When the TV version of The Purge arrived on USA, it gave a new kind of insight into the film franchise about what happens when all crime becomes legal for 12 hours. Instead of focusing on a small group of people trying to survive, Season 1 of The Purge was able to follow multiple sets of characters through a series of intertwining stories. Viewers were able to see Purge night through the eyes of the rich and poor, those who want to Purge and those who don’t.
Now, with the second season of the show, The Purge is again breaking new ground. For the first time in the franchise’s six-year history, viewers will get to explore what life is like during the rest of the year. Season 2 of The Purge kicks off at the end of a Purge night, as society comes out of hiding once again.
It’s an idea that came from franchise creator James DeMonaco and one that executive producers Krystal Ziv and James Roland were excited to tackle. “I was on Season 1, and I know after that James Demonaco was really starting to think about how TV could be a real companion to the movies if it tackled something different and wasn’t just on Purge night,” Ziv told GameSpot.
Roland continued, “When that first idea was kind of floated around to set it in between Purges, everybody kind of leaned forward and went, ‘Oh, that’s cool. That’s really interesting. What would that be like?’ And then, of course, the hard job was in ‘Well, what does it really look like?’ Because it can’t just be life as usual. That led into discussions about like, what would the fallout be and I think the core idea was that culture would be kind of tense and overly polite and the social dynamics would be very different for the world that we live in. Because you never know who’s going to come after you if you piss them off.”
What’s on display in Season 2 is a fascinating world to take in. While there is the obvious business to take care of–repairing infrastructure and disposing of all the dead bodies–there’s also the psychological fallout that this new group of characters introduced will be going through. Once again, they will seemingly be unconnected at first; however, anyone who saw the first season of The Purge will know how quickly that can change.
Perhaps the most intriguing of the new characters, though, is a college student named Ben (Joel Allen), who goes out during Purge night to complete a scavenger hunt, only to find himself nearly killed in the process. While the producers admit Ben was a late addition to Season 2’s story, there’s no denying how important a piece of the Purge universe he will become in Season 2.
“This is a character that would have grown up in a world where the Purge was commonplace–it would have started when he was four or five, By the time you get really forming memories, the Purge was there. What does that do?” Roland said. “Similarly, young children today are doing these drills for school students. That’s a part of their lives. You know, they’re not going to know any different. That then it opens up this whole conversation of like, really what the does the Purge do to your psyche? Then that also trickled into all the other storylines.”
Seeing what exposure to Purge night does to a character like Ben is something that’s been missing from the franchise. Views have seen what happens when the violence comes to you and you simply try to survive it. In defending himself against the violence, though, Ben is a character that will be haunted by the actions of that night as the rest of the world moves on. “He’s our representative of how violence begets violence in the Purge universe,” Ziv teased at New York Comic-Con [via EW].
What keeps the TV version of the Purge relevant is that it explores characters in an in-depth way that the movies cannot afford to. By the end of Season 1, it was hard not to care about the survival of the group introduced. While Season 2 may not have those exact stakes, given that it’s not set during a proper Purge, it is going to tell the exact kind of story this franchise needs. Fans have been asking for years what life is like under the rule of the New Founding Fathers of America on every night other than the Purge. Now they’ll have an answer.
The Purge airs Tuesdays on USA.
Author Chris E. Hayner
Original Post by GameSpot