Midnight, Texas: Pilot

I meant to review this episode last week. It was recorded on my TV all ready to go. But I kept putting it off. I'm not quite sure why. Maybe the fact that Midnight, Texas, a show that heavily features the supernatural, is on NBC. The last time I watched a show like this on NBC, it was swiftly canceled. (RIP Constantine.)

But I finally watched it. And I'm... unsure. This show has a lot of things going for it, but just as many working against it.

A pilot's job is simple: introduce viewers to the world and make them want to watch the next episode. It definitely completed it's first task. All of the major players were introduced, and their specific "weirdness" explained. Was it the smoothest introduction ever? No. Absolutely not. Creek going through everyone one by one was a little ham-fisted, even if it did produce some interesting visuals.

The characters are what save Midnight, Texas for me. Fiji, the witch with a talking cat, is definitely an early favorite. I'm not quite sure how the romantic chemistry that she has with Bobo considering that his fiancee was just murdered, but that's an overall minor quibble. Lem the vampire was also very cool, even if his introduction was strange. All he knows is that Manfred lives in Midnight, and he's already feeding off of his emotions? That's quite a leap of faith to take with a complete stranger. Olivia is intriguing. She didn't really have much to do besides kick ass, smirk, and be distrustful, but she's intriguing. Especially her relationship with Lem.

Manfred, our psychic protagonist, is a little less interesting. His powers are definitely cool, but pale in comparison to a vampire or an angel. I don't make the rules. That's just how it is. He's likable enough, though, which is probably the most important part, and he functions as a vehicle for the audience. We uncover the secrets of Midnight right along with him.

I was surprised that Aubrey's murder wasn't wrapped up in one episode. From the previews, I thought for sure that this show was going to follow a "Case of the Week" format. But instead, it seems like it's going to span multiple episodes. I'm hesitantly excited for that. I'm always up for a good murder mystery, especially if it brings the folks of Midnight in conflict with the sheriff's department. They made a nice contrast to the supernatural craziness in town.

I'm sure that Bobo didn't actually kill her. He's suspected first, which almost guarantees that he's innocent. The only other obvious suspect is her skinhead husband, who we heard about but didn't see. I'm sure that he'll be around soon enough, if only to see what happened to two of his fellow gang members.

The biggest issue that I have with Midnight, Texas is that it doesn't seem to know what kind of show it wants to be. Should it be campy, or should it be played straight? The pilot mostly plays it straight, which I think is a big mistake. The concept itself is inherently too ridiculous to be taken completely seriously. It gives the episode an odd, disjointed tone that I hope they can smooth over in the future.

Because I feel like this show could be, well, maybe not good, but fun. An enjoyable way to spend the remaining summer weeks while we wait for the fall programming to come back. If nothing else, it gives us some very pretty people to look at.

Random Thoughts


The special effects were pretty good, especially the ones with Audrey's spirit. And I'm not sure if I've ever seen angel wings like that.

Xylda is very funny. She made me chuckle a few times.

And I did laugh out loud when the cat started talking.

Creek wasn't really given much to do expect be a love interest. Hopefully they develop her more.

The Sons of Lucifer as a gang name is a bit on the nose, isn't it?

Midnight, Texas is based off of the books of the same name written by Charlaine Harris. She also wrote the books that True Blood is based off of. I've neither seen or read any of her other work.

Definitely not the best pilot I've ever seen, but I'm cautiously optimistic. Hopefully they'll improve.

An Honest Fangirl loves superheroes, science fiction, fantasy, and really bad horror movies. And sometimes she writes about them.

6 comments:

Billie Doux said...

Congratulations on posting your first review, and welcome to the site, An Honest Fangirl! (How do we abbreviate that? Could we call you "Honest"?) :)

I agree with all of your points. Particularly, that this show isn't sure of what it wants to be. It really ought to take itself less seriously, since it's not on HBO and can't mimic the outrageousness that characterized True Blood.

FWIW, I haven't read the Harris books either. But I did read her Harper Connolly series, and Xylda and Manfred were supporting characters in those. The Harper Connolly series isn't anywhere near as supernatural as the Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood series, but it certainly does feel as if Midnight is part of the Sookieverse.

An Honest Fangirl said...

Thanks! And "Fangirl" would work best for me. It's easy enough. :)

Josie Kafka said...

Fiji, the witch with a talking cat...

Sold!

Mallena said...

Anytime a genre show appears on one of the big Networks, it makes me nervous about a premature cancellation. See: Braindead and Limitless - CBS, Firefly, Dollhouse, and Wonderfalls - FOX, (now I remember why I stopped watching FOX) Timeless - NBC. At least NBC changed their mind about it...maybe the Networks will finally get that genre fans are very powerful and find a better way to keep shows on the air despite ratings. ABC has found a way with Agents of Shield, even though the ratings plummeted from 12 million down to 2 or 3 million viewers.

I'm giving Midnight a chance because of the actors and the genre, I just hope it makes more sense soon. Hey, "Dirk Gently" doesn't make much sense, but I love that show.

Billie Doux said...

Mallena, you said it. Big networks and genre shows don't mix. Look at what happened last year to Supergirl. Well, actually, that's something of a success story since it moved to The CW instead of being cancelled, but that only means that Supergirl got lucky. Genre shows do much better on the fringe networks, the Syfy channel and Netflix.

Thomas Ijon Tichy said...

It's Francois Arnaud!

It's Francois Arnaud!!

It's Francois Arnaud!!! ;D