Monday, October 10, 2011

The Fades 1x02: moral support listens at the door

Just kidding, I love The Fades. It's the greatest show ever. I don't know if this episode was actually that much better than the first one, or if I was just in a better state to appreciate it. But it was awesome and exactly what I want from TV.

Daniel Kaluuya, never change. Or always change, I'm undecided. This episode began with the strangest previouslies I've ever seen. Instead of just showing clips from the first episode they had Daniel Kaluuya's character, who I didn't even realize knew what was going on, describing the concept of the show. It wasn't exactly a "we're telling you what happened in case you missed the episode" thing, because I hadn't figured out most of what he was telling us even though I had seen the first episode. At the end of the previouslies, Daniel Kaluuya announced he was going to watch Star Wars. I hope this doesn't happen again.

Josh explained this episode to me by telling me that Paul is "the Twilight Sparkle of The Fades." If you don't watch My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (and really, why don't you?) this means that the episode was like the myriad episodes of Buffy where some authority figure tells Buffy that a Slayer is always supposed to work on her own, but that authority figure turns out to be totally wrong because it's actually through the combined abilities of the Scooby Gang that Buffy is able to defeat the forces of darkness. Paul's mentor Neil tells him that he has to say goodbye to everyone in his life and leave school to fight the Fades, but Paul concludes that he doesn't want to leave his loved ones behind. Instead he wants to have two identities, like Superman.

The best scene in the episode was when Daniel Kaluuya (Mac) adorably brought Paul a SODA like they were going on a date in a Precious Moments figurine


and they were planning to go to a party and "have sex" (Mac paused for a minute) "with girls," but then suddenly, Neil appeared out of nowhere looking judgmental!

I LOLed.

At this point, Paul was still planning on leaving his life behind after going to the party and telling the girl he likes, Jay, that he likes her. But after hooking up with Jay, Paul decided that he couldn't do it.

This kind of pissed me off! According to Jack Thorne, The Fades is supposed to be a "love story" between Mac and Paul. I actually thought the scene that made Paul realize he had to stay in his life would be when he and Mac were having a dance party at two AM and Mac's dad (who is the detective investigating the disappearance of some people that the Fades ate, more on that later) came in and yelled at Mac and pushed him against a shelf. Mac fell down and cut his arm, and after Paul touched it, his hand started glowing and the cut was healed.

Take note, this is exactly the kind of scene I want from television, Jack Thorne (and everyone)! It was already a funny scene between Mac and Paul, which then became sad when we found out that Mac's family situation sucks. Mac's injury wasn't just a plot device for Paul to realize he could do magic, but the magic added another layer to a scene that was already good.

Later, Paul was cutting his arm to see if he could heal it, when his mom walked in. What, you don't lock the door when you cut yourself? Did I mention that for some reason Paul has painted a desert with a cactus on the walls of his room?

Anyway, Paul's mom asked if he was self-injuring and then totally forgot about it, even though Paul is already considered to have mental health problems because he has apocalyptic visions and wets the bed. Paul has previously talked to his therapist about "how you should say goodbye to people if you're going to disappear from your life"--which seems like a stupid thing for someone labeled with mental health problems to go around saying, but okay, maybe this is what British people are like. They must be, because he goes ahead and says the same thing to his mom. "If I disappeared, would you be okay with that?"

Instead of getting worried about this--especially considering Paul was just cutting himself!--Paul's mom is just kind of sad and nice, and tells him that if he disappeared, she definitely wouldn't be okay.

But despite this conversation, and despite the fact that Mac's life is awful and Paul is his only friend, Paul doesn't decide not to disappear until he makes out with Jay. Who is a girl. Even though she looks like a lesbian.

I don't mean that Jay isn't pretty, but just that she has a lesbian haircut. Like every other geeky boy on television, Paul is in love with a popular girl--in this case, Jay is friends with Paul's really mean, popular sister Anna--and in some ways The Fades handles this in a less annoying way than other TV shows. Despite supposedly being very mainstream, Jay seems like someone who could believably be liked by and like Paul. The only problem is that she doesn't look like someone who could actually be mainstream popular as a teenager.

In America, popular girls look like this:

They don't look like this:

I'm not saying that all girls with short hair are social outcasts, but if you were going to hang around with someone like Anna who says things like "There's a difference between you and me--you're retarded and I'm not," you would not have hair like Jay's hair. Don't argue with me, I know the truth, and my token British friend confirmed it is the same over there.

