After being widely promoted at WonderCon and San Diego Comic Con this year, Midnight, Texas aired on NBC on July 24. Based on Charlaine Harris’ book series, the show follows Manfred Bernardo, legitimate psychic, to the small, quirky town of Midnight, Texas.
The heavy handed pilot episode revealed that the residents of Midnight were all a part of a supernatural community. Amidst the world building, a somewhat convoluted plot was developed, as the town discovers the body of one of their own, Aubrey, by the riverbed. This, of course, brings the police to their small town, potentially exposing Midnight’s more unique inhabitants.
The first episode mostly explains who the main players are: Manfred the psychic; Rev. Emilio Sheehan the weretiger; Chuy and Joe, the angels; Lem, the energy sucking vampire; Olivia the assassin; Creek and her father; Bobo, Aubrey’s fiance, and a great fighter, and Fiji, the local witch. The pilot also shows that Manfred is on the run from someone and his grandmother, Xylda, is a ghost that haunts him. Bobo, meanwhile, is arrested for the death of Aubrey and Fiji attempts to crush the police cruiser with her magic before they can take him away.
The second episode focuses on the ghosts and evil inhabiting Manfred’s house, and Aubrey’s ghost visits him to show him her death. Manfred explains what he knows to the police, ultimately freeing Bobo from jail and Fiji helps Manfred rid his house of the ghosts.
However, the action part of the episode included the Rev escaping from the basement and terrorizing the town. The special effects for Lem and tiger Rev’s fight were incredibly cheesy, and the episode ended with the Rev feeling guilty about what he had done.
Despite the wide promotion of the show, the first two episodes left a lot to be desired. At some point during the cumulative episodes, campy writing and poor acting made the episodes unbelievable and difficult to watch. Additionally, the inconsistency of the acting made suspenseful scenes falter and fall flat. Nothing in these beginning episodes had a particular hook that endeared or intrigued the audience, as the rushed world building quickly dispelled any question of character development.
However, Midnight, Texas has kept the “who done it” plot alive and well as the town searches for the murderer of Aubrey, as well as continuing to allude that the veil between their world and the supernatural is breaking. Though the characters appear to be settling by the third episode and seem to be more consistent in their portrayal, the show still seems to be attempting to find its footing as it sets up the season to have an episodic monster of the week story line.
The third episode, “Lem, Unchained,” superficially explored the backstory of one of the more intriguing characters, Lemuel. Essentially, Lem was an escaped slave who is turned by Zach. They settled in Midnight, Texas, where they massacred an entire cafe of people, and Lem met Xylda, Manfred’s grandmother.
Xylda turns Lem into an energy sucking vampire, who can kill his brethren and runs Zach out of town. The rest of the episode centers on Zach and his nest of vampires coming back to Midnight in an attempt to take back the town. Zach poisons Lem and Lem is rescued by Olivia, while Manfred and Chuy save the rest of the town by using a unique sun crystal to vaporize the vampires.
The third episode provided some hope for the remainder of the season, as there was some character development for Manfred. The relationship between Lem and Olivia remained unbelievable and forced still, which makes their sexual/romantic encounters awkward to watch. Hopefully, Midnight, Texas will be able to pick up steam in the next episode and provide a more meaningful character developments.