The new series takes place just years after Elizabeth Short’s gruesome murder. Dubbed the Black Dahlia, Short’s murder became infamous for its brutality, shocking display and the fact that it’s gone unsolved for more than 70 years.
Based on true events, I Am the Night follows Pat/Fauna Hodel (India Eisley) as she finds a surprising link between her unknown past and the notorious crime. Chris Pine (you know him from Wonder Woman) stars as the completely fictional Jay Singletary, a once great journalist who we first meet while he’s dressed like Joey from Full House. So things could be better for him.
While Pine and Eisley are a delight to watch, the start of the series feels a bit lukewarm though the second half of the pilot picks up the pace. With the show’s promotions heavily name dropping the Black Dahlia, it’s easy to forget the the crime is in the past already when the series takes place. Therefore it’s hard not to find the world building for Jay and Pat/Fauna a little less lackluster. It’s not really a fair slight as I know going into the I Am the Night that we’ll be focusing more on the Fauna’s story, but that’s decidedly less enticing than solving one of America’s most famous unsolved cases. If you’re craving more true crime than drama it’s hard to tell from the start what you’ll get but trailers suggest more mystery lurks in the future.
A LITTLE MORE SPOILER-Y
Pat’s connection to the Black Dahlia is our chance to dive more into the case. Her biological mother is the daughter of Dr. Georgoe Hodel. That name probably doesn’t ring a bell. But the Murderinos know that Hodel is/was a prime suspect in Elizabeth Short’s murder. Even his son, a former cop with the LAPD thinks he did it.
Pat/Fauna Hodel decides she wants to meet grandpappy George because her mom is sorta just awful. Despite a parade of red flags it’s safe to assume that things don’t go well or we wouldn’t have six episodes.
While I’m not enthralled I’m interested in how they’ll develop the Fauna’s story and I’ll just have to get over that we are not going to solve the Black Dahlia murder tonight. I might tune in for a few more episodes.
You can catch Patty Jenkins’ (Wonder Woman) and Sam Sheridan’s I Am the Night Mondays on TNT. Are you going to tune in?