Welcome to the world of the October Faction. I was really excited to watch this series. I’m always looking for a new fantasy/sci-fi show. So, this, mystical Men in Black-esque story premise was definitely intriguing. While it started out to be just that, somewhere toward the end things got… questionable. But overall it’s a solid show that has ample room to grow for season 2. I would like to say that this is in no way a review over the comic series it’s based on.
The story premise, alone, is awesome. I mean a couple who work for a secret monster hunting organization, while posing to outsiders, as well as their teenage children, as insurance salespeople – what’s not to love? The Incredibles did something similar, and it worked for their story! The catalyst for the couple coming back to town is the death of Fred’s father. And while it’s clear that Fred and his wife Deloris want to get out of their hometown, due to a series of events they end up staying and the plot of season 1 unfolds.
The Cost of Magic
While I enjoyed the somewhat predictable story line, there were issues with the latter few episodes. There is no explanation of what makes a monster in this particular universe. I looked past it first. Then warlocks and magic were introduced and things got hinky. Warlocks can do crazy things, like make you feel the pain felt by every “monster” you’ve ever done harm to, just by waving their hands around. I pride myself on my super buffed suspension of disbelief that wouldn’t skip leg day if you paid him in a year supply of Creatine marinated Alaskan salmon, but I couldn’t get over the lack of explanation behind the magic system. Was the Harlow Warlock killing people repeatedly or did she only “juice up” once in this therapeutic blood bath? Who knows? I know death is involved but that was about it.
The last thing to send me over the edge was the dialogue toward the end of the series. Everything started airing on the side of purple prose. This was somewhat present at the beginning of the season but more prominent as it progressed. People do NOT talk like this. Yes, engaging dialogue warrants a little artistic freedom. However, it’s hard to watch enjoyably while you’re trying to decipher every line, because it’s packed with metaphors and analogies. However, Even with this frustrating dialogue choice, one of the overarching messages being sent is a strong one. People are more than skin deep and regardless of what your brand of different is, you’re valuable and it’s your right to be 100% yourself.
It was nice to see a new batch of fresh actors. Casting was solid and even when the dialogue gets unruly the actors didn’t falter. When it comes to characters, stereotypical roles where flipped. The brother is the social butterfly and the sister is the loner genius, which was a nice break. And Geoff and Viv’s relationship felt real – no overly bonded twins that don’t even have to talk to communicate, but also not twins that feel the need to kill each other. Fred and Deloris are pretty cool for parents of teens too, but I have to imagine being a super secret monster hunter may have something to do with this. And the myriad of other characters each offer a valuable piece to the story line. All in all the characters for October Faction are enjoyable and casting may be this series’ crowning jewel.
The first scene in this series was SO much fun. After this scene, I had even higher hopes for the show as a whole. Unfortunately, there were only a handful of these cool cuts throughout season 1, but they did the job. The lighting on the other hand was great. There’s a lot of fun uses of color to add to the feeling and visual interest of the scenes. Which is super interesting when you find out how one of the characters communicates in the show.
The music doesn’t really stand on its own but is used well to set the mood. Every scene has a score that adds to the story and helps the audience further invest in whatever is happening. It took me a second pass to really notice it, but I think that’s intentional.
I wouldn’t say this show is highly rewatchable if it weren’t for one of its flaws in the story. The sometimes difficult to follow prose will probably have me watching again to make sure I didn’t miss something on the first go around. Whether that’s a good or bad thing, it’s still a rewatch. 🤷
So….. back to that comment about this not being about the comic book by the same name. After this discovery I read up a little more on the differences of the two, and I think the comic is worth a read. I won’t give any differences away to avoid spoilers but I will say if season 2 becomes more true to the comic series then I’d be much more excited for its announcement. But until a trailer confirms or denies this hope, I’m not hella anxious to see Season 2 but I think I’ll still give it a chance, and maybe after I read the comic I’ll have more of an appreciation for this particular universe.