Wednesday, December 28, 2016

TV Review: The Fades Episode One

The Fades are coming...the Fades are coming...the Fades are here.

Horrific drama is something that has to be done just right, like an intricate dish at a five star restaurant or a abstract painting. The right elements and ingredients have to be mixed and balanced perfectly for it succeed on all levels, for we need to be able to feel not only the terror of the otherworldly creations haunting our story but also our protagonists plight as he moves into the realms of the unknown.

The Fades tries to do this in it's opening installment as we are introduced to what appears to be our main players in the series. Paul,the seventeen year old who sees strange things and is an outcast in his daily social life, his humorous friend Mac who seems to care for Paul as a friend but also likes to poke fun at almost everything around him.

There is also Neil, who has already been initiated into the world Paul is just discovering and Mark, who's separated wife Sarah dies while investigating the unknown as a seer with Neil.

All,of these personalty and plot lines are actually thrown at us pretty quickly in the first episode and it is difficult to tell this early on how well this series works. It does indeed try to do what was stated above, to involve us in their lives so we are not watching cardboard cut out personalities battling ghosts so that the show becomes a weaker rather than stronger and we can mix in some real Human drama aspect to go with the things that go bump in the night.

But there is o much information to disseminate and take in that it is hard to get a real emotional grip on anybody just yet, although we have a basic grasp of who they are and what motivates them as well as what makes them fall.

For the real show stealers you have to look to The Fades spooky atmosphere and gritty direction as well as a great monster creation in the fade that appears to be becoming flesh that would scare anyone if it came around the corner of your alley or was hunched over in the darkest corner of your cellar.

 Although the camera work is straight out the modern horror movie handbook and made famous in such films as The Ring and the Saw series, the creature is so well created that it seems that if it was a real thing it might indeed live in such stolen, fast paced moments such as these. If you long for a few good slightly gory horror scenes in your dramatic fiction then this series is for you.

Last images are always another aspect of any television series or other visual media to fall under scrutiny as these are the last things we are left with and it is the weight and dimensions of these final moments that really leave us waiting with baited breath till the show returns.

The Fades seemed to be going to just that kind of climax as we follow the recently dead as they ascended to the next stage of existence or are stuck on this plain. However the closing moments felt disjointed and not too well thought out, it seemed as if a few minutes were cut off of the ending and it really felt disjointed and odd. Not enough to make you not want to continue on when the show returns but just enough to make you wanting not for more but for a moment to hang your hat on at the end.

For now I'm willing to believe that the show will rapidly improve as it has the makings of a proper mix between touching Human drama and horror spectacle, and we were certainly shown our new heroes out to save the world in a promising light, I just wish it would have made me want to never leave it behind after the show faded from my television.

Bottom line is that The Fades is a series that showed a lot of promise in it's debut and time will tell if it becomes a supernatural hit or just fades away.

-Thomas Spychalski

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