Ralph Potts reviews The Purge Season One, a TV thriller that is set in an altered United States and, follows several unrelated people who discover how far they will go to survive a night where all crime is legal for 12 hours.
Studio and Year:
The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Universal - 2018
Feature running time:
English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Gabriel Chavarria, Hannah Emily Anderson, Jessica Garza, Colin Woodell, Lee Tergesen, Amanda Warren, Fiona Dourif, William Baldwin, Lili Simmons
James DeMonaco, Jamie Chan, Jeremy Robbins
January 8, 2019
"Will You Hide or Will You Seek?"
“When all crime, including murder, is legal, a group of seemingly unrelated characters cross paths on the most dangerous night of the year. Whether it's for revenge, personal gain, protection, or unadulterated glee, everyone is forced to reckon with their past and plot their futures.” – Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.
In an America wracked by crime and overcrowded prisons, the government has sanctioned an annual 12-hour period in which any and all criminal activity-including murder-becomes legal. The police can't be called. Hospitals suspend help. It's one night when the citizenry regulates itself without thought of punishment. The Purge Season One
is a 10-episode event that takes place on the same night and, follows a group of people, each with their own story and set of circumstances who come face to face with fate on this night plagued by violence and an epidemic of crime.
I am not particularly a fan of the film series although I didn’t mind the second installment. I wasn’t aware that Blumhouse has created a TV series based on the films but, decided to see what they had done with it and, went ahead and requested Season One for review. The series runs on the USA Network with each episode running for an hour. The first episode, ”What is America?” sets up the plot and introduces the primary characters and foundational elements that will essentially play out over the course of the season.
It follows a Marine, on home for leave, and his sister, a white-collar business executive, a married couple looking to make a connection that will change their financial future and a mysterious stranger whose agenda isn’t immediately clear. Each episode delves into the lives of these characters in both past and present situations as the events on Purge night pushes them further into the abyss as they struggle to not only survive but, retain their moral compass. The Purge Season One
does have the feel of the films while providing a set of narratives and characters that allow it to render its story in layer peeling fashion.
I think it succeeds at that in most respects with its darkly thematic social commentary/apathetic tone prominently on display. Having said that, I didn’t find its various storylines to be equally rewarding in that context, with their being a sort of ebb and flow to the quality of the drama, which at the end of the day is the foundation upon which the TV series is written. The various elements of action are fine and about what you’d expect from a TV series based on the films. I didn’t mind the introduction of a few of the subplots and those supporting characters as it helped keep things afloat. There aren’t any truly gratifying twists although the attempts to deliver them are found at key junctures.
The cast is made up of relative unknowns with one or two exceptions. I didn’t have any problem with them finding that on one or two occasions they added solid turns that supported the show’s themes. Unfortunately, as the events play out and, we find out several of the whys and wherefores, as well as the defining conclusion to each storyline, it doesn’t add up to an engrossing, refreshing and thematically effecting finish. I liked the idea that some live and die but, there is a campiness to the proceedings. The door is left open for next season and a new night of purging. I won’t be tuning in.
Here is Season One’s episode list:
- What is America?
- Take What’s Yours
- The Urge to Purge
- Release the Beast
- Rise Up
- The Forgotten
- Lovely Dark and Deep
- The Giving Time is Here
- I Will Participate
- A Nation Reborn
The Show contains violence, language, sexuality and mature subject matter.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency effects:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialog Reproduction:
- DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): NA
The Purge Season One comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound.
- Black Level/Shadow Detail:
- Color Reproduction:
This 1.78:1 framed video presentation offers appreciable high definition resolution that has a satisfying glossy aesthetic. Images are stable and sharp with plenty of discernible texture and revealing fine detail during close-ups. Many of the show’s sequences are shot in uneven and low lighting. Shadow delineation and depth is quite good. Blacks are deep while exhibiting appreciable dynamic range with stable yet slightly elevated contrast that never infringes upon fidelity. Colors are snappy and bright and sullen and muted where appropriate. Fleshtones appear descriptive with variable depth that brings out the finest gradations in the differing complexional types among the cast.
The DTS-HD MA soundtrack features crystal clear dialog, robust dynamics and a subtle, yet enriching surround sound mix. I was pleased with its use of spatial dimension and directional cues to create an apropos and occasionally immersive sound field. This worked hand in hand with show’s music, and active sequences to build tension and drive its thematic elements. I thought it sounded quite good.
The Purge Season One
- Deleted Scenes
- A Conversation with Cast and Crew
- Anatomy of a Scene
- Costumes and Props
- Table Read
plays off the plot of the well-known Blumhouse movies, where several unrelated people discover what measures they are willing to take in order to survive a night where all crime is legal for 12 hours. Season One captures the essence of the film series but, doesn’t deliver enough substance to support the weight of its thematic tone. It comes to Blu-ray from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment featuring solid high definition audio/video mated with a fair supplemental package that fans should enjoy. The Purge Season One
didn’t leave an impression but, those that really enjoy the films may want to give it a try nonetheless.
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Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Emotiva XPA-7 Gen 3 Seven Channel Amplifier
Emotiva XPA-11 Gen 3 Amplifier
Panasonic DP-UB820 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems