Big cities are well-known for being a safe harbor for the strange, the weird, the different and the misfit. Residents of large cities are generally too busy to notice others and also used to ignoring anything or anyone who doesn’t directly impact them. Misfits survive because they’re not seen, not because they’re necessarily accepted. In contrast, smaller cities and towns are often typecast as notoriously intolerant of anyone who doesn’t fit precisely in the approved code of conduct and culture. This is in part why a show like Midnight, Texas, which is returning to NBC in October just in time for Halloween, is so unique. In the show’s small, quirky town, people’s weirdness is on display. Here, they’re not only tolerated regardless but fully accepted as long as their intentions are good.
With the time between now and October, here are some reasons that demonstrate how dope the show is and why you should catch up before the new season!
It has a pedigree.
The show is based on the series of books by best-selling author Charlaine Harris. You might recognize that name; this is Harris’ second time at the rodeo with her first being the popular True Blood books turned into the hit series co-starring Rutina Wesley. True Blood was a cult obsession at HBO throughout its tenure.
It has sensible immigration border policies.
When it comes to working with people different than them, locals have good common sense. As one of the characters explains, Midnight sits on powerful mystical energy, the veil between good and evil is thin there and getting thinner by the minute. Thus, it benefits the town to welcome the presence of supernatural folks with good intentions. Because they’re the only ones with the knowledge and physical prowess to do battle with all the other superhuman beings who run to Midnight like college co-eds to Mexico in the spring. By settling in Midnight, these newly arrived residents become the town’s frontline soldiers, protecting themselves and the rest of humanity from being harmed by whatever goes on there.
It has eye candy.
The town of Midnight, Texas, is hot, and Midnighters are hotter with everybody there exceptionally good looking. There’s Lem (Peter Mensah), the tall, dark and handsome brother with sky-high cheekbones who seems like he just jumped off the cover of a romance novel. Then there’s Fiji (Parisa Fitz-Henley), who is "girl next door" cute with a head full of curls and a curiously girlish countenance, all atop an extremely curvaceous body. Madonna (Kellee Stewart), too, has the face of an angel with eyes that seem always to catch the light, adorned by a head of beautiful cascading braids. She has a penchant for wearing bright headwraps that evoke a feeling of the earth mother. Then there’s Joe (Jason Lewis), a fallen angel who looks like a craggy, sun-kissed former cherub. And Creek (Sarah Ramos), who works at the Home Cookin’ restaurant with Madonna, is cheerleader pretty!
It has romance.
If you love relationships as much as we do, this is the show for you. While some shows only put one central relationship on display, Midnight, Texas features multiple ones without sacrificing any of the action, thrills or suspense. Every couple appears to be soul mates who are at varying stages of romance. There are well-established Lem and his girlfriend, Olivia, and Manfred and Creek, who fell in love at first sight but often stumble in the face of daunting obstacles. Fiji and Bobo are the folksy BFFs who are realizing they might be perfect for each other. Joe and Chuy, who together own and work at the tattoo parlor/nail salon, seem the most secure in their relationship. Granted, this is also a mixed bag; Joe’s an angel, and Chuy is a demon. Despite this, their fierce dedication to their art and one another is truly inspiring!
It has drama.
There can’t be relationships without relationship issues! In Midnight, Texas, the audience gets a front-row seat to all the sweetness and dirty laundry between the couples, all of which have at least one party who is supernatural. This creates a variety of scenarios where tension is elevated to absurd levels. Like “Does my girlfriend have the right to be angry at me because I am a mind reader but missed the fact that her relative is a serial killer?” Or “Should I be offended that my longtime girlfriend doesn’t want to become a vampire like me? Bella begged Edward in Twilight, so what gives?” And “Should I, a person of color, trust the man I’m in love with because he tells me he has repented from his teenaged white supremacist ways in his hometown? Is that really why he left there and came to Midnight?” Because of the nature of the show, these problems seem way out there, but in the hands of the cast and writers of Midnight, Texas they are the legitimate concerns of people who have decided to live among and be extraordinary individuals.
It has creepies and crawlies.
Of course, there are monsters in this small town! Anything that can roll, slither, spontaneously appear/disappear, including any non-human being who has ever shown up in Western legend, myth or lore, will show up in Midnight. There are weretigers, vampires, succubi, poltergeists, angels, various demons who are evil or saintly and everything in between. It makes for a fascinating, unpredictable ride. And we’ll warn you now: you will jump out of your seat at some point. Because scary! That’s part of the fun, though, which is why we’re looking forward to seeing the crop of creatures for the second season.
It has badass women.
To say Fiji has a sunny disposition would be an understatement. The Boho chic Wiccan is irrepressible. That isn’t to say that she is naive to dangers all around her. She digs in when she or her friends are threatened and goes about the business of protecting them. For this, she uses her collection of intriguing and mysterious tools of the trade which includes a trippy menagerie of pills, potions and elixirs. There are also ultra-cool mythical weapons such as her anthames, or Wiccan knives. And there is Mr. Snuggly, Fiji’s cat who talks a lot and has an attitude about everything!
Madonna is the somewhat mysterious cook at the town’s favorite greasy spoon called the Home Cookin’. This is where Midnight, Texas is similar to True Blood. Home Cookin’ restaurant, like Merlotte’s in True Blood, is the epicenter for the town coming together in its downtime. Unlike Merlotte’s, though, Home Cookin’ is more family, less sexy; there aren’t short shorts and tight T-shirts here. It does also act as a magnet for both trouble and love, and you’re as likely to find folks fistfighting and flirting as you are to see them eating. Anyway, Madonna seems the most loyal out of a pretty loyal bunch. She also regularly does triage at the restaurant. It’s perhaps understandable given the much higher than average rate of injuries in Midnight. It’s a strangely jarring and simultaneously charming picture.
Olivia is not just Lem’s girlfriend. Though she is one of the Midnighters without supernatural powers, she doesn’t let that stop her from kicking butt! Played by Vampire Diaries’ Arielle Kebbel, Olivia is a gorgeous, steely, stilettoed assassin. A girl who swings a machete as quickly as her blonde ponytail, Olivia takes out not only supernatural monsters and demons but also more earthly fiends like heartless corporate raiders.
It has real estate.
The decor for most of the characters’ homes is as distinctive as their personalities. From Manfred’s aqua and white vintage mobile home to Fiji’s comfy cottage full of colorful pillows and well-cared plants to Lem and Olivia’s, well, panic room/home. This panic room is unlike any other; it’s satin and mahogany-lined with lots of mood lighting, punctuated by a stockpile of guns, knives, chains, etc. If it can in any way possible be used to maim or kill someone, it’s in there.
It has heart.
The best thing about Midnight, Texas is that it is about the family you can choose to create when society has thrown you from its hearth. There’s a message of love, acceptance and community at a time when “communities” seem to only pop up on social media. These are folks who may not “belong” anywhere but always know they have each others’ backs regardless. Midnighters protect each other at all costs, whether it's from outsiders who come to town to do them harm or protecting them from themselves when they threaten to break under the weight of their former shame. Like one character says, “Dark past? Join the club!”
Midnight, Texas returns for Season 2 Friday, October 26 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.