TV has a new budding supernatural series in town, and it’s what we all need right now – wacky, messy fun that’s not afraid to make a cat talk with cheesy animation.
Of course Midnight, Texas has its problems, the major one being that the show is too fast-paced for its own good. Based on the novel series by author Charlaine Harris of True Blood fame, the sleepy small town of Midnight, Texas is supposed to be a quaint town with quirky, secretive Midnighters with scenes solely focused on Fiji cooking and baking for her talking cat. But this is not books and the TV show makes it noticeably so because it’s fast.
We are first introduced to Manfred Bernardo (François Arnaud), who was actually quite impressive and charming as the heart-stealing psychic new guy in town. But that charm is muddied when Manfred gets a mysterious phone call from someone who is after him (this is never explained clearly by the end of the episode) and is told by his dead grandmother that Midnight, Texas is where he’ll be safe.
The next thing we know, Manfred is zooming down the desert highway to Midnight and then we are there. A small, western-style town that, admittedly, is pretty spot-on when comparing it to the town described in the novels.
The Midnighters, well they’re another story.
Fiji Cavanaugh, the local town witch played by Parisa Fitz-Henley, is the bubbly girl-next door with a bit of a rage-problem when it comes to her crush Bobo Winthrop, played by Dylan Bruce (who, in my opinion, made the episode go from an 8 to a 7 with plain old bad acting).
Yes, the actor who plays pawn-shop owner is fairly new at the acting game, but his cringe-worthy southern sweetheart character distracted from the rest of the episode. Let’s just hope he loosens up during the next couple of episodes because in a world where TV shows are canceled after only three episodes, one bad apple could spoil the whole thing.
Moving on to Olivia, played by supernatural-veteran Arielle Kebbel (you may recognize her from The Vampire Diaries) and she fits the part of the angry blonde hit-woman with daddy issues perfectly. Her second half, who loves to siphon all that anger away, is the local vampire Lemuel (Peter Mensah), who also plays the part well enough that their love story is pretty fascinating to watch.
Then we have Creek, played by Sarah Ramos (she reminds me a lot of the waitresses from True Blood’s Merlotte’s Bar and Grill) and the local pastor Rev. Emilio Sheehan, played by Yul Vazquez, who enjoys burying dead animals in his pet cemetery.
Of course, we can’t forget about the fallen angel, Joe Strong (Jason Lewis), whose on-screen transformation with wings sprouting out of his back was pretty cool.
Lets just say, it’s a lot to swallow for one episode and the show could have introduced us to characters like the Reverend, Joe Strong and Creek’s over-protective father next episode to avoid the clutter that happened in the middle of this week’s premiere. Basically, everything starting with Bobo discovering his dead fiancée in the river during the town picnic, leading to the annoying Sheriffs questioning everyone in hyper-speed and Arielle Kebbel shooting some goons breaking into Bobo’s shop with a bow in her underwear and bra which, we have to admit, was pretty bad-ass.
While Midnight Texas has its flaws, it’s certainly not dead in the water. Let’s just hope this supernatural drama slows down to take a breath in episode two because, unlike I, who has read the books, if you didn’t read them prior to watching the show, you’re going to get lost in its 100-mile per hour storyline revolving around its 10-plus main characters.
So Midnight Texas, you have us intrigued, you’ve captured the heart of Harris’ town and (most) of its residents, but please slow down or else you’re going to run yourself into the ground fast.
Midnight, Texas stars François Arnaud, Parisa Fitz-Henley, Dylan Bruce, Arielle Kebbel, Jason Lewis, Sarah Ramos, Peter Mensah, and Yul Vazquez. Watch Midnight, Texas on NBC, Mondays at 10/9c.