Crime circles. Corrupt billionaires. Horrifying betrayals. Seductive women. Mysterious protagonists. AMC’s The Night Manager has everything that a spy thriller should. There’s even a British villain with an enchanting voice.
In The Night Manager, inspired by John le Carré’s novel, ex-British soldier, Jonathan Pine (Tom Hiddleston), works as a night manager at a luxury hotel in Cairo. After coming across vital information that crosses philanthropist billionaire, Richard Roper (Hugh Laurie), to a ring of illegal arms dealings, Pine reluctantly joins forces with British Intelligence’s Angela Burr (Olivia Coleman) to take Roper down once and for all. Pine goes undercover and rises up the ranks of Roper’s inner circle. Whether it’s avoiding the advantages of a curious wife, or silencing Roper’s suspicious loyalists, Pine must do everything he can to catch Roper red-handed, while keeping himself alive.
The amount of talent in this series cannot be stressed enough. Some of the UK's greatest actors are included in this show: Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Laurie, and Olivia Coleman, as stated before, as well as Tom Hollander. The series also features American actors David Harewood and Elizabeth Debicki. Adding the brilliance of director, Susanne Bier, The Night Manager was a hit, earning 8.1 stars on IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes critics’ score of 90%. And on top of all that, the show earned both a Golden Globe and an Emmy, not to mention the several awards won by cast members.
From the very start, Hiddleston defines his character and makes the show his. Pine is charming, observant, alert, and cautious; traits he takes advantage of to learn everything he can from the inside and earn Roper's trust. However, as the show progresses, we see Pine getting more and more desperate as his options run out and is forced to take riskier approaches.
Unlike most thriller movies and shows, The Night Manager spends very little of its time on epic fight scenes. In fact, the lack of spectacle makes the show only that much realistic. Instead of shooting and missing for ten minutes straight in a crowded European street, the fight scenes are much more intimate and dark. Rather than focus on the raw action, the creators of the show focused on the importance of the necessity to win, the emotional intensity looming over the characters, and the physical toll that a fight would actually put on a person.
In just six episodes, this show has made its way to my top favorite TV shows. And with another season confirmed, I’m excited to see what they bring next. However, with Bier stepping down, one can only wait and see if fans’ high expectations are met.
Tl;dr: The Night Manager is a show for those that like to hang off the edge of their seats and potential emotional investment. Great character development, realistic, and amazing actors.