I really like Jay as a character, and since she looks so hipster-y I was hoping it would turn out she was just friends with Anna as a joke. Instead she told Paul: "There's two versions of me, one that likes being friends with Anna and being popular, and" (here I was thinking she was going to say, the kind of person who would actually have a fauxhawk?) "one that likes you." For reals? Paul is her first non-mainstream interest, ever?

She's still pretty good for a love interest though, and the conversation set up Paul's realization that THERE COULD BE TWO VERSIONS OF HIM! "Clark Kent, Peter Parker!" he exclaimed, and kissed Jay for giving him the idea. She was confused, but apparently thought it was the kind of thing sad/cute boys who wet the bed say when they're flirting with you.

Did I mention how pleased I was to notice that Paul is actually a geek? I think--probably through no fault of the first episode--I had gotten the impression that this was going to be one of those shows where the main character is sort of different in a sexy way, and his sidekick is a comic relief geek. But I was relieved to learn that Paul and Mac are both geeks. It was pretty great when Paul confessed his feelings by telling Jay that he would most want to have sex with George Lucas, but that if he had to do a mashup of girls, she would be the only girl in the mashup.

Oh right the actual FADES. They killed Neil but Josh sort of told me that he doesn't really die, but he wouldn't actually tell me. Josh is a dick! The main thing that happened with the Fades was that they turned out to be killing and eating humans. It was gross! This is how they can now touch objects and people.

I know what you're thinking: if the Fades couldn't touch people until they started eating people, how did they eat the first person they ate? If this show is like most shows, it will pretend this question doesn't exist, so I've resolved to do the same.

My favorite character on the show is probably Natalie, the silent, semi-decomposed cute teenage Fade girl. She stands around and shifts from foot to foot, but in this episode she actually communicated with Paul and smiled and seemed really sweet, until she suddenly tried to kill him. Neil seems to be really familiar with Natalie (on one forum it was suggested she might be his sister) and he was surprised that she tried to kill Paul, and even more surprised when he saw her eating dead bodies. He was even more surprised when she set him up to get killed at the end of the episode!

The reason I like Natalie so much--and the reason I liked it when Neil took Paul to talk to a 140-year-old Fade who, as you might expect of a 140-year-old, is blind and deaf--is that the show is really taking advantage of the nature of the Fades' evil. They're not mindlessly evil, they're just in a terrible situation where most people go evil. So there can be a helpful Fade, and in fact all of Neil's recently dead friends hang out with him and help him (they can even still talk). And there can be someone like Natalie, who probably was harmless for long enough for Neil to still think of her as harmless even as she's starting to do evil things.

I should mention that as the Fades kill people and become more powerful, this is going to lead to the apocalypse somehow? I'm actually trying to ignore the fact that this show is about the apocalypse because I'm not that into it. But I still can appreciate the fact that the apocalypse is caused not by an evil force, but by normal people doing what most normal people would do if they were stuck in the most horrible afterlife ever.



Like all lesbians I will watch anything Lily Loveless does, since I was twelve, and so on, but it is pretty annoying that all she does is flip Paul and Mac off while calling them retards and fags. Last episode, in the teaser for this episode they showed her flipping Paul off, and it was like "...we know, how is that a teaser?" I guess this is actually going to be a Katie Fitch situation and soon she will be the hero of the show. THOSE DAYS CAN'T COME FAST ENOUGH.

Loved that those kids bullied Mac and Paul by pretending to be rabbits!

"I don't understand! I didn't ask for any of this." stfu paul

Did he really just bring a dead bird back to life, for real?



I like that the therapist isn't evil like they always are on Skins.

his mom is such a cockblock<---this was a note I wrote and don't actually understand, but I love it. I think it had to do with him cutting himself.

Lamest ever party, admittedly all my knowledge of parties comes from Skins, and my and Clayton's parties where we drink White Russians and watch The Vampire Diaries.

How come the Fades didn't eat the Angelics they killed in the first episode? (Unfortunately people who can see and fight Fades are called Angelics.) Would they get hurt if they did that? Maybe we should trick them into eating an Angelic!

After an Angelic heals someone, they throw up a bug. I wouldn't care except that I happened to pause the episode at this moment:

I think this post is longer than any post on my "real" blog has ever been. Don't even care. Love it.