The Night Manager is a sexy international thriller that should pop for Emmy voters
If anything, AMC’s The Night Manager is a damn fine James Bond audition for Tom Hiddleston. In the first installment of the six-part miniseries, Hiddleston manages to get embroiled in weapons intrigue and bed a beautiful woman—all the while looking rather dapper in an impeccably fitted suit. The Night Manager is sleek and handsomely made. It should easily catch the eye of prestige television watchers and, dare I say it, awards voters.
Based on the 1993 John le Carre novel of the same name, Night centers on Jonathan Price, the night manager of a posh hotel located in Cairo. Later in the first episode, we find out that he’s a former soldier who served two tours in Iraq. He comments, “I saw things in Iraq that didn’t line up with my idea of being a soldier.” Violence towards people who don’t deserve it seems to be something that doesn’t sit well with the polite night manager.
Price fails to protect one of his Cairo hotel guests in 2011, and it’s been haunting him ever since. The majority of the first chapter features trying to protect a woman named Sophie after she entrusts him with some valuable weapons documents. Price tries to get her out of the country (after bedding her, of course), but he’s quite literally just a few minutes too late.
The action jumps four years later (a seriously singular WTF moment), and Price has moved to a different hotel in Switzerland. It’s there that he comes face to face with “the most dangerous man in the world” himself—weapons dealer Richard Onslow Roper. He’s played by Hugh Laurie, and it might seem like an odd casting choice to some people. Laurie exudes natural charm in the role, so it’s going to be fun to see how he plays such a supposedly vile character. Can we anticipate him stroking a fluffy cat in later episodes? Olivia Colman is a sturdy presence as an intelligence operative, and Tom Hollander will prove to be a true prick as one of Roper’s associates.
The entire series rests on the shoulders of Tom Hiddleston, and he makes it all very enjoyable to watch. It’s very comforting to see him shed the long hair and dramatics of The Avengers Loki to play a very obedient and honest character like Price. He may sound like a pleasing or eager hotel employee, but there’s a casual sternness to his responses to other characters. Price might be very accommodating with his “yes sirs” and warm demeanor, but there is strength lurking behind each smile.
Oscar-winner Susanne Bier directed all six parts of The Night Manager (suck on that, Ryan Murphy!), so the tone should be quite consistent. It’s very sexy and controlled—much like the night manager himself.