The El Rey network (billed as an “English language network targeting Latino audiences). Thus far the network has been airing a bunch of Tarantino & Rodriguez movies, as well as re-runs of shows like the X-files. There has also been ads for “Grindhouse Fridays” which this coming Friday will feature the Sonny Chiba classic The Street Fighter (the entire trilogy, actually)
From Dusk Till Dawn is the first round of original programming to hit the network. If you hadn’t heard, the show is expanding the story of the movie with the same title. While the story will largely follow the events from the movie, the TV series (for now, 10 episodes ordered) plans to expand on the mythology, introduce new characters, and go in several different directions. I just watched the pilot and here are my initial thoughts. (after the jump)
The first thing that is going to jump out at you is that for the most part the pilot feels like covered ground. Besides the opening scene and a couple flashback sequences, the entire episode takes place at the same liquor store that the movie opens with. Some may question this approach, but I actually feel it was a smart move because it sets up a good jumping off point to let the viewer know just what the creators had in mind as far as the mix of straight adaption blended with new aspects. The happenings in the bar might have a lot of the same conclusions as the movie, but how they get there and what else is revealed along the way is certainly it’s own story.
George Clooney is probably irreplaceable in the role that exudes cool, suave, collected criminal. That was a role he was born to play, however D.J. Cotrona plays a solid Seth Gecko too. It may take a few episodes to get used to him but his delivery and presence are on point and will only get more solid the further along in the series we get. Zane Holtz is also good as Richie Gecko, the “loose cannon” of the duo. This character is one example that jumps out at you immediately as setting itself apart from the movie. Richie does see things, but this time the visions are supernatural in nature, almost warnings of what is to come. Also I am not sure if Richie is a sexual predator in this adaption.
I wasn’t sure if I was going to like From Dusk Till Dawn the TV show leading up to tonight’s premiere, but I will say that after an episode into it, I think there is a real potential for this to be very good. It’s hard to get too in depth about a single episode, especially in this format because for the most part it felt like the pilot was mostly there to sell us on the new Gecko brothers by using the entire running time on the liquor store set piece. Looking over the IMDB cast page, it’s apparent the lineup will be more than capable of delivering some compelling TV. When all is said and done it is going to come down to the story laid out over the course of the next nine episodes (…and more possibly?) The bigger surprises and deviations from the movie’s plot are certainly still to come and I think that will be one of the major factors on whether viewers will stick with this show long term or bail on it after a few episodes. As for me? I am locked & loaded and ready to hit the road with the Gecko brothers!
(More thoughts to come on Episode 58 of Evil Episodes podcast)