Netflix has been pretty consistent in delivering original TV series that are well worth our attention. Shows like Orange is the New Black, and House of Cards have been excellent examples of what the streaming company is able to do with television. Provide viewers with fresh, original series, while giving it to us one entire season at a time, so that we can devour it as quickly as we choose.
The latest effort from Netflix is a little different, in that episodes were released on a weekly basis, so someone would have to wait each week if they began the series at the very beginning. The newest series is a TV adaptation of the Robert Rodriguez cult movie, From Dusk ‘Till Dawn, which originally starred George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino, and Salma Hayek, among others. The basic film plot revolved around a pair of criminals who kidnap a family in order to get across the border to Mexico. Once there, they stop at a bar which turns out to be a haunt for vampires. Fighting ensues.
As for the TV show, the plot (to the point in the series I have reached, at least) is fairly consistent with the movie. However, it is much more detailed, as it has taken several episodes for the brothers to even get to the border. This has allowed for more in-depth character and plot development, which is an added benefit that the time a TV series has to offer.
Not all of it works, however. The show does use an interesting time frame, as there are flashbacks and overlapping scenes in order to tell the complete story, often from the perspectives of multiple characters. There are some parts that don’t work too well, and some of the writing and acting is definitely questionable.
And some of it is simply awful.
Part of the point of the film version was to be somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but the TV show tends to take itself too seriously.
One of the brothers, Richie, has visions of evil laying all around him. He sees the beastly, or demonic, side of people, and this leads him to murder. Many of his thoughts are guided by the beautiful Santanico Pandemonium (the role that was brought to life by Salma Hayek in the film- who can forget her famous introductory dance with the snake in the movie ?), as she wants to be found, or saved, or something (I haven’t got to that part yet).
The film was a campy adventure that was full of blood and gore, and the TV series has its moments of the same. It is definitely bloody, but it is missing the cheese of the original work. However, I have still found this to be a watchable series, and even though I pretty much know what is going to happen, it is a bit of a fun adventure on how we are getting there. Despite the many negatives of the series, it is not enough to ruin it for me. It is still something that I will complete, as I am nearing the end of the first season.
For fans of the movie, it is worth watching From Dusk ‘Till Dawn. It is different enough to keep you entertained, and provides enough new material if you wanted more from the film. And if you don’t take the whole thing too seriously, it can be a pretty fun ride.