Welcome to Purge Corner, where we discuss the ins, outs and lingering questions that we have about Syfy and USA’s Purge TV show.
So we learned that the new Purge TV show isn’t about the Purge at all. Instead, according to Deadline, the show “will reveal to the fans what happens the other 364 days of the year and how that law affects people.”
DANA: So….. just regular life, right? Isn’t that the whole point of the Purge that people have one day to get everything out of their systems and then the rest of the year, normal laws are in place and people are supposed to do even better behaved. I would actually guess laws are extra strict, because people are supposed to save their crimes for Purge night.
ALANNA: Look at that! Dana, I think someone from Syfy read our plea to make an investigative-style drama about the mask industry in the Purge-verse, or the surplus of lawyers who specialize in violent crimes. I feel like all my prayers for Purge-related content have been answered—I have so many questions, and now there are going to be so many answers.
DANA: Okay, you are totally right. I’m back on board. I want us to follow a small-business owner who makes guillotines. I want this to be like, an indie comedy about a 20-something mask designer just trying to find his way in life and love.
Oh, and also one important point, I feel like we need to see banks advertise “purge-proof” savings accounts. Because otherwise, what’s to stop like, Bank of America from just stealing all your money on Purge day and being like, oh well!
ALANNA: I think you’ve just brought up Purge-verse question numero uno: Are corporations considered people in this world? Can Bank of America commit a crime on Purge night?
DANA: FASCINATING! Especially because recent corporate finance laws indicate that, yes, corporations are legally considered people, and since “all laws (including murder)” are allowed on Purge night, technically white collar crime is legal too. Especially PURGE-ury!!! Get it?
ALANNA: Murder those interest fees, yo. Back to the daily lives of people who have the fortune of existing in a virtually crime-less society—except for that one night that we’ll never see on TV because chances are Syfy and USA were like Ummm, that’s too violent for a non-premium channel. I would like to know about the life of Jim, your picture perfect next door neighbor, who always takes out your trash for you when you’re away for a long weekend. Can we focus on the inner torment that’s just boiling over inside Jim about that extra trash duty? He’s been hanging on to that, passive aggressively for a long time, and in about 2.5 months on Purge night he’s going to stuff Bob and Carol, his lazy trash-neglecting neighbors, into one of those garbage cans.
DANA: That’s the major question that we discussed before—is everyone in America secretly seething and desperate for a violent release and the only reason we haven’t murdered random strangers on the streets is because it’s against the law? Because I don’t think that’s really the case! I want to see normal people in Purge-verse. So The Purge: Bureaucracy will just be like The Office, except sometimes someone will be like, “Oh fuck, I gotta pick up some titanium locks before Purge night. Have you gotten your locks yet? The Mrs. told me to get the locks, I completely forgot. I’ll pick them up tonight after work.”
ALANNA: LOL The Purge: Bureaucracy! Oh man, how about a marriage on the rocks. The husband wants to participate in his first Purge, and the wife is like “No way, we’re not murders!” So he spends months secretly crafting Purge weapons in his basement. All the marriages and families that will be torn apart by the Purge…sounding a little familiar yet? Marriages are already ending over the current state of U.S. politics.
DANA: Oh my god! So many human stories to be told! What about like an Oedipus story about a son out for revenge and to find his biological parents and accidentally kills his dad on Purge night? Or a group of friends planning to go Purging but secretly one of them hates one of the other friends who stole his girlfriend or whatever so he’s prepping to stab him in the back and murder one of his fellow Purge squad!
ALANNA: I want to know ALL those stories. But herein lies the kicker. If the Purge TV show is only about the 364 days that are NOT the Purge, and we spend an entire season learning about the motivations behind specific characters’ Purge plans, are we just going to end the night before the Purge—on the BIGGEST cliff hanger ever?! Stay tuned next season to find out who kills who, and who survives to spend another year stressing about whether or not to stab your bestie in the back. I don’t know if that would go over well. Remember when The Walking Dead decided to leave us wondering for months about who Negan smashed with a bat. Spoiler: fans really didn’t like that.
DANA: Right??? That’s the real problem with “the other 364 days a year” (although, to be totally fair, since the Purge is only 12 hours, it’s like 364.5 days) is that like we’re going to see all of the set up and none of the actual payoff. OR, maybe it’ll just be the aftermath of the Purge instead of the buildup, and it’ll just be people going to so many funerals. Just, so many funerals.
ALANNA: Purge-night itself could also be rolled out as a Christmas special—just sayin’. And about that 12 hour thing, considering that it happens at night, isn’t that just one super obvious way for the government to encourage you to commit crime? All businesses are closed, so if you want anything you’re going to have to break and enter? Part of me really wishes it would be the full 24-hours, because day-time crime seems like it might be more creative.
DANA: But see, if you don’t have the guts to break and enter, then you don’t have the guts to Purge. Plus, even in the day, wouldn’t businesses want to close and guard all of their stuff on Purge day? I feel like the cloak of darkness is supposed to encourage Purging because it makes everything feel spookier and badass. It’s like why people wear masks. You don’t want to be Purging in 3 in the afternoon and run into your boyfriend’s mom and have to be like, “Oh, hi Karen, let’s catch up right after I knock this tourist’s brains out.”
ALANNA: I think you just wrote a scenario for a day-time Purge I absolutely want to watch. Don’t you want to see a day-in-the-life PLUS Purge. Tom on his way to work, running to catch the bus and being chased by the neighbors’ kids who have decided to cut school so they can slice him up with machetes? Will he make his 9 a.m. meeting? Probably not.
DANA: I think we just figured out that The Purge would make a hilarious sitcom. I can only hope that next year they pull like a special edition Hunger Games anniversary special where one year the Purge is going to be the full 24 hours. Also, how funny would it be for murderers to have to set their alarms? Like, you really want to Purge and then you sleep in by accident.
ALANNA: There it is—Syfy, this is going to be a comedy right? And who wouldn’t watch a Hunger Games-inspired Purge crossover! In 2018, the Purge is only open to tributes whose names are pulled from a hat. The real reason for this though is to combat the surge in international Purge tourism, because they are ruining it for everyone.
DANA: Please hire us as showrunners.
ALANNA: We write the best murder.