‘Pure’ is a Canadian crime drama television series that first aired on CBC Television and then on Super Channel. It first premiered on January 9, 2017. Notably, Hulu picked up the show in the US on April 12, 2017, while WGN America got the US television rights to the series in August 2017.
The series is created and written by Michael Amo of ‘The Listener’ fame and directed by Ken Girotti, who has worked on ‘Orphan Black‘ and ‘Vikings‘. Amo spoke of the show and how he had pitched the idea to several networks in the 2000s but did not find any takers. However, now that crime drama, especially those related to drugs, have come to the forefront, with some excellent offerings like ‘Breaking Bad‘ and ‘Narcos‘ out there, it is no surprise that ‘Pure’ got picked up and is doing rather well.
‘Pure’ is set in a fictional town called Antioch in Southern Ontario, as well as the U.S. state of Texas and the Mexican state of Chihuahua. The show is inspired by the operations of a Mennonite organized crime ring that smuggled cocaine and marijuana from Mexico to Canada and the United States. The show was embroiled in a controversy regarding the depiction of the Mennonites. As a viewer, Royden Loewen, chair in Mennonite studies at the University of Winnipeg, said he was “mildly entertained” by the show but at the same time he was also “troubled and dismayed”.
The series has amassed a strong fan following which saved it from the brink of cancelation that we will elaborate on later. For now, it is suffice to say that critics have praised the show some striking performances and empathetic characterization. However, they have pointed out that the layered narrative sometimes becomes the undoing of the series.
Pure Cast: Who is in it?
Ryan Robbins, of ‘Arrow‘ and ‘The Killing‘ fame, plays Noah Funk, a pastor who goes undercover to root out a criminal organization. Other cast members are Peter Outerbridge, of ‘Cold Creek Manor’ fame, who appears in the role of Eli Voss, a gang leader. Rosie Perez, whose breakthrough role was in acclaimed director Spike Lee’s ‘ Do the Right Thing‘, appears in the role of Phoebe O’Reilly, a DEA agent.
A.J. Buckley plays the role of Bronco Novak, a policeman, while Alex Paxton-Beesley of the ‘Good Witch‘ fame appears as Anna Funk, Noah’s wife. Alyson Hannigan, who is best known for playing Lily Aldrin on ‘How I Met Your Mother‘ appears in the role of Esther Dunkel in the second season. Zoie Palmer of ‘Dark Matter‘ fame and Christopher Heyerdahl of ‘Van Helsing‘ fame appear as Valerie Krochack and Augustus Nickel respectively.