Family, monsters and black humor are the recipe for the October Faction. The series based on the eponymous comic arrives this January 23 on Netflix and promises a lot of junk. But after three episodes, did the magic work?
When their grandfather died, the Allen twins and their monster-hunting parents came to live in the ancestral home. This early retirement won’t be easy and the Allens must hide their true identities, in a not-so-peaceful city. A dysfunctional family, monsters and a dose of magic, the plot of the October Faction sounds like an old song that’s been played too many times. Adapted from the eponymous comic, the series would use teen drama and fantasy to discover its universe… and it wasn’t exactly a success. In the Umbrella Academy tradition, the series relies on black humor and bloody humor to exist. From the first minute, the October Faction set the scene: there would be blood and ghosts. On paper, Damian Kindler’s work is interesting, but very quickly falls into the trap of genre. Make no mistake, this series is aimed at a teenage audience, like Riverdale or The Adventures of Sabrina Before Her.
Between the Supernatural and the Adams
Formatted like a good part of the Netflix-produced genre, the October Faction finally suffers from its banality. The plot reeks of warmth, the dialogue is hollow and each character embodies the archetypes that fans of the genre are familiar with. The October Faction ticks all the boxes from the teen series, a high school girl who is hated by everyone for her differences (hello Buffy), a high school plague that puts her in hell, her new best friend deemed “weird” and finally a quarterback who doesn’t give her the attention she wants. For parents, the Netflix series doesn’t get any better and very quickly the duo is reminiscent of Mr and Mrs Smith at a discount. Tamara Taylor and JC MacKenzie still manage to provide consistency to the pair, which is slightly better lengthwise. Besides, the Aurora Burghart doesn’t shine with its naturalness and that’s a shame. Only Geoff’s character stands out from the crowd. His actor Gabriel Darku is also not on his first tour of the track, as he has worked on other teen series such as Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments or Heroes Reborn: Dark Matters.
As for the storyline, the October Faction can at least rely on its construction to win over the audience. By plunging us into the heart of the action, the series manages to get us a little interested in the fate of this extraordinary family. The first three episodes were not delayed and managed to create certain expectations. The screenwriters of Sleepy Hollow and Stargate SG-1 have gotten us used to it better and seem more comfortable with adult dramas. Certain scenes sometimes border on the goofy and with wanting to look in the trash, the series takes its feet on the carpet. The special effects and staging don’t lift the October Faction game that can’t find its place in a sea of series genres. Plots like that deserve more risk taking behind the camera.
The series’ debuts were far from exciting and Netflix, too passionate about creating teen content, always seems to follow the same pattern. However, we only watched the first three episodes and, given the evolution of the series, the sequel might have some surprises for us. Certain narrative arcs are not without interest. We’ll give the series the benefit of the doubt and we hope it will manage to find its way in the remaining 7 episodes. The October faction can count on the availability of all episodes to successfully grab the attention of fans of the genre. Nevertheless, Netflix seems to have lost some of its magic…