What’s Not For Dinner – Midnight, Texas

Midnight, Texas

Premiered on July 24, 2017                            Rating:

Based on Charlaine Harris’ book series by the same name, Midnight, Texas follows the lives of the inhabitants of a small town where the concept of normal is relative. A haven for vampires, witches, psychics, hit men and others with extraordinary backgrounds, Midnight gives outsiders a place to belong. The town members form a strong and unlikely family as they work together to fend off the pressures of unruly biker gangs, questioning police officers and shades of their own dangerous pasts.

I’ve been excited to see Midnight, Texas since I first heard about it last summer. I loved True Blood and this show is cut from the same crop, literally – based on another series of novels by Charlaine Harris. But make no mistake, they are not the same by a longshot.

Midnight, Texas centers on Manfred Bernardo, a medium/gypsy trying to outrun some debt collectors. His grandmother (who is deceased) tells him to move to Midnight, Texas but as soon as he gets there he realizes that Midnight is not a “normal” town, but a supernatural hotspot. There are vampires, were-tigers and witches – you would think this show would be intriguing, entertaining or at least halfway interesting. Sadly, you’d be getting ahead of yourself.

This show is just blah. The performances aren’t the best, but part of me feels this is more about the writing and direction than the fault of the cast. There is a murder mystery, but it’s not one that is particularly interesting, thrilling or one that makes you care. There might be some romance, but it’s around characters you are indifferent about. It has larger themes like being an outsider, but it takes it on in such a literal and superficial way, nothing seems to be there.

Midnight, Texas isn’t a watered down version of True Blood, but rather the cheap knock-off that is so far removed it’s not even related. What’s most surprising however, is that it doesn’t even try. I wish they were more alike because if they were, then I would feel confident that this show would only get better. I never expected it to be as edgy or sexy as True Blood (it’s NBC compared to True Blood’s home at HBO) but in a world that allows for social commentary, Midnight, Texas comes up empty. There are no universal themes utilized (they are there, just ignored), no subtext, no pull. No anything.

What’s the most confounding is that it seems this show is happy with where it’s at. This isn’t a case of a show lost in its own ambition, or a show that is trying to be campy so it comes off as crappy – it’s just a show that really is okay being mediocre summer fodder. I don’t think I’ve ever come across a show that is like this, and I hope I never do again.

Charlaine Harris deserved better. Fans deserved better. Hell, viewers who have never seen True Blood, deserved better. It seems like such a waste – for a show that can push the limits of network TV and really pay off, why kill it before it has a chance to begin? Because that’s what this show is, a shell of what it could be. Not even solid enough to call it dead man walking. Such a shame.


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