I somehow missed the premiere last year of the show Pure, about the Mennonite mob (yep, that’s a thing) running drugs all the way from Mexico to Canada. The show is a quirky take on the popular themes in many shows where they show a small-town hood running drugs. Maybe big time hoods. But always the “personal” day / life of the drug runner. Basically showing all the stuff they have to deal with in the business, as opposed to the classic deals going down where they usually only show the police role.
This one has a new take, where the people dealing and moving the drugs are doing so under the cover of Mennonite colonies. In a sense, it’s an ideal cover — people who already naturally avoid outsiders and therefore are unlikely to tell anyone of their problem or what’s going on around them. Even when they don’t want the scourge in their colony, they are unlikely to talk to the police. Natural protection for a drug-running predator.
Except there’s a new pastor in town, and while he is not Clint Eastwood from Pale Rider, he does glow with the righteousness of God. And he intends to avoid the drug problems and just be a pastor. Until the drug runners kill a Mennonite family from another colony in Mexico, except for a son who escapes. Now the kid turns up at the colony, and the pastor wants to protect him while the drug runners plan to kill him.
The lead charactor, the pastor Noah, is played by Ryan Robbins and he is awesome. I like him in almost everything he is in, even when I don’t always like the character. Small parts like The Collector and Stargate: Atlantis, bigger parts like Continuum, and now leading here. He has a wife with views, and two kids in school, but the opening EP has little for them to do. His wife is all over the place as a character — wanting him not to be pastor, wanting him to keep the family safe, wanting him not to go to the police, wanting him to go to the police, etc. I found her annoying, honestly…pick a view!
The active mid-level drug runner, Gerry Epp, is played by Patrick Garrow and he is always menacing. Whether as Turin in Killjoys or in 12 Monkeys, there’s always something a bit sinister with him. However, in the other shows, he often has a slight lapse / grin / comedic failing that takes a bit of the edge off…here, he is pure aggression. He’s flat out awesome.
Gerry’s boss, Eli, aka Uncle, is played by Peter Outerbridge and he is appropriately ruthless. Just seeing him, you can believe he’s a perfect bad guy, even without the black cowboy hat.
The other main character in Ep1 is A.J. Buckley as the police detective, Bronco Novak. The vibe is kind of broken down cop, not the best representation of the city’s finest, which is in line with one of his previous roles on Justified where he was on the other side of the law as Danny Crowe. Total sleaze pit, but at least he seems competent in this incarnation. Before he was just a loser. I was thinking I knew him from somewhere else, and I totally did NOT recognize him from CSI: NY. Wow, what a change.
So, here’s my challenge. Four decent performances by four of the leads in the show. Or at least by 2 of the main leads, and two important characters. So I should be watching, right?
Well, no. I am not really interested in the storyline. There is very little about the Mennonite community storyline that attracts me, nor the life of drug dealers. I just don’t care, and never watched Breaking Bad for example for similar reasons. Not stories that interest me. There was a huge twist at the end of Ep1 to take it into a new direction, but not enough to hold my attention.
But I recognize it’s decently done and would predict RENEWAL if I didn’t already know it was renewed. For me, I’ll pass.