'Mayans M.C.' and 'The Purge' debut

Two new series arrive, notable for their hyper-violence and gore. A sequel of sorts to "Sons of Anarchy," the FX series "Mayans M.C." (9 p.m., TV-MA) follows the fortunes of a Mexican-American motorcycle club.

While there seems to be dozens of members of the club, the pilot only has time to develop the character of EZ Reyes (J.D. Pardo). A promising Stanford-bound high school student, his life unraveled. After time in prison, he arrives as a kind of gofer intern for the criminal biker gang.

The first episode features plenty of gunfire and vivid dismemberments, but there’s still not enough here to interest viewers. Countless scenes consist of the Mayans striking a defiant pose and revving their engines. You keep waiting for someone, anyone, to do or say something interesting.

Curiously, much of the attendant soundtrack features English-language R&B, as opposed to something that might be popular in a Mexican-American setting. Worse, no one tells a single joke until 20 minutes into the proceedings.

I want to dislike "Mayans" because it’s so violent. But it’s much easier to skip it because it’s so dull.


  • Based on a popular movie franchise, "The Purge" (9 p.m., USA, TV-MA) does a better job developing characters. But just as soon as you start to care about anyone, "The Purge" runs into its rather formulaic premise.

Set in a near future with America under a single-party dictatorship, the title refers to a one-night-per-year ritual when everyone can rob, rape, kill and pillage without arrest or consequence.
Somehow this cathartic blood feast is baked into the dictatorship’s hold on the people. A giddy media hype the event similar to a cross between the Super Bowl and the arrival of a blizzard or hurricane.

As the clock ticks down to the Purge, we discover more wrinkles in each character.

The worst thing about "The Purge" is the Purge. Witching hour arrives with hyperstylized weirdos in children’s Halloween masks and baseball bats. They look similar to "Warriors" wannabes. It’s easy to feel cheated by a payoff so dumb.

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