My wife and I like American Ninja Warrior, and last night was one of the few times we decided to catch it live instead of checking it out on Hulu the next day. There were roughly 18,000 ads for a show debuting after ANW, a show I’ve seen a couple headlines about but haven’t bothered to look into because it had ‘bad genre bullshit’ written all over it.
That show is Midnight, Texas. It is, unequivocally, bad genre bullshit. To be fair, I only half-watched the first few minutes. And I only half-watched those minutes because the remote was a few feet away and I wasn’t exactly being productive. But I’ve never wanted to escape something more than I wanted to escape the confines of Midnight, Texas after a single scene.
The show kicks off with a guy (played by an actor) who has a connection to the supernatural world. Because of course he does. He helps (I think) a woman who’s dealing with a ghost/spirit/weird smoke monster because this show has a bit of a special effects budget. But HE GETS POSSESSED BY THE DAMN THING—and it definitely wants to kill the woman in question. It’s okay, though. He manages to vanquish it with a combination of serious faces and forced, clunky dialogue. Then he leaves.
So yeah, it’s clearly a quality piece of entertainment. I’d already checked out from my half-watch by the end of that scene, but the next one forced the TV to turn off and stay off for a while. Protagonist dude drives his RV with his dead mother (probably? I don’t even know) in the passenger seat, because, you see, all sorts of supernatural stuff exists in this world. They share a few cheesy lines with each other before turning to hearty laughter because oh man weird things happen and haha wow is it cool to laugh about it.
And this is all before the guy gets to the damn town the show’s named after.
Unfortunately, I didn’t subject myself to whatever exploits he found himself in once he did get there. I didn’t need to.
Midnight, Texas is a show content to capitalize on the lowest common denominator of supernatural genre work. There are ghosts and (sort of) zombies and definitely other things here, and you should totally watch because it’s just so cool that this one show has all those things in it. It’s a show that presents itself as being made for fans of supernatural stories that doesn’t take cues from any of its most successful and highest quality predecessors.
There are a bunch of different types of creatures/people in this town, and that’s supposed to be enough. There’s no depth to anything happening here (again, at least in the first five minutes), and viewers are supposed to be satisfied with a base level entry into a supernatural world. But hey, the show doesn’t seem to actively hate its ostensibly targeted fanbase the way The Big Bang Theory does, so at least there’s that.
Will Midnight, Texas get better as it progresses into its season? Probably not. Will it have enough of a season to be memorable? Probably, because this is an unjust world and bad things tend to keep happening.