“The Purge” TV Show Trailer is Not Subtle About Donald Trump Criticism

Matthew Loffhagen
USA Network
(Photo: USA Network)

If there’s one thing we can expect from “The Purge” TV show, it’s some not-so-subtle criticism of Donald Trump.

I’m still not sure what to make of the idea of a “Purge” TV show. The fact that this will only be a ten episode miniseries makes the idea more palatable, and I’m glad for the short season.

A punch, tight plot is necessary to sustain a show that is basically violence porn wish fulfillment.

“The Purge” movies are essentially popular because people like to daydream about what they’d do if they could break all the rules. There’s something inherently appealing about no longer having to follow society’s protocols.

We’ve all considered what we’d do if The Purge were real.

Personally, I’d hole myself up in the tightest, darkest bunker imaginable. I don’t want to play, because I’m not secretly a terrifying human being.

What’s interesting is that while “The Purge” movies are popular, the central message of the films is incredibly damning of the people who enjoy them.

The First Purge
Source: Universal

These movies, while filled with sensationalist violence, snidely suggest that people are dirtbags for wanting this kind of thing. The central premise is that the glorification of violence on television pushes people towards extremism in many forms. There’s a fine line, the movies claim, between the people who enjoy violence from afar, and those who get stuck in as they’re swept up in this kind of behavior.

The movies have always been very damning of American politics, but things seemed to have kicked up a gear since the last presidential election. “The First Purge”, for example, has been marketed using a Donald Trump-style hat. This is a deliberate message: the movie’s marketing team are claiming that Trump supporters share a lot in common with the kinds of people who want to murder their neighbors.

That’s pretty harsh, but the new trailer for the “Purge” TV show takes it one step further.

A character states that The Purge is what “made America great” – a deliberate reference to Trump’s campaign slogan. The message here? Donald Trump’s ultimate goal is to create a lawless dystopia in which the rich people can murder the poor for sport.

Perhaps you think I’m reading too much into this. That may be true – but it’s also worth noting that a very prominent shot in the teaser shows someone dressed uncannily like a member of the KKK.

There’s more – rich people treat The Purge like a casual dinner party event, with guns passed around like cigarettes. Meanwhile, minorities are suffering from physical violence. The divide is very clear.

Purge KKK
Source: USA Network

These images are not accidental, and neither is the word choice. The implicit message seems to be that Donald Trump’s politics allow racists to run free, unfettered by the restrictions of the law. That his efforts to “make America great again” has ultimately lead to a rise in hate crime.

Whatever your personal politics might be, it’s clear that “The Purge” TV show is taking a decidedly anti-Trump line.

I really don’t know how this show is going to work, and whether it’ll be worth watching in its entirety, but if this is what they’re showing off in the initial teaser, I get the feeling the show is going to be controversial to say the least!

That might be enough to make it worth watching all on its own.