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"The Purge" brings the iconic horror movie franchise to the USA network with a limited season run on the USA which will take in a second season after it was commissioned for a second series. The show is overseen by the showrunner, James DeMonaco who found fame for his directing of the first three movies in the franchise.
The first season begins with "The Purge" about to take place and the rules of the 12-hour crime fest explained to the viewer and the characters in the show. For 12-hours over the course of one night each year, the U.S. becomes a law-free nation with the inhabitants able to murder each other, commit crimes and face no consequences. The reasons for "The Purge" taking place each year are barely covered in the movies and in the show, the crime spree is sanctioned by a totalitarian government which keeps control by driving its citizens to murder each other each year.
The show follows a series of characters who have separate stories which do not intersect during the first episodes including a death cult which is willing to allow its members to die freely. The cult drives around on an old school bus on Purge night looking for gangs to be the victims of. Marine Miguel Guerrero receives a message from his sister just before the purge forcing him to leave his post and return home to make sure she is safe. Upon arriving home, Miguel discovers his sister has joined the death cult and is heading into "The Purge" looking to sacrifice her life for the leaders of the group.
Miguel is a man of moral convictions who is forced into a difficult situation where he must use his skills from the military to stay alive and find his sister before she sacrifices herself. Guerrero is forced to become one of the mob found on the streets of the U.S. on Purge night and battle to stay alive as he looks for his sister.
In other story threads, a young couple, Rick and Jenna Betancourt are spending their Purge night out of their safe home for the first time. They have decided to attend a party thrown by members of the totalitarian government in a bid to gain financial assistance for their company. The couple is forced to lie as they try to raise money for their low-income housing project and face the issue of the high levels of violence they are about to see as "The Purge" impacts their lives for the first time.
Another woman, Jane Barbour is seemingly a hard-working office worker determined to rise out "The Purge" by remaining at her workplace and watching the night pass by in safety. However, as with almost everybody on Purge night, Jane is hiding a dark secret which she hopes will have a positive impact on her life. Jane is frustrated at the lack of opportunities she has to win promotion in her job and hopes to extend her career by using the Purge to eliminate those in her career path.
James DeMonaco is best known for his work on "The Purge" franchise along with a long list of feature film credits to his name. DeMonaco began his career far from the horror of "The Purge" when he co-wrote the Robin Williams comedy, "Jack" in 1996 before writing the thrillers, "Assault on Precinct 13" and "The Negotiator" starring Samuel L. Jackson. DeMonaco has also completed a large amount of work on television, including acting as a producer and writer for "Kill Point" and "Crash."
Gabriel Chavarria takes the role of Marine Miguel Guerrero who acts largely as the moral center of the series. Chavarria has been working steadily in TV and film since making his screen debut in the 2007 movie, "Freedom Writers." The actor has also appeared in the movie, "War for the Planet of the Apes" and appeared in the Hulu original series, "East Los High."
Rumors have swirled about the possibility of a series of "The Purge" dating back a number of years with creator James DeMonaco stating on numerous occasions he wanted to explore the roots of the event. His initial idea for the show was to develop the idea of a group of New Founding Fathers who would change the democratic process in the U.S. Instead of following this thought process, DeMonaco created a series of inr=terconnected stories on a night in the earlier editions of Purge Night. "The Purge" began filming in 2017 with the USA deciding to broadcast the show hoping to benefit from the popularity of the movie franchise.
Released as a ten episode season, "The Purge" took an audience share of around two million viewers for each of its first season episodes which pointed to a loyal fanbase for the franchise. Despite the loyal viewers, the series did not receive positive reviews with many critics stating "The Purge" was bloated and boring as it stretched the premise across ten episodes. The switch to the small screen has been a difficult one for "The Purge" with the majority of reviewers on Rotten Tomatoes pointing to the boring episodes resulting in a rating of just 42 percent on the site.
James DeMonaco has been a director and filmmaker for most of his life and made his first film aged 11. The director made a dark comedy about a drug dealer and believes he lived close to a well-known dealer during his childhood. DeMonaco has revealed he still struggles to moralize the actions of the dealer to his customers with his positive interactions with the future director. One of the reasons for the development of the TV series was the idea to use the longer time permitted by a TV show to highlight the effects of "The Purge" on the U.S. for more than simply one night in a movie.