The Fades: Episode 2 (Put on Your Red Shoes and Dance the Blues)

“Don't worry. I get it. You're afraid of my sister. A lot of people are. Apparently my first response when I came out of the womb was to cower.”

I found it difficult to re-watch this one and even more difficult to review it. This has to be the worst episode of the entire first season.

The biggest problem I had with this episode is that there was just no plot. If someone came up to me and asked me to describe exactly what happened, I'd struggle, and I've seen it three times. We got drips of new information about the Fades and the Angelis as well as a few character beats, but apart from that absolutely nothing happened. The closest we got to a genuine narrative was the build up to Anna's party. It was a classic tale of triumph over adversity that did nothing but reveal how pathologically insensitive she is. Two young boys have been brutally murdered and all she cares about is her party being cancelled. Bloody hell, Anna, you could at least pretend to give a shit. It is what human beings do.

We're two episodes in now, and it still looks like he can't decide whether or not he wants The Fades to be a teen drama or supernatural thriller. As a teen drama, The Fades is less Skins and more Grange Hill. Yes, there's swearing, sexual references and a looming zombie apocalypse, but apart from that this is all just bog standard teen stuff. And as a supernatural thriller, so far The Fades is rather generic and not clever enough to realise (nor subvert) how clich├ęd it is. It's like Paul Kelly said last week: Thorne seems to have no real understanding of the genre. It's easy to imagine that he simply watched a load of movies and TV shows and took notes.

I'm still having a problem with all the characters. I do want to like Paul, despite Iain de Caestecker only ever having the same confused/surprised look on his face. He's got that appealing everyman quality to him, but at the same time is a little too everyman. There isn't anything about him that really stands out (with the exception of his wardrobe). In fact, the only thing he has going for him at the moment is that he isn't as annoying as Mac.

Mac's excessive geekiness really needs to be toned down. We get it, Jack, him and Paul are massive geeks. You don't need to keep hitting us over the head with all these lazy pop culture references. This episode did give us some insight into his pretty horrible home life. It didn't make me instantly like him, but I did feel really sorry for him. Which I would say is a definite step in the right direction.

Notes and Quotes

--Flesh eating ghost I'll buy, but I find it hard to believe that someone who looks like Neil, could just walk into Paul's school and take him away without anyone stopping them.

--Mac's dad is the same policeman investigating Sarah's disappearance. If the writer's plan was for us to instantly dislike Mac's dad then it worked. I don't care how much pressure you're under at work, or how loud they are playing their music, there is never, ever a valid excuse for getting drunk and hurting your child.

--Neil, I know you're a bit of a shut in, but surely you know that people should never split up when they're in an creepy abandoned building?

--Poor Natalie Dormer. Not only is she given very little to do, she's also stuck in the dreary Mark subplot.

--Fades continue to age even after death.

--Why do the Fades keep attacking Neil but never kill him? Finish the job you lazy sods!

Paul:" There's this girl."
Mac: "Fit?"
Paul: "Dead."
Mac: "Dead fit?"
Paul: "You into necrophilia now?"

Neil: "Do you remember the first time we met?"
Paul: "Yeah, you shot at me."
Neil: "Okay, so, so maybe you remember it slightly less fondly than I do, eh?"

Mac: "Your sister was naked."
Paul: "Well, the important thing was that she was dead."
Mac: "Dead. Naked and in your bed."
Paul: "She was... it was only partial nudity."
Mac: "Maybe you're not special, maybe you're just sick."
---
Mark Greig has been writing for Doux Reviews since 2011. More Mark Greig.

7 comments:

Paul Kelly said...

Yeah, this was the episode which made me stop watching. Some pea brained buddy of mine insisted I stick with it. He reckoned he had a feeling in his water that the show would suddenly blossom. He was right. Unfortunately, he bailed after episode three, and I ended up having to talk him in to giving the back three a chance. But we shouldn't have to put up with this level of blandness in a six episode season. They should be struggling to fit the ideas in, not filling the minutes with boring crap none of us can even remember.

Billie Doux said...

If I skip this one, will the next episode make sense? We have it on the DVR but have been reluctant to watch it.

Paul Kelly said...

Billie, why should we have to suffer and you not... lol? There's some semi-important stuff about why the Fades can materialise, plus, one of the gang snuffs it, and Paul discovers he has a new power. If you really can't bear to watch -- and it is pretty ordinary -- I can email you the details, or even put them here in the comments.

morgan india said...

I have only actually ever seen the first episode, but if Natalie Dormer is not doing much on The Fades, I might wait until she's on Game of Thrones. Or just re-watch The Tudors.

Anonymous said...

I had the advantage of getting into it a bit late and viewing the first three episodes in a row - that cumulative effect made it must-watch for me, as the slower beats of ep 2 blended into the whole. Also helped not to know anything about it before I started watching.

Sooze said...

This question has nothing to do with the effectiveness of the show or anything, I am just curious...why do some of the kids have uniforms (the seemingly priviledged kids) and some don't? Is that the way schools are over there?

Mark Greig said...

Snooze, the older kids, like Paul and Mac, are sixth formers, meaning they have finished school but have chosen to stay on to do their A-Levels before going to university. As such, they won't have to wear uniforms like the younger students.