The Purge Brings Its Nightmare Dystopia to Television: New at Reason

'The Purge'Television critic Glenn Garvin finds the movies invading his chosen entertainment medium. If only it was something better than The Purge:

The Purge movies—there have been, God help us, four of them in five years—are all based on the premise that America has fallen under control of a bizarrely authoritarian government that, once a year, allows (encourages might be a better word) everybody in the country to go out and kill, rape, rob, and loot anything or anybody they want. I have given this idea some thought, and if it should ever be adapted in real life, I have identified the first person I would disembowel. That would be Variety film critic Owen Gleiberman, who earlier this summer in his review of Purge No. 4 (The First Purge), labeled the whole series of films Clockwork Orange-meets-Roger Corman grade-Z nihilism,” a phrase that I swear to God I would have thought of first if I hadn’t had to wait for the TV show to start.

The TV version (written and produced by James DeMonaco, the auteur all four Purge films) finally arrives next week, and I’m afraid I don’t have much to add to Gleiberman’s pungent wisdom. There’s a little less Clockwork Orange than some of the movies—even liberated cable TV still can’t match up with the body count of a dedicated grindhouse director—and a little more nihilism (“On Purge Night, America lives up to its promise!” exhorts one nut-job talk radio host).

There’s even a slight nod to character development, which The Purge is going to need in a format that stretches 10 hours over nearly three months instead of 90 frenzied minutes of shopping-mall mayhem.

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from Hit & Run

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