'October Faction' Season 1 - TV Review

Ten episodes of about 50 minutes each on Netflix: it becomes less surprising in its absurdity when you learn that it was based on a comic series of the same name.

Deloris Allen (Tamara Taylor) and Fred Allen (J. C. MacKenzie) are a couple who travel the world killing monsters for "the Presidio." They have twin children in their teens (Aurora Burghart and Gabriel Darku) who know nothing of their parents' profession and are very tired of moving about once a year. As the series begins, the family is sent back to the town where Fred and Deloris grew up, after Fred's father (also an agent of the Presidio) dies. And, unfortunately for the twins, it's October (apparently a notoriously monster-heavy month, although this is never explained) and their parents' profession is about to make itself very clear to them.

The problem with the series is it's trying to do too many things: it wants to be a horror-comedy with family drama and school drama and political intrigue and lots and lots of supernatural stuff. But it's not horrifying. It's only intermittently funny: I did get a couple big laughs, but I watched a lot of other "jokes" whiz by without a twitch of reaction. And they go for a big reversal of all your perceptions, everything they've "taught" you, as you approach the end of the season. It's too much, too many pieces. It's got some good ideas, but it's too messy to hold together.

My favourite thing about the series was J. C. MacKenzie as the family patriarch: he looks and acts like a tired, middle-aged man. It's not the look of a classic action hero - but that's the role he's in and he'll deal with it. He's intelligent and competent and will do anything to hold his family together, and he's also determined to do the right thing.

In clicking through the actors I discovered that every major character - with the exception of Burghart, who is British - and at least a couple of the producers are Canadian. Filming was in Canada, which is common enough for American productions ... although it was shot in Cambridge, Ontario - not usually a filming destination. Wikipedia doesn't call this a Canadian production - I suspect the money is American.