Chances are you’ve seen the Robert Rodriguez / Quentin Tarantino movie From Dusk till Dawn which was released almost 20 years ago. Feeling old? Yes me too. Now forget about all that. They’ve only gone and turned it into a bloody TV show.
I had no idea this was going on until I randomly discovered it on Netflix (it’s a Netflix original ). It’s got the selling names of RR and QT all over it, but closer inspection shows it’s BASED on Tarantino’s work (the original film script I guess) and Rodriguez is executive producer – financing the project basically. Hardly a surprising investment as he has recently started his own TV network – the beautifully named El Ray. And RR has always been a man with many fingers in Mexican & Texan pies.
Anyway, back to the show.
Is it good? I’ve only seen two episodes so far, but yes, it’s good. It’s certainly watchable. It’s difficult because as a fan of the film, you do occasionally wish George Clooney would turn up and ‘be cool’ but you just have to remember it’s not the film. It’s different, but – and certainly when compared to a lot of TV shows – it’s still good.
So is it like the film? Yes and no. The story is the same, albeit a few necessary changes to make it adaptable for TV (and perhaps to make it slightly less 1996 as well).
What’s similar and what’s different? The characters are all familiar from the film and it’s easy to see why D.J Cotrona and Zane Holtz were chosen for the roles Seth and Richie Gecko (respectively). But whilst the characters have the same names and personality traits, the dynamics and relationships between them are written in a slightly different way.
Earl McGraw makes an appearance in episode one (exciting!!) and in the second episode we’re introduced to the Fuller family – Jacob, Scott and Kate. See, it really IS From Dusk till Dawn. and the script is literally identical at times – really fun if you’re a huge fan like me!
Where it differs is that vampires seem to exist in the whole world, not just the glorious, fucked up Titty Twister. Richie appears to be some kind of mystic, receiving strange visions and warnings. This also serves to make his character easier to empathise with (and not just be seen as a psychotic rapist like he was in the film).
These changes are not only necessary to give it a television show edge (and running time), but also to bring into 2014 and make it viably competitive with the outlandish and popular television we’re used to at the moment. The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, even Eli Roth has a show out.
But why should you watch it? Because it’s something decent to watch! If you already have a Netflix account then really you’d be foolish not to. Unless you hate action scenes, beautiful vampire temptresses and a pretty decent script. Of course the comparisons to the film (especially if you’re a fan) will keep creeping into your mind, especially scenes with the infamous Gecko brothers. Both young actors are great in their roles (and easy on the eye too in passing) but of course, no-one will ever be George and Quentin. And that’s no slur on anyone, just praise on the original boys.
So watch it, enjoy it. I don’t really see anything not to enjoy . I’ve only seen two episodes, but I will certainly keep watching more.
Oh, and listen out for the theme music – a version of “After Dark” from the original film soundtrack.