance as a furtive member of the affluent and decadent Hodel family. We follow the parallel storylines of Pat (aka Fauna Hodel, played by Eisley) living on the edge of the color line in a small town Nevada, and Jay Singletary (Pine), a once-promising writer for the LA Times, now a washed-up tabloid reporter. Both their stories converge upon well-connected and wealthy Dr. George Hodel (Jefferson Mays), and one of Hollywood’s most infamous unsolved crimes.
The series pilot has a bit of a rough start, but the elements and characters gel well by the end, and if it continues down this path, it’ll make for some quality watching. Chris Pine overcomes his pretty-boy typecasting this time out, playing the down and out Singletary as pasty loser: prone to substance abuse, sleazy paparazzi tactics, and getting harassed by the cops. He is no stranger to the dark side of 1960’s Tinseltown and the characterization is palpable. Eisley’s Fauna, is sweet faced, wary, but also hits a perfect pitch of a naïve but rebellious nature. That the audience roots for these two very different characters gives a sense of how effective they are portrayed by both actors.
The plot seems rather convoluted initially, but the material is promising and interesting enough into which to invest for the entire six episode run. Hitting just the right notes of old fashioned soapy storytelling, and compelling scenic design, I Am The Night is worth curling up with this winter. 4/5 Bibles.