on February 22, 2013
The Fades shows that a supernatural TV show doesn't have to have cheesy acting and predictable, formulaic plots to be good. It also shows that we don't have to depend on vampires, werewolves and witches for that supernatural entertainment. The BBC hits another one out of the park with this series, unfortunately, it appears that this hype is a little too late, as the series has already been cancelled. I'd like to see hulu or netflix or even Amazon pick this one up for a renewal. It's a good ride, while it lasts.
Jack Thorne, who wrote for the daring and original UK series "Skins," brings teen angst to a whole new level in the supernatural thriller "The Fades." This six part endeavor takes familiar elements from many different genres and cobbles them together in a rather new and inventive way. Someone described the show to me as an updated zombie tale, and while certainly influenced by the undead phenomenon in many ways--this program incorporates a more convoluted mythology. It's what I would essentially describe as everything-but-the-kitchen-sink plotting. In addition to zombie lore, you might see large touches of "The Sixth Sense" and Buffy as easy comparison points. But you've also got apocalyptic drama, awkward teenage comedy, religious undertones, and superhero themes all wrapped up in a hip and pop culture obsessed package. If anything, the show borders on being overstuffed with good ideas and, at the beginning, I wasn't sure that things were going to gel satisfactorily. There is so much to explain, early shows (especially the first episode) sometimes seem to grind to a halt with all the exposition to explain what's going on. But stick with it, this is the quintessential slow burn thriller. Episodic at first, each episodes grows more intense and involving until the momentous and catastrophic season ender.
I'm not going to detail too much of the plot other than the primary set-up, it's best to just let things flow naturally. I literally had no idea what to expect when sitting down to the show, so my expectation level was fairly low. As a basic premise, a typical nerdy youth (Iain De Caestecker) is plagued by troubling dreams that seem to forebode impending doom. Luckily he's got a equally expected movie-quoting comic sidekick (I mean a best friend played by Daniel Kaluuya) to help him figure things out. When our hero starts to be able to see and communicate with a strange spirit world, the duo find themselves in increasingly hot water. Among the restless spirits is at least one with murder and destruction on its mind. It's time to man up, figure things out, and see about saving humanity from ultimate destruction. Just a regular day in the lives of teenage misfits! Though we've seen many of these plot points used repeatedly, I will say that "The Fades" excels in tone and atmosphere. The show looks great, the effects are solid, the humor is crisp, and I liked the story's darkness.
"The Fades" is undoubtedly a show that is primed to be discovered and embraced by a new audience. While certainly not perfect, it has plenty to recommend it. I wish the leads weren't set up as such cliche-ridden figures--but, that said, they do well maintaining the show's tart tone. Kaluuya, especially, takes the standard sidekick role to new heights of amusement. Oftentimes, I wish the show felt a little more focused, but I must admit that I became more and more involved as each episode progressed. Perhaps not as scary as it could be, the show does fulfill the promise of a big bang finale. Dark, humorous, well-produced--if you like this genre, "The Fades" is an easy recommendation. If not, I'm not sure that it will make you a convert. As of now, a second season has not been green-lit so these six epsiodes may be all we get. So enjoy! KGHarris, 1/12.
DVD details: Approximately 6 hours on 2 DVDs with English Subtitles for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired. Special Features include Behind the scenes footage and deleted scenes and outtakes.
on March 7, 2014
BBC does it again with this imaginative and engaging thriller. An outcast teen gets recruited by heavenly freedom fighters to prevent a coming apocalypse. And he does it while learning how to be a best friend, meet girls, and figuring out how little adults of the world really know. If you decide to watch the first episode, get ready, you're about to go on a binge. The biggest downside to this series is that it is only one season and it ends with you wanting much, much more.
on April 10, 2014
I'm not normally into vampire series, but the way this story played out was pretty interesting. However, I feel the same way the viewers who watched it on TV felt when they found out it was cancelled. I think before I watch something, I'm going to check out the year it aired and the reviews. If the reviews are from upset viewers because a show was cancelled, I'm going to pass. Nothing was wrapped up on this series so you feel cheated.
on March 23, 2012
I just happened to come across this title by accident, and it looked interesting enough to buy on dvd. I loved it. Such a fun, yet creepy series. I hope that BBC opts for a second season, so fans get more of The Fades.
on February 17, 2014
I really enjoyed this. Sort of a twist on zombie movies, but better. These guys can think. I really hated the best friend, but the actor was supposed to be mouthy. So, he did a great job. I hope they all continue acting. The dorky main character is amazingly versatile. His emotional growth as a character is shocking. His unlucky teacher's girlfriend is now acting in Game Of Thrones. Another good actress. The actors and story grossed me out and broke my heart, all in good ways. And yet, there is a lot of humor, too. I read there are no plans to continue this series, which is a shame. Maybe they will change their minds. Fade out.
on June 22, 2016
Freegin awesome. Ok BBC as usual, you never cease to amaze me! I loved Iain De Caestecker portrayal of Paul, the Angelic born with special powers, more than any of his kind. They didn't really go into the "where they came from" or how, but instead went full steam ahead. I would love to see this come back, but not sure after 5 years have gone by since last production.
Plus he's a big time actor now, so I'm not sure if he'd want to come back. I wished he would. I loved ALL the characters. Of course, the majority of the antagonists are gone, including the main "bad" guy. Let's see. Maybe someone important will see this little gem.