“Midnight’s not the same as most places.” This quote from one of the characters during series pilot of Midnight, Texas resonates quite well and is a great summation of this series. Midnight, Texas, which debuted Monday July 24th, is based on the books written by Charlaine Harris (author of The Southern Vampire Mysteries series of novels upon which True Blood was based). This series has been on my radar for some time and after watching the first episode it did not disappoint.
The premise of this series may appear simple on the surface, however after watching the pilot episode there is much more to it. The series starts off with Manfred, a psychic looking for a place to lie low, who arrives in a sleepy Texas town called Midnight. His grandmother recommended the town to him as a safe place and upon his arrival he begins to meet the inhabitants of the town and feels welcome – he is even invited to a BBQ. As he starts to make his way around town, he begins to find out that there is more than meets the eye when it comes to the members of the community. At the end of the pilot we find out that the town’s unique community includes a vampire, an angel, a weretiger (yes – a were-tiger), an assassin for hire, and a witch. The cast includes:
Francois Arnaud (Manfred Bernando)
Dylan Bruce (Bobo Winthrop)
Parisa Fitz-Henley (Fiji Cavanaugh)
Arielle Kebbel (Olivia)
Jason Lewis (Joe Strong)
Sarah Ramos (Creek)
Peter Mensah (Lemuel)
Yul Vazquez (Reverend Emilio Sheehan)
After watching the first episode, I was immediately drawn in and intrigued by the premise of the series, while also interested in seeing how the characters will develop over time. Its my understanding that more supernatural elements will be revealed over the course of the series. From what did see in the pilot the special effects and the supernatural elements are appealing and also top-notch. There are also a few lighthearted moments, which help keeps the scenes and overall tone of the series interesting.
Near the conclusion of the pilot there is another memorable quote that will serve as a basis for the series – “Midnight’s weird, but it’s home.” – and this is a great selling point to put this on your viewing list.
As an added bonus, I had the opportunity to interview the cast during San Diego Comic Con and get a little more sense of the characters in this series. The cast did their best to avoid spoilers, however, they did tell us a little about their characters.
Below are videos from the press round tables and along with a few highlight comments.
Francois Arnaud mentioned that his character of Manfred is coping with a drug addiction and the ghosts with whom he sometimes interacts are beginning to hurt him, so he decides to hide out for a while.
To prepare for her role, Parisa Fitz-Henley (who plays Fiji) met with people who practiced Wicca and identify as Pagan. Her character is non-denominational, which may be different, so there no set path for her. She also mentioned that her character struggles with her own insecurities and is perceived as a “sweetie”.
Dylan Bruce is happy to be a part of this series and especially to be ‘the human’. This allows his character to witness the supernatural in the same way as the viewers.
Peter Mensah said that the characters all have something to hide. They are misfits but they are also part of a community. He mentioned that there are layers and complexity to each of the characters.
Arielle Kebbel does two to three hours a day of training, including weapons training, fight training, fight choreography, and boxing. She is excited that this series will bring the characters from the book to life.
Charlaine Harris is excited about the series and was in awe when she visited the set. She loved the special effects that had captured what she had envisioned for the series. Of all of the characters of the series, she identified most with Fiji.
Tune in to Midnight, Texas Mondays on NBC.
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