Saturday, July 22, 2017

Pilot Review: Pure

Pure (Hulu)
Premiered July 7

It’s hard to keep up with all the new shows launching on networks like Netflix and Amazon these days, and now Hulu is firmly inserting itself into the game, with a handful of brand-new originals and international imports like this one. This Canadian drama originally aired on CBC back in January and February, and now it’s arrived to accompany some of the streaming service’s hotter programs. I had hoped when I read what this show was about and saw the opening scene that it would serve as a fitting follow-up to “Banshee,” a fantastic underrated series that featured a villain with Amish roots and regularly involved that community in its plotline. Instead, this Mennonite-centric show feels more like a slower version of the Oscar-winning 1985 film “Witness.” There’s a local police investigation that overlaps with a federal one into the cross-border activities of the community and their drug involvement, but it’s hardly as engaging or enticing as it should be. The primary pastor is presented as a pure, noble figure, but he’s actually a very dry character in a sea of unappealing, unethical people, none of whom prove sympathetic or intriguing enough to sustain this show. The opening scene made this show seem like it might be an effectively dark and mysterious offering, and the rest of the hour confirmed that it doesn’t have much to make it stand out from the rest of the pack. I don’t think I’ll remember anything about this short after a short time has passed, and that’s hardly a positive takeaway.

How will it work as a series? This show doesn’t move very quickly, and it seems that everyone pretty much knows what’s going on but no one wants to speak up or confirm it. I don’t see that being all that interesting, and I think it’s going to prove hard to latch on to anything here.
How long will it last? Hulu has been renewing most of its shows as of late, but this isn’t an original network production. In fact, it wasn’t on the fall schedule for Canadian broadcaster CBC, suggesting that it’s already been cancelled back home. I don’t think this is going to be one of the ones Hulu is going to bother to save, leaving it at just its initial six-episode order.

Pilot grade: C-

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