Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Fades 1x03

This made me happy:

Otherwise the episode wasn't that good. I seem to be in opposition with Josh regarding which episodes are good and which are weak, which is totally terrifying and leading to an identity crisis. But there was more focus on the characters I'm less interested in, like Neil's dead friend Sarah, his other dead friend Helen, and Sarah's husband whose name I can't remember because all he did in the last two episodes was have sex.

Speaking of sex, this episode started with a pretty great scene where Paul was jerking off to a fantasy about playing strip rock paper scissors with Jay. When they had sex later in the episode he seemed really disappointed that it didn't involve RPS. Anyway, when Paul came he grew giant wings. Sadly this was the zenith of the episode.

One of the things I did like was how everyone was a complete fail at the typical "keeping magic a secret" trope, and it wasn't really such a big deal. Paul told Jay, "I grow wings when I ejaculate," but again she just thought this was sad/cute bedwetter foreplay. But then his sister Anna saw them kissing, and when she came up and started making fun of them, Paul accidentally magically sealed her mouth shut. People kept yelling at Paul about how weird this was, and Paul would just say, "I know!" awkwardly.

In the next scene, Anna's mouth had come unsealed some way or another and she was sitting in her room refusing to talk to Paul. Their mom came up to ask what had happened, and Anna yelled, "He's having sex with my best friend! He's got superpowers!" but their mom was too busy congratulating Paul on having sex with Jay to notice the part about magic.

Later there was an annoying scene where Paul texted and told Jay this long story about a space probe that is pretty impressive but was built in a boring town, which I guess is supposed to be a metaphor for how he just wants her to see him as normal even though he can do magic things. It was more annoying than it sounds because he had climbed up into the tree next to the window of her giant house, and was magically making all the flowers on the tree bloom like some kind of John Cusack. Then they had sex and he apparently didn't grow wings this time, or maybe he did and they just didn't mention it because Jay thinks that's how bedwetters have sex.

My point is though that even though I didn't like this scene, I did find it refreshing that Paul didn't really stick to his plan to have a secret identity, and just opted to try and make it seem cool when Jay found out about it.

To continue with the stuff I liked, there was a nice storyline where Paul forgot Mac's birthday, although he remained unaware that he'd forgotten about it for an unbelievably long time. Mac was super mad at him and kept telling him that he felt tired because he'd been waiting for someone to surprise him all day, and Paul was like, "What are you talking about?" Eventually Paul remembered and the next day he wrote "Happy birth-yesterday" in shaving cream in front of Mac's house. It was cute.

There was another cute scene where Paul gave Mac a key to his house for his birthday and they had a fight with ice cream, but then Paul got HIT BY A TRUCK AND DIED. Whyyyy did this happen. I bet quite a lot of people watching this show are fans of Skins, so it's not like watching someone get randomly hit by a vehicle is the shock it would be to most people. And it just seems like a huge shark-jump moment.

It seems pretty clear that the AED didn't work so Paul is definitely too dead to be brought back by medical means. This leaves two options:

1. He will be a Fade for the rest of the show, which I personally think would be annoying.

2. He'll be brought back by magic, which I also think would be annoying. I find myself struggling to explain why this bothers me so much, but I just think bringing people back to life on TV always seems cheap, and it's especially annoying in the fourth or fifth episode of a show. Bringing someone back to life is one of the most impressive things you can do magic-wise, and it's going to feel like the show already blew its load. Also, Helen and Sarah didn't get brought back to life so it's going to be really obvious that Paul got brought back because he's the protagonist, not for any in-story reason. I'm so disappointed in this!

What else happened. Continuing the trend where we tell everyone in the whole world about stuff we're supposedly keeping secret, Neil told Sarah's husband that Sarah's ghost is following him around, and allowed them to have a conversation through him. Again I like how this departs from cliche, but I just wasn't interested in watching the scene. Some more Angelics came to help out. Paul impressed everyone by healing Neil, who isn't dead by the way, obviously.

The gross Fade who looked like Nosferatu from Are You Afraid of the Dark? went in a cocoon for a while and came out as Joe Dempsie, except he was super buff. Should be fun.

Neil's annoying friend Helen, the vicar, turned out to be one of the dead people who ascends instead of having to be a Fade. I will tell you why this annoys me! Helen is a dick. She kept talking about how Adam and Eve were kicked out of the garden for doubting what they were told, and said that Sarah is having a bad time basically because she's a weak person. Helen was absolutely sure she was going to ascend because she believed that she would, and then she ascended, instead of not ascending which is what I was hoping would happen because she was so self-righteous.

This seems really inconsistent of me. I'm Christian, and I get really bored of Christian TV characters who are evil or stupid or are always being proved wrong. But the afterlife in The Fades clearly is not consistent with Christianity, unless maybe you believe that being a Fade is hell and people fail to ascend because they deserve it--but that really doesn't make much sense. So why is Helen still Christian when she knows about Fades? Also, why is she so judgmental?

It was also super Christian when Helen told all the Angelics that they should capture Fades and start torturing them. They captured Natalie (my favorite character) and I guess they're going to start torturing her in the next episode. Whatever. I'm done talking about Helen.

I feel bad for Lily Loveless. There was one sort of nice scene where Anna told her mom that she feels like her mom likes Paul better than her, but otherwise Anna just goes around saying things that are supposed to be horrible but don't sound like things a real person would say. "You're kissing my brother. That's like you're kissing me. It's like you're kissing the worst part of me. It's like you're kissing my ass!" Again, her Katie Fitch redemption arc needs to already be here.


"I've seen you masturbate." "When?" "The school trip to Calais." "You were awake?"

"A truly surprising birthday is one that takes place a day late!"

I love how actors with physical disabilities are being cast in minor roles in the show! In case you don't know, Jack Thorne identifies as disabled and worked on the show Cast-offs where all the characters were physically disabled and played by disabled actors. He is also a supporter of Don't play me pay me, which campaigns for more disabled actors to be cast on television, especially playing disabled characters. I basically love him. But anyway.

I love that Paul seems to own only one pair of pants and they're pink. In all likelihood my favorite thing about a character I already like a lot.

Mac's dad decided to arrest Sarah's husband for the murders of Sarah, Helen, and the rabbit kids, apparently because the guy he works for (or with? whatever) doubts his ability to do his job. The guy told him to his face that he thinks Mac's dad was only hired because he was black, which to me seemed like kind of an awkward attempt to address racism, but then I'm white so maybe people do say things that awkwardly racist in real life.

Paul went to his therapist and told him he didn't need to see him anymore because he was "cured" and "too busy for this...I've got two lives to lead." Can someone please explain to me how someone labeled with mental health problems could get away with saying all the things Paul says that in real life would make staff/parents totally crack down on you?


  1. Here's the thing. . . i like your writing. I want to read it. But I don't have time to watch Fades. So essentially your blogs about Fades are my only exposure to it.

    And now I don't know. . . is Paul alive?? Is Paul dead??

  2. I'm sure he's not dead, it's on tonight so I'll get back to you on that.

  3. haha yeah, pretty important business right?

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