NBC programmers keep telling us that the summer is very important to them — that they are interested in a year-round schedule with good shows throughout.
And then we get a show like "Midnight, Texas" (Monday, 9 p.m., Ch. 5), which looks like the definition of a summer burn-off — a show gone wrong that NBC is burning off in July and August, when it won't hurt their regular-season ratings.
Not everything about "Midnight, Texas" is bad. Some of the special effects are pretty good. And some of the actors are appealing.
And … that's about it.
This is a show about a town filled with people who have supernatural powers, and yet its greatest power is to bore its viewers into TV-induced comas.
The narrative centers on Manfred (Francois Armaud, "The Borgias"), who can see and talk to the dead. Manfred is in no small degree of danger (from a live person), so his dead grandmother (who appears with some regularity) tells him to move to the little town of Midnight Texas, where he'll be safe.
Well, being dead doesn't make Grandma right.
Manfred gets to Midnight and discovers that his new neighbors include a witch (Parisa Fitz-Henley), a vampire (Peter Mensah) and an angel (Jason Lewis). Those are just the obvious ones. Everybody from the pawn shop owner (Dylan Bruce) to the reverend (Yul Vazquez) is hiding some serious secrets.
There's also an assassin (Arielle Kebbel) — a really good assassin who doesn't seem to have any supernatural powers. Yeah, I didn't really get why she's there … but there are a lot of things about "Midnight" that don't really make sense.
This is based on a series of books by Charlaine Harris — the author of the Sookie Stackhouse books that HBO turned into "True Blood" — but this is not in the same league as that. Clearly, a broadcast network can't go as far as a pay-cable channel, although it's not like "Midnight" could be cured with more sex and violence.
In the premiere, a local woman is murdered, and a police investigation could blow the lid off what's really happening in Midnight, and a guy like Manfred who can talk to the dead — including the victim — is very useful to the locals.
And then all sorts of crazy things happen. And even more crazy things happen in Episode 2. And so on.
I watched six of the 10 "Midnight, Texas" episodes just a couple of days ago, and it's already all kind of blurring together.
Sometimes crazy can be fun. In the case of "Midnight, Texas," it's just confusing and — in the end — dull.