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THE PURGE is the TV Show We Need Right Now

THE PURGE is the TV Show We Need Right Now

Warning: This article includes minor spoilers for The Purge franchise.

In a world where even Captain America is a Nazi (in the current Marvel Comics event, Secret Empire), we all need something to get us through these trying times. And that thing, my friends, is a horror movie spin-off show about a night where all crime is legal. Yes, as strange as it sounds, with Blumhouse’s upcoming The Purge TV show, we now have a beacon in the darkness of our everyday lives.

Though the original The Purge movie was just a slightly more interesting version of your average home invasion horror, it paved the way for what has arguably become one of the most subversive and diverse horror franchises of all time.

The film is set in a dystopian near-future version of America where, after a violent coup, the country is now governed by the totalitarian “New Founding Fathers of America.” To combat crime, they legislate that all crime is legal one night a year, to get it out of people’s systems. Introduced in the first film as nothing more than a unique twist on the overdone “there’s someone in your house” trope, the two sequels have created a vast and sprawling world, one that has become more timely with every passing day.

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A pitch black satire that moved away from the original’s horror roots, The Purge: Anarchy expanded on the world that James DeMonaco established with the first smash hit installment in the Purge series. Finally introducing us to the New Founding Fathers of America, Anarchy showed us that this shadowy group of old rich white men have been manipulating the outcome of the Purge for their own gain.

There’s something radical about a Hollywood movie that creates villains out of old white men weaponizing gentrification and the eradication of marginalized communities. The Purge: Anarchy did just that, and as such raised what could have been just another Halloween horror franchise into something rarely seen since the days of John Carpenter: a smart, satirical horror film that in its own blunt way dealt with some very real issues.

The New Founding Fathers rhetoric of crime-riddled inner cities should be familiar to many of us. The abstract idea of “inner city crime” is so often used to destroy thriving communities and justify state-sanctioned violence. In the world of the Purge, this often insidious and entrenched violence of the real world is made flesh. Condensed into a 24-hour period, the Purge is gentrification on steroids. It’s a gun to the head instead of a decade of displacement and rising house prices.

via GIPHY

After Anarchy introduced us to the horror of the New Founding Fathers, The Purge: Election Year made them the true antagonists of a world where they’d only previously been on the fringes. Unveiling the group as an evangelical cult hellbent on controlling America through force and making as much money as possible whilst doing it, the group are truly villains for our times. Luckily for us, both Anarchy and Election Year have heroes who are just as relevant.

In the whitewashed world of Hollywood, it’s rare to find inclusive casting, let alone bona fide heroines. Yet the Purge sequels have given us three badass women of color as lead characters, as well as a group of radical anti-Purge resistant fighters who are predominantly people of color and are clearly based on historical radical groups like the Black Panthers. 

The prospect of getting an entire season exploring this admittedly basic yet startlingly timely political analogue is exhilarating. On top of everything we already knew, Blumhouse CEO Jason Blum’s revelation that the show will track the ramifications of Purge night through the entirety of the calendar year is a promising sign. A chance to tell a relevant, bleak, and entertaining story with an inclusive cast–hopefully one that’s predominantly people of color–could make The Purge TV show something that rises above its already lofty beginnings, ultimately becoming a vital piece of long-form storytelling.

So what do you think? Could a The Purge TV show be the political satire that we’ve been waiting for? Or am  I just reading way to much into a fun horror franchise? Let us know in the comments!

Images: Universal

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