It is a challenging thing to try to measure out the quality of an episodic TV series from one episode alone. Now, it is very true that that is the purpose of a pilot in the first place, but, one may not be able to see the unexpected areas a series will go from just that first episode, regardless of how good or not good said episode may be.
Couple that challenge with the undeniable fact that many people (myself very much included – I can damn near recite the whole movie from memory) really love the original From Dusk Till Dawn film and you’re faced with a delicate balancing act in trying to gauge the measure of what a series like this might be or might become.
All of that being said, this pilot was just fine. There weren’t egregious errors in direction or writing, there weren’t groaning moments of overwrought camera-winking lameness and there wasn’t a feeling that everyone on-screen is trying to do an impersonation of the actor that played their character in the original film. These are all good things.
There is a nifty expansion of the story on the law enforcement side from the convenience store sequence moving forward to the Gecko brothers plan to get across the border that was a great decision and will being some more heft to the table. Because when it comes down to it, the Gecko brothers can be the focus of the story when you’re dealing with a movie but in episodic television you need more weight from both the good and the bad sides of the table. Without it, the veil of the Geckos anti-hero status in the film would flitter away once we have to spend more time with them in a TV show and the whole deal would just feel kind of empty. Light with the dark, or something in that arena.
Does it look like the show will be fun? Yes. If you’re a fan of the Rodriguez style of bombastic character dialogue, over-the-top craziness and can roll with it being an expansion of and not a rebooting of the original film then I think it’ll be fun to discover. If you can’t get past the fact that it exists in the first place, if you get yourself too hung up on remake versus original blathering and if you can’t release the clutch on dumb fun once in a while, then you probably won’t dig it at all. My suggestion? Check your pregame BS at the door and give it a go – you might actually have a bit of fun with it.