TV review: Midnight, Texas, SyFy (2 stars)

TV review: Midnight, Texas, SyFy

New series based on the books of Charlaine Harris (True Blood) is more silly than scary

When True Blood started back in 2008 it was fresh, sexy and scary. At its best it used vampirism as a metaphor for sexuality, gender and racism. But they couldn't help piling on the spooks adding werewolves, demons and fairies to the mix. It rapidly lost its edge. Midnight, Texas is also based on a series of books by Southern horror author Charlaine Harris. Unfortunately if feels like it begins at the same point where True Blood took a serious nosedive.

After a séance goes wrong psychic Manfred (François Arnaud) heads to Midnight in search of the quiet life. Sadly, for Manfred, this tiny Texas township is populated by supernatural entities. In the opening episode we meet the resident witch, vampire, angel and talking cat (and we're guessing there are even more monsters and creepy critters to be revealed as the show progresses). There's also a love interest in the form of local barkeep Creek (Sarah Ramos) and a murder to solve.

Midnight, Texas comes across as True Blood-lite lacking the bite and stylistic flourishes showrunner Alan Ball brought to the series. It actually has more in common with teen fare like Vampire Diaries or Teen Wolf. It fails to create a world you can invest in. Motivations are weak at best forever moving forward to service the plot rather than adding depth and characterisation. Its feels like a glossy US soap opera, populated by clean cut chiselled actors, with added ghouls and ghosts. It offers some fun mindless entertainment but in this age of quality TV why settle for Midnight, Texas when you could binge on Stranger Things, The Strain, The Walking Dead or even Supernatural for similar, but superior, thrills.

Midnight, Texas starts on SyFy, Thu 27 Jul, 9pm.

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