Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Midnight Texas, Season One, Episode One: Pilot

Image result for midnight texas

This series is based on the Charlaine Harris novels by the same name.  Given that this story originates with Harris, I'm going to admit that I went into it with a certain set of doubts, despite her success with True Blood. Let's be honest, Charlaine Harris is no lover of women and doesn't write marginalised characters very well at all. 

The first person we meet is Manfred, who is a psychic.  One of his sessions goes a little bit further than he planned and a ghost ends up taking over his body. Fortunately, Manfred is able to fight off the ghost but it still leaves his client freaked the hell out.  Proving that a bad day can get even worse, Manfred gets a call from a man who is threatening him. Fortunately for Manfred, because he sees ghosts, he is able to take the advise of his dead grandmother which is to move to Midnight Texas because he will be safe there. 

On the outside, Midnight Texas looks to be a sleepy small town where nothing ever happens, except that it is filled with supernatural beings. This means that Manfred blends in quite well. Midnight Texas has angels, werewolves, witches, an ill tempered talking cat and vampires; together these creatures have formed a community of sorts.  The supernatural beings are actually a lot more welcoming than the local motorcycle gang the Sons of Lucifer. 

Manfred moved to Midnight with the hope of leading an unremarkable life and not attracting any notice but that all changes when Aubrey's body washes up dead, ruining a local fall gathering. While the town is filled with supernatural creatures, Manfred is the only one who can see an interact with Aubrey and so she reaches out to him, bloated body and all.  Having recently had a bad interaction with a ghost, Manfred decides to take some precautions before agreeing to help Aubrey and this includes making a circle and gathering up some holy water.  Using a ouija board, Manfred communicates with Aubrey and she gives him a location. The conversation however is cut short when Manfred realises that by opening the door to Aubrey, he also allowed several other spirits to make themselves known, including something red and ominous underneath his floor.  

Manfred's weird behaviour brings him to the attention of the police and so to stop them from looking into him, Manfred reveals the location that Aubrey gave him. The cops are suspect of Manfred's tip but when they drag the lake and pull up the gun which killed Aubrey, they decide that he is now necessary to the investigation and cannot leave town.  Unfortunately, the retrieval of the gun leads to BoBo, Manfred's landlord, owner of the local antique/pawnshop, and Aubrey's ex boyfriend. 

When the cops decide to arrest BoBo, who is in fact innocent of killing Aubrey, the supernatural creatures come together. They block the cop car from leaving and Fiji begins to crush the front of the car and lift it off the ground. Apparently, the cops believe that Fiji is both a lesbian and a witch. It's telling that these two identities are conflated in the minds of the cops. Though everyone agrees that what is happening is wrong, they're not sure that Fiji's method of dealing with the trouble is appropriate. Fiji finally relents and releases the car, allowing the cops to take BoBo away.  All of the supernaturals agree to work together to prove BoBo's innocence and Manfred agrees to participate as well.  Given that Manfred is the only one who can talk to the dead, his help should come in more than handy. 

I was kind of expecting that Midnight Texas would slowly reveal the supernatural but that certainly was not the case with the pilot.  What it did do was set up an us versus them vibe in terms of supernatural vs non supernatural.  Clearly the death of Aubrey, whom none of the supernaturals seemed to like, is going to further cement the community.  They might not want their natures revealed but they aren't going to let one of their own go down.

There are a few things that don't quite make sense to me.  I don't quite understand why a hitwoman belongs in this town and how it is that she has a relationship with the resident vampire.  Also, a red room of pain just feels really over the top for me.

It seems to me that we might actually have a gay couple on this show.  I am going to wait for more confirmation because it was glossed over so quickly I'm not really sure.  

There seem to be a few characters of colour; however, given that this genre has a history of a high attrition rate, I'm not celebrating yet. Let's see how many people of colour make it to the end of the season.

Midnight Texas got my attention right away. It's certainly not camp or even humorous.  I believe that we are meant to take all of the characters seriously, including the grumpy ass cat. That being said, this is just the first episode, so let's see where it goes.