The time is right to revisit ‘The Night Of’

John Turturro and Riz Ahmed in "The Night Of."
John Turturro and Riz Ahmed in "The Night Of."Craig Blankenhorn/HBO

And now for something completely different.

Ha-ha, not really. Many people are talking about the shows — past and present — that they’ve been watching while social distancing, so here’s one more suggestion, assuming you haven’t seen it already and have HBO, or Hulu, or are willing to pay for it. This is the tip zone, and here is one more for you: The eight-parter is called “The Night Of,” and it’s a crime drama from 2016 created by Richard Price and Steven Zaillian (based on the first season of the British series “Criminal Justice”). It invites you to think about the inequities and the corruption of our justice system, but it also tells a really good story.


In a way, it’s an intricate episode of “Law & Order,” a procedural stretched out and deepened with distinctive characters. The murder suspect is Nasir “Naz” Khan (Riz Ahmed), a Pakistani-American Muslim from a close family, and the murder victim is a white woman he had a night of sex with, so there’s a lot of Islamophobia in play as Naz goes through all kinds of legal paces. The acting is aces, too, with John Turturro (replacing the late James Gandolfini) delivering a humane turn as an eczema-afflicted attorney and Jeannie Berlin making sparks as the fierce prosecutor. (Berlin is also outstanding in “Hunters,” the Amazon series about Nazi hunters in the 1970s with Al Pacino.) Bill Camp, Michael K. Williams, and Glenne Headly round out the cast.

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at matthew.gilbert@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.