Netflix’s Original October Faction – Review

It’s March again and some of us are still in lockdown. After a year, I thought I had binged all I would want to binge on Netflix but I was wrong. Earlier this week Netflix gave me a suggestion for one of their original series by the title October Faction. For all the comic book fans out there, yes it is the same OCTOBER FACTION as written by Steve Niles and illustrated by Damien Worm. Sadly, I have the first two issues but have never gotten around to reading it so, as if yet, I can’t tell you how it stacks up to the original material.

October Faction is a Supernatural/SciFi show that follows the story of a monster-hunting couple, Fred and Deloris Allen, who works for a secret non-government agency called Presidio. After the funeral of Fred’s father, they decide to settle back down in Fred and Deloris’ hometown. Strange things start to happen around the couple’s 17-year-old twins, Viv and Geoff. Viv ends up waking up a warlock hell-bent on revenge against the Allens and everyone involved in Presidio. Dark family secrets and truths about Presidio start to be exposed causing the whole family to lose their way and question their sanity.

The Netflix original series is ten episodes long with each episode ranging between 36 and 49 minutes. Timewise it was a very easy binge and was able to be done in one day, started mid-morning and finishing up not long before my husband got home. Perfect for sluggish days when even thinking about work is exhausting. Finding this show was perfect to end the string of rainy dreary days we had been having here in New England.

First, and as odd as this will sound, the show quality is middle of the road at best but because of its watch time, I’d still say this is well worth it. If you are looking for a new supernatural-like show to binge this will hit all the buttons perfectly, just not well if that makes sense. It reminds me of a lot of the more famous Sci/Fi shows that started off trying to be a super serious show but ended up leaning more into the comedy later on. Eureka is the first one to come to mind. The studio execs tried to make it a serious show with serious problems but the cast did their own comical thing thus the slapstick hilarious Eureka that we know today was born. Though, this show was canceled last year, so we won’t find out in which direction it would grow.

Wait, it’s canceled? Why are you still recommending it?

Usually, I wouldn’t but season one is still worth watching. Think of it like a mini-series. Plus, for those still in lockdown, our standards might a touch lower than before. It’s only ten episodes with episodes ranging in run time from 36-49 minutes. All the plots they introduced in season 1 are finished in season 1. The cliffhanger at the end is small and easily felt like a last-minute add-on. You can easily ignore it, enjoying the series as just a completed story.

The amount of plot and subplot lines is staggering considering, again, it’s only ten episodes long. I got the feeling that they had planned out enough material to cover 24 hour-long episodes but were told last minute to cut it down to 10 episodes. It reminded me of a child’s overstuffed luggage, not willing to leave anything behind, telling us every single item was of the utmost importance when in actuality some of the items are just broken toys. October Faction would have been a lot better if they threw away half the subplots or at least waited and put them into season 2. Then they might have gotten a season 2.

Each episode has an average of half a dozen plotlines running through. Every main character seeming to get more than one. None of them are completely fleshed out and all seem very rushed. When plotlines are rushed you lose the ability to have the characters react to some very big events happening because they just need to move on to the next thing. Because of this, all the characters had more than a few moments of just being completely cardboard or act out without having justification which just makes them come across horribly.

Don’t get me wrong, overall, all the actors did a good job with what they were given. I ended up spending the full ten episodes going back and forth on every character whether I liked them, didn’t like them, loved them, or could not stand them. Usually, when my brain has decided it likes a character it stays in that camp unless they do something really bad. Tamara Taylor, who played Deloris Allen and is most well known for playing Camille Saroyan in Bones, always does a great job. Her ability to deliver deadpan, one-liners always hits perfectly. Newcomers, Gabriel Darku who played Geoff, and Aurora Burghart who played Viv, blew me away with their abilities. I hope to see them in many more projects in the future.

It was sort of a mess from beginning to end but an interesting mess. I would love to see them try their hands at adapting it again. It really did have all the trappings of being good enough to send most of us fangirls into a fanfiction reading spiral.

The world is extremely interesting. I have a soft spot for the whole ‘secret monster hunter/supernatural spy’ thing. As of now, I’d rate this show a solid 2.5 out of 5. Not good enough for me to start reading fanfiction off of but not bad enough that I stopped watching after the third episode. Episode three is my make or break with Netflix shows it seems.
After this, I think it’s about time I go read the comics I bought at a free comic book event years ago. Maybe I’ll write up another review with a show vs comic comparison.

Thinking about binging October Faction? Let me know if you do and what you think of the show.

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