I recently wrote a review of season one and I was very impressed with it. We’re still pretty new to Amazon and these 2 seasons of the Purge were the first things we watched… Although while I was hoping to pick up with a third season in the future, it has now been announced that this was the last season they were going to make...
I can’t really blame them!
As you can read in my earlier review, I loved that the purge season one was essentially a really long purge film spanning almost the entire night and almost in real time… Although because it looked at different stories, that’s not quite the case. But it just had SO much potential! And they wasted all that potential in the second season.
We go from witnessing a night of fear, crime and violence across 10 full episodes to witnessing little bits of a couple of purges but spending 75% of our time watching what people do during the rest of the year.
Do we care what happens between the purge of year x and year y? Of course we don’t! We’ve got Blue Bloods for that!
When you watch a Purge franchise piece you watch it because you’re expecting to see a lot of mindless violence carried out in very inventive ways by people wearing all manner of crazy outfits. It’s a dystopian horror franchise… This series is a television drama.
One thing which the Purge sometimes gets criticized for is the lack of depth, but I think that’s also why so many people like it. It’s pure escapism. In this series they add that depth by giving complex back stories, social commentary, and adding a lot of characters who can interact in various ways as this series is set in New Orleans and as such is a slightly smaller world for them to work within. By adding what critics often say is missing from the show and the films, I think they really have taken away what the fans want from this franchise.
I don’t think it really adds anything new to the story of a corrupt government who do what they want – we already get that from the movies!
One thing which I will say, and it makes the lack of violence all the more annoying, is that in this series it is executed much better than it was in the first. It felt less cheap and tacky, so at least they managed to deliver on that criticism of mine. Because of this however you feel yourself even more wanting there to be more quantity and innovation. Especially because most of the main characters aren’t really ones you feel like you’re going to miss overly if they were to be killed off quite early on.
Even though the acting is pretty good, the majority of the cast are whiny and bordering on annoying throughout, with the exception of the good bad guys – the band of thieves we meet right at the start of episode one… Those guys are ones you hope will stick around to add some excitement, action and actual personality to the show, whilst feeling just a tiny bit too much like the fast an furious franchise but without cars!
So overall, whilst I had hoped that they would see the error of their ways and just go back and improve on their first season, I can see why they made the decision to axe it after this one… Personally I would never have green lit this script anyway. I’d rather have watched the first season twice in a row than see this one.