The Purge 1×03 – ‘The Urge to Purge’

The Purge has made the translation to the small screen and on a weekly basis, I’ll be reviewing the show in capsule form for Set The Tape. Here’s a preview of my review of the second episode, The Urge to Purge.

For an episode all about ‘The Urge to Purge’, there doesn’t feel all that much of it going on in the third outing of The Purge TV adaptation. James DeMonaco’s translation continues to suffer from a powerful sense of the TV equivalent of Attention Deficit Disorder, lurching like a pinball from one idea to another without any sense of grounding. It’s hard to understand why it’s bizarrely so engaging as a result as opposed to irritating, even if it’s becoming increasingly clear there is almost no substance beneath the ghoulish style. The Purge on TV is even more a conduit for broad sociopolitical ideas at the expense of memorable characterisation than the films.

This comes from someone, by the way, who has always been a champion of this franchise, and The Purge TV series continues to tap into the baser tropes that will appeal to anyone in search of a schlock-ridden B-movie, but ‘The Urge to Purge’ moves closer and closer to just outright cliche. Of course the fat co-worker who has cheerily been smiling and cracking jokes at her uptight boss is a full on psycho nut job. Obviously the earnest ex-Marine is going to miss the sister he’s been tracking down by a hairs breadth. And isn’t it clear that the rich, quasi-Nazi businessman is a cold-hearted killer? Not to the powerfully naive Rick (Colin Woodell) and Jenna (Hannah Anderson), it seems.

This is the biggest problem with The Purge – almost everyone involved that we are following across this dark night is an absolute idiot, in varying different ways. Jenna and Rick (more Jenna) continue to be caught in this *frankly a bit weird* love triangle with hot, rich totty Lila (Lili Simmons) but this latest episode attempts to remind audiences that they’re at this fascist display of exorbitance in order to extract money for a welfare programme from the super rich Albert Stanton (Reed Diamond), who even if you didn’t know played a Nazi in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. once literally kicked off his party by standing on a platform and unveiling a flag and a doctrine which might as well have had him goose stepping to the champagne. When he shoots a man dead, Jenna is shook, like she just found out Santa Claus likes to slaughter elves. Really?

Read the rest of this review here.

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