Friday, September 30, 2011

Ten Statements About....THE FADES EPISODE ONE (2011)

"Yep...riding bikes indoors...'cause we're DAREDEVILS!"
"Do you think I'm mad?"
"Well if you're mad, we'll find a way to cope with it. But it's equally possible that what we're seeing is what other people can't, and you're, you know, special."

1) Well, this is a much different version of estate living than we got in the Davies-era Doctor Who, that's for sure. This is a much more broken down environment for our hero to play in. But then, given that this show makes it clear that it's a horror show--from its earthy color pallet to the skittering figures in the background to the shot of series lead Paul (Iain De Caetecker) doing his best Anthony Perkins upon seeing the ghostie of the week--the show's background is appropriate.

2) I know Mac, assayed by Daniel Kaluuya, is meant to be the Xander to Paul's Buffy--you know, the wisecracking comic relief guy who can get truly annoying--but the guy won me over fairly early on. The the way he sells his rationalization of the gunfire he heard as 'they can't be real gunshots. We're in England' won me over in a flash.

3) Eyeball licking monsters...ewwwwwww.

4) Somehow I can't imagine an American horror or suspense show that makes such a big deal about the hero peeing his pants. A comedy, sure...but a deadly serious show about ghosts infringing on the real world...

(But then, given the girl on the toilet in a later scene, I'm beginning to think the producers of this show have an obsession with urine.)

THIS is the true horror of The Fades....
5) I see overacting teenagers confusing brattiness with psychotic behavior isn't confined to the United States.  Thanks a lot, Lily Loveless...

6) Am I the only one who wonders if Tom Ellis was hired solely for his remarkable resemblance to Dylan McDermott?

7) I have to say...of all the characters, I think I like Daniela Nardini's Helen the best. She's got an edge of ruthlessness and practicality right from the start...and there's there's definitely a sense that her hard bitten nature is not derived from her losing faith--that it may actually be there because of her faith. Pity I suspect she won't be around for Episodes two through seven.

8) You know, the script by Jack Thorne plants in our heads the idea that having organic matter pass through the fades burns them...but the surprise in learning that it isn't a metaphor, and that a fade will burst into embers and ash once you walk through it, is one of the better supernatural moments of the story.

Boy, the Ghost Busters sure fell on hard times....
9) Okay, the constant pop culture references are beginning to get on my nerves. They're forced, and only serves to remind me that this is yet another attempt by the BBC to get a second lil' Whedonverse-esque merchandising machine up and spitting out cash.

10) You know, now that I've got a better look at it, maaaaaybe I'd be more freaked by eyeball licking monster dude if he didn't look like Andy Dick after a few too many nights of partying.

Overall...this is better than some of the earlier attempts British television had made to recreate Buffy (I'm looking at you, Hex and Demons)...but I don't know if there's enough there to raise it up above being nothing more than a pale imitation of Joss Whedon's baby.

Of course, I have to also wonder why a nation with such a rich heritage of horror fiction keeps looking to a series over a decade old for inspiration for their own television genre shows.

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