If you’re like me, you might have a few questions about the new USA original TV series, The Purge.
First of all, what is this? Is it a continuation of the four feature films distributed by Blumhouse Productions? Is this a standalone story, divided into 10 episodes totally unrelated to the movies? Is this a sequel or even a prequel? Or is it none of those options?
- This seems to be a spin-off storyline from the films that’s set within The Purge Universe. So far, there hasn’t been any crossover characters or plots, but I’m hoping they will eventually appear. In fact, I would love to see the Bloody Stranger/Dante Bishop (Edwin Hodge) play an important role in the overall story, linking both properties.
What’s the ongoing storyline?
- A group of unrelated people try to survive a 12-hour period of lawlessness, haunted by their past, set during an unknown time frame. A powerful businesswoman (Amanda Warren) is involved with a shady transaction. A young couple makes a deal with the devil at a Purge Party formal event. But the most intriguing character is Miguel (Gabriel Chavarria), who returns home from the Marines searching for his younger sister, Penelope (Jessica Garza), who is somehow wrapped up within a cult that sacrifices its members in order for others to release their pent-up violence. Out of all of them, this brother-sister combo is the best of the characters.
Will we see the formation of New Founding Fathers of America via flashbacks?
- This really was a missed opportunity. While the limited series is just beginning, it seems the audience is simply given a handful of new characters to follow instead of really expanding the franchise’s mythology by showing the creation of the NFFA. That is a TV show (or perhaps another prequel movie) I’d like to see!
Where can you find it?
- Other than watching the show online, I was initially under the impression this was an ongoing show on Syfy. How wrong I was. It’s a new series on USA Network, but the pilot simply aired on a sister channel to promote it.
Why did this show premiere in September instead of naturally being shown in October?
- The Purge theme, along with all of the sinister costumes and masks fits in nicely with Halloween. The horror elements would’ve been better suited to air closer to the end of October than trying to gain market share for the cable network by airing during the wasteland of the end of summer.
Why release this film during the same year as The First Purge?
- There’s gotta be some confusion if the two properties are related by audiences. The prequel movie brought in more than $134 million at the box office, so maybe Blumhouse was trying to cash in on the franchise, while it was relatively still on the audience’s mind. Adapting four movies into an ongoing TV show has gotta be risky business proposition. That’s taking a big chance on The First Purge making money, which seems to have happened.
Can a 10-episode event have enough storylines without padding the TV series?
- Background stories seem to fill the entire series premiere, “What is America?” It feels like a lot of filler material, complete with flashbacks, which lead up to the commencement taking place at the episode’s conclusion. I get it, the mood has to be established, but sometimes it feels a little drawn out. The hour-long episode focuses on “regular” life for these characters, which seem all-too boring.
As far as pilots go, this one offered so much background information, it feels totally opposite than all the action-packed feature films that share the same name. The following nine episodes may be a 180-degree turnaround in terms of storytelling style, but this one felt way too slow to keep my interest up.
The civil unrest, criminal activity and mayhem returns to the USA Network on Tuesdays.