Dark mis­fits find home­town in Mid­night, Texas

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - STYLE - MICHAEL STOREY The TV Col­umn ap­pears Sun­day, Tues­day and Thurs­day. Email: mstorey@arkansason­line.com

Mid­night, Texas, de­buts at 9 p.m. Mon­day on NBC. Don’t look for the town on any map.

The su­per­nat­u­ral thriller is based on the Mid­night, Texas, tril­ogy (2014-2016) by Char­laine Har­ris, au­thor of The South­ern Vam­pire Mys­ter­ies,

the se­ries on which True Blood is based.

Har­ris has Arkansas con­nec­tions. She has lived in Texas since 2014, but resided for many years in Magnolia.

“I think peo­ple who haven’t read the books will be hit in the face re­peat­edly by the un­ex­pected,” Har­ris says. Sounds painful. Mid­night is a dusty, re­mote West Texas town (the se­ries was filmed in New Mex­ico in

Break­ing Bad coun­try) where para­nor­mal mis­fits find a refuge and no one is who they seem.

The town is “on the veil be­tween the living and the dead.” Or, more pre­cisely, be­tween Earth and hell. Think of it as the Hell­mouth on Buffy The Vam­pire Slayer.

NBC tells us, “From vam­pires and witches to psy­chics and hit men, Mid­night is a mys­te­ri­ous safe haven for those who are dif­fer­ent. As the town mem­bers fight off out­side pres­sures, they band to­gether and form a strong and un­likely fam­ily.” That makes Mid­night, Texas, a fam­ily se­ries. Sort of. Our cen­tral char­ac­ter is Man­fred Bernardo, played by Fran­cois Ar­naud (Blindspot).

He’s a re­luc­tant psy­chic who has been on the run for a long time. He’s guided to Mid­night on the ad­vice of his grand­mother, Xylda.

That ad­vice, Man­fred says while driv­ing to­ward town, “would mean a whole lot more comin’ from some­one who isn’t dead.”

Here are the rest of our im­por­tant Mid­night denizens.

Bobo Winthrop (Dy­lan Bruce, Or­phan Black), is the owner of the town pawn­shop and has “a dark and mys­te­ri­ous past.”

Fiji Ca­vanaugh (Parisa Fitz-Hen­ley, House of Cards), is a witch who owns a wic­can shop. She se­cretly pines for Bobo and has a snarky talk­ing cat named Mr. Snug­gly.

Olivia Char­ity (Arielle Kebbel, The Vam­pire Di­aries), is a trained as­sas­sin with a pas­sion­ate re­la­tion­ship with Le­muel Bridger.

Le­muel Bridger (Peter Men­sah, True Blood), is an an­cient vam­pire who works the night shift at the pawn­shop.

Joe Strong (Jason Lewis, Sex

and the City), is an an­gel who has been on Earth for mil­len­nia. He lives with his hus­band, Chuy, and watches for the ar­rival of “the One” who can save Mid­night from “the great evil that threat­ens hu­man­ity.” Creek Lovell (Sarah Ramos,

Par­ent­hood), is a Mid­night na­tive, wait­ress and as­pir­ing writer. She’s also Man­fred’s love in­ter­est. Her fam­ily is har­bor­ing a deep, dark se­cret.

Rev. Emilio Sheehan (Yul Vazquez, Traf­fic) pre­sides over the Mid­night Chapel and Pet Ceme­tery. He dis­ap­pears when­ever there is a full moon.

Check out this be­yond quirky se­ries. As one critic put it, “Mid­night, Texas, will make you feel way bet­ter about your own weird fam­ily.”

SHARKS, SHARKS, SHARKS

It’s time once again, fel­low tha­las­so­pho­bi­acs, for Dis­cov­ery Chan­nel’s Shark Week. Not only that, but Nat Geo Wild will also daz­zle us at the same time with six nights of SharkFest, proudly billing it as the “sec­ond-best-known shark event on TV.”

Both finny fea­tures be­gin at 7 p.m. to­day. Dis­cov­ery:

Get­ting all the pre-Shark Week buzz is a race be­tween Olympic star Michael Phelps and a great white shark. Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs. Great

White, airs at 7 p.m. to­day. The 100-me­ter open-water race took place off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa.

Rest as­sured that they do not swim side by side. No sharks or Olympians were in­jured

Other dur­ing Shark the Week event. shows in­clude: Shark Vor­tex, 7 p.m. Mon­day. Eng­landThe three sharks tough­est— makos, New great Sharks whites and and the por­bea­gles.City: New York, 9 p.m. Tues­day. Seals are back in New York Har­bor. Great whites are prob­a­bly right be­hind.

Shark Swarm, 9 p.m. Thurs­day. “Shark so­ci­eties,” in which dif­fer­ent types of sharks gather around the world, are in­ves­ti­gated. Shark School with Michael Phelps, 7 p.m. July 30. The week ends with Phelps vis­it­ing the Bi­mini Shark Lab to dis­pel the myths and learn how to dive with sharks. Nat Geo Wild:

Here are the four pre­mieres from the week­long SharkFest event.

Shark vs. Preda­tor, 7 p.m. to­day. What sort of crit­ter would take on a shark? The spe­cial tells all.

Tiger Shark Ter­ror, 7 p.m. Mon­day. Swim at night? Divers ex­plore the world of the tiger shark af­ter dark. Mis­sion Crit­i­cal: Sharks Un­der At­tack, 8 p.m. Mon­day. For­get Jaws, sharks are crit­i­cal to the ecosys­tem, not man-eaters.

Shark Swarm, 7 p.m. Tues­day. Why do sharks con­gre­gate in huge num­bers in cer­tain ar­eas?

An orange tabby named Bob plays Mr. Snug­gly on the new NBC para­nor­mal thriller Mid­night,Texas. As with ev­ery­thing in the West Texas town, Mr. Snug­gly is not what he seems.

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