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TV Series Review

Every small town harbors its share of secrets. But Midnight has more than most.

Walk into the local pawn shop, and you might visit with a mysterious assassin. (Her undead vampire lover would likely be taking a nap during business hours.) Midnight's magic shop is owned, naturally, by a witch. The local pastor's a weretiger. Grab a candy bar at the Gas N' Go, and you just might stand in line behind a gay fallen angel.

Yep, in Midnight, normal mortals are the oddballs. It's the sort of place where the local café never serves garlic bread; potholes could literally lead to hell; and, when Halloween comes around, all the local kids dress up as accountants.

The Lone Scare State

Manfred Bernardo is one of Midnight's more grounded residents, being merely a spirit-channeling psychic who's regularly visited by his dead grandmother. (She was a grifter when she was alive, by the way, which makes her one shady shade.) Manfred came to Midnight to escape a rather treacherous past—a past which, unfortunately, has followed him right into town.

But despite the fact that his life seems perpetually in danger and his home is sometimes possessed by seriously evil spirits, things are actually looking up for the guy. Midnight’s just his kind of town.

I understand why: Midnight might be home to the most impressive Neighborhood Watch program in the country. Whenever anyone gets into trouble—supernatural or otherwise—friends and neighbors whisk into action to save the day and stop/kill/eat/disintegrate any evildoers who might mean trouble. They're good people, these folks—even if some of them aren't technically people at all.

Sure, no one here is perfect: You don't want to eat lunch with the Rev. Emilio Sheehan during his weretiger time of the month—or, at least, before his curse was cured. But who doesn't have their bad days, right?

But despite all its well-meaning, ill-begotten residents, the town itself deals with a lot more angst than your typical Texas township. Evildoers come in to make trouble. Occasional curses and possessions plague its residents. And, of course, you always have to worry about the pit of literal hell lurking under its very foundations.

Striking Midnight

NBC's Midnight, Texas, is strictly a laughable, if horrific, primetime diversion. But while it doesn't seek to inspire to a boatload of think pieces, it still has some things to say. And it's not all bad.

The citizens of Midnight—supernatural or not—generally want to do the right thing, sometimes even at great personal cost. They help each other. The show also insists good and evil are real forces in this world of ours, and that God is quite real, too.

'Course, Midnight's God is very different, and very much diminished, from the one most of us worship. A weretiger Reverend may have held court in church (he disappeared, perhaps just temporarily, in Season 2), but a goddess-worshipping witch sells magical wares just up the street. Joe Strong, meanwhile, is presented as one of the show's most moral characters. And given that he’s an angel, that makes sense. But he’s also a fallen one, and in a gay marriage to a half-demon—succinctly divorcing traditional Christian teaching from the show's understanding of what goodness really is.

Indeed, despite a few small nods to a Christian understanding of the Almighty, the show's ethos is more Wiccan than anything else—an ethos that goes well beyond its chummy embrace of occultic elements.

"An harm it none, do what you will," says a key Wiccan teaching. And the folks of Midnight embody that mindset: They're pretty accepting of everyone as long as they don't hurt anyone else. (Even that stance seems a bit malleable, depending on who they hurt and why.)

Naturally, no one blinks at the various sexual relationships we hear about in this Texas town. Meanwhile, the deaths of dozens of outsiders—be they vampires or very mortal bikers—isn't considered worthy of a moment's thought, much less a moment of silence. While those seemingly superficial content concerns take a back seat to the show's hinky, mix-and-match worldview problems, there are still plenty of those superficial concerns to give parents pause on their own.

When I was a little kid, I always thought it'd be awesome to stay up 'til midnight. But given a choice between seeing this Midnight and going to bed early … well, see you in the morning, everybody.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Nov. 16, 2018: "I Put a Spell on You"
Midnight, Texas: Aug. 20, 2017 "Unearthed"



Readability Age Range



François Arnaud as Manfred Bernardo; Arielle Kebbel as Olivia Charity; Dylan Bruce as Bobo Winthrop; Parisa Fitz-Henley as Fiji Cavanaugh; Jason Lewis as Joe Strong; Peter Mensah as Lemuel Bridger; Sarah Ramos as Creek; Yul Vazquez as Rev. Emilio Sheehan; Joanne Camp as Xylda; Joe Smith as Mr. Snuggly; Nestor Carbonell as Kai Lucero; Jaime Ray Newman as Patience Lucero






Record Label




On Video

Year Published



Paul Asay

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