The Purge trilogy quickly made its mark on the public conscience thanks to a thought provoking premise, and soon it will be seen on a weekly basis. Recently, The Purge creator James DeMonaco proudly announced that his brainchild will be expanded into a TV show.
Set in a supposedly utopian America, The Purge centers on those affected by the annual Purge, a new American "holiday" on which all crime is legal for a 12-hour period. The Purge movies may not be the most critically acclaimed thrillers, but they have the potential to become more than just low budget guilty pleasures. Here are five things that The Purge TV series needs to make the annual Purge great again.
The closest character to a protagonist The Purge movies had was Leo Barnes (Frank Grillo), as he starred in two of three Purge movies. Thing is, Barnes' redemption was more of a framing device for The Purge's real star: the Purge itself.
The one constant in The Purge movies was effects of the Purge on citizens who can't afford to wall them selves off from violence, and the TV series should focus on this as well. By creating new stories and character arcs, The Purge TV series won't have to chain itself to the established canon. It will get the chance to do things the movies never did.
That's not to say that the movie's continuity should be ignored since cameos from previous protagonists, like Ethan Hawke's surviving family members from the first Purge, would be nice, but TV series' priority should be telling a familiar tale through the eyes of newcomers. Audiences don't need to see ten more hours of Barnes tracking down his son's killer; they need someone different to support or loathe when Purge Night commences.
2.Differing Points Of View
Since The Purge movies were never locked to a single character, the world of the films was always viewed from multiple perspectives. Both the Purgers and their victims got equal doses of screen time, and this helped flesh out the twisted version of America.
The movies were understandably constrained by time, but with a possible ten-hour length The Purge TV series can delve deeper into the minds and backstories of its characters. The Purge's basic premise is interesting enough, but what made it stand out was seeing how people from different walks of life reacted to the event, and how they crossed paths when the annual Purging began.
This will also give the series a chance to have the characters' clashing ideologies butt heads more so than they did in the movies. In doing so, viewers get the chance to see what exactly drives and motivates people in a world where murder is briefly legal.
A criticism fired at The Purge movies was the lack of logic behind the Purge. Politically and realistically speaking, it would take a lot to convince any government to turn murder into a national holiday, and The Purge just glossed over this. Each succeeding Purge movie thankfully gave more exposition than the last (like how Anarchy revealed that Purging is actually not as effective as the New Founding Fathers of America claim) but some plot holes were still left unfilled. Through a televised format, The Purge can finally show what specific circumstances led up to the creation of the "holiday."
By means of flashbacks, audiences may be able to see the first-ever Purge night and the birth of the armed resistance that fights the New Founding Fathers' systematic oppression disguised as a patriotic holiday.
4.Increase The Satire
The Purge may have started as a generic home-invasion thriller, but its sequels changed for the better by capitalizing on the heavily advertised political slant that was barely mentioned in the first movie.
Like They Live and RoboCop, The Purge: Anarchy and The Purge: Election Year violently raged against The Man by painting the elitist side of American politics as a fanatical cult of sanctimonious blood-thirsty hypocrites to get its points across. The Purge movies also showed twisted depictions of American life, like the consumerist culture born from the Purge's popularity, the mocking patriotic gear donned by proud Purgers, the self-congratulatory Purge Mass and the racial implications of the murderous holiday.
Sadly, the movies glossed over these interesting ideas to focus on the story's central bland chases to the point where the world building became more interesting than whatever the main characters were doing. As a TV show, The Purge can now evenly divide its time between the core characters and the satire, giving the former background noise its time in the spotlight.
5.More Purge Night
One of the biggest complaints about The Purge movies was the lack of actual Purging. The Purge movies do show some onscreen violence but for the most part, the movies didn't earn the R-Rating. Despite being advertised as a night of pure debauchery, the actual Annual Purges were pretty tame by horror and thriller standards. To make matters worse, The Purge movies had a bad habit of prioritizing the heavy handed metaphors over the violent holiday's actual terror.
The Purge TV series can not only remedy this but push the envelope as well. Since the films clearly took influences from the shameless B-movies of previous decades, The Purge TV series should take advantage of its expanded format and go all-out in terms of showing just how vile the Purge Night can get. Today's TV shows tend to be more violent than movies, and The Purge TV series is in the right place at the right time.