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Recommended: Night Sky on Amazon Prime Video

Sensational performances from Sissy Spacek and J.K. Simmons add heart-wrenching power to this sci-fi drama.
  • J.K. Simmons and Sissy Spacek in Night Sky. (Photo: Chuck Hodes/Amazon Studios)
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    Night Sky Season 1 | Amazon Prime Video
    Sci-Fi Drama (8 Episodes) | TV-MA

    What's Night Sky About?

    An aging couple has a portal underneath their tool shed that can take them to a different world. One night, their lives are upended when a stranger uses the portal to come to their home.

    Who's involved?

    • Sissy Spacek plays Irene York, a retired English teacher who believes the portal is part of a greater plan for her life.
    • J.K. Simmons is her husband Franklin, a former woodworker who is trying to manage Irene's care as her health fails. He would prefer they stop visitng the other world, but because it makes his wife so happy, he keeps going.
    • Chai Hansen is Jude, the man who comes through portal to the Yorks' place.
    • Kiah McIrnan is the Yorks' granddaughter. She's doing her best to look after Irene and Franklin while also going to business school. Meanwhile, she's avoiding the pain of her father's death twenty years ago.
    • Julieta Zylberberg and Rocío Hernández are, respectively, Stella and Toni. They're an Argentine mother and daughter who have a portal of their own on their property. The link between their home and the Yorks' is one of the season's unfolding mysteries.
    • Holden Miller, son of Dennis Miller, is the show's creator and executive producer.
    • Emmy-winning director Philip Martin (Prime Suspect, The Crown) is also an executive producer and helms several episodes.

    Why (and to whom) do we recommend it?

    Sissy Spacek has been an excellent part of several TV ensembles in recent years, including Netflix's Bloodline and Hulu's Castle Rock, but this Prime Video series is the first to see her in a lead role, and more Spacek is always a good thing. Whether she's radiating empathy for Franklin and Jude or submitting to the wonder of having an intergalactic portal in her yard, she makes this show feel human. Simmons matches her, playing a man who loves his wife more than anytihng in the world. Most of the first episode focuses on their relationship instead of the details of what's under the shed, so that by the time their lives tilt sideways, we can care about what happens to them.

    That compassion defines most of the other plotlines. In Argentina, Stella explains her family's portal by telling Toni it's a spiritual gift, while back at the York house, Jude reveals he's on a quest for a long-lost relative. There are certainly darker elements — including a tracking device that someone has planted in Jude's leg — but the show is defined by its rich, layered relationships.

    Pairs well with

    • Outer Range, Prime Video's equally engrossing other new series about a family with a mysterious portal on its land.
    • Les Revenants (available for purchase on Prime Video), a haunting French drama about a town where the dead are suddenly resurrected.
    • Random Acts of Flyness, HBO's surreal late-night show that explores the mysteries and mundanities of everyday life.

  • Night Sky (Season 1)
    The entire eight-episode season premieres May 20 on Prime Video.
    Created by: Holden Miller.
    Starring: Sissy Spacek, J.K. Simmons, Chai Hansen, Kiah McKirnan, Julieta Zylberberg, Rocio Hernandez, and Adam Bartley.
    Directed by: Philip Martin, Juan José Campanella, Shari Springer Bergman, and Robert Pulcini.
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    TOPICS: Night Sky, Amazon Prime Video, Adam Bartley, Chai Hansen, Holden Miller, J.K. Simmons, Juan José Campanella, Julieta Zylberberg, Kiah McKirnan, Philip Martin, Robert Pulcini, Rocio Hernandez, Shari Springer Bergman, Sissy Spacek