I’ve only seen two out of the four movies in the Purge series, so haven’t quite yet reached the levels of Purge fatigue that others may be experiencing by now. Recently I watched ‘The First Purge‘ and while it was enjoyable enough, overall it was pretty average and instantly forgettable. So, if I’m honest, I wasn’t immediately sold on the idea of seeing this in a TV show format. I don’t know what made me decide to give it a watch, I guess I always imagined that the TV version of The Purge would work really well as a kind of real time show. A bit like 24, with each episode following an hour or so of Purge night. And if they could do that, then that’s something that I would find very interesting. Funnily enough, that idea isn’t too far away from what we ended up getting. And we even get our own Jack Bauer wannabee in the form of a US marine, relentlessly on the hunt for his younger sister!
The show kicks off shortly before commencement of Purge night. We’re introduced to a number of different characters, all seemingly unrelated to each other, and we then follow their experiences throughout the night. Each story-line is very different to the next, and some are way more interesting and intense than others. What hinders the flow of each episode though is the large number of flashbacks we get. We’re taken back to various points in the past in order to find out why a particular character is in a certain place and what their motivation is for whatever they’re currently doing. While this kind of thing is certainly necessary in order to provide some kind of decent character building, and works well for the majority of TV shows, I felt it had a negative impact on this show. It completely takes you out of the Purge night experience, out of the building momentum of danger and craziness. It felt bloated at times, too much of a slow burn. The whole thing certainly does take a while to find its feet, and you’d be forgiven for bailing on it after just a few episodes.
I’m glad I stuck with it though. The number of flashbacks started reducing considerably and some of the less interesting stories suddenly became very interesting. Better still, during the last couple of episodes a lot of those story-lines began converging, building to a very enjoyable last few episodes. With season 2 confirmed, I’m definitely up for more of this.
The Purge Season 1 is currently showing on Amazon Prime in the UK