A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that October Faction is a violent, intense sci-fi drama that is not meant for kids and teens even though it has some characters. Based on the comic book series of the same name, the content includes copious strong language ("f--k," "goddamn," "s--t," "bitch," and "d--k," to name just a few frequent fliers) and graphic killing scenes that show bullet wounds, stabbings, and lots of blood. The story posits that supernatural creatures like vampires, warlocks, and monsters of various kinds exist mostly unnoticed alongside the human population, requiring a secret society of hunters to neutralize their threat. Besides the gory action, the show also sets up plenty of family drama as secrets yield unhappy consequences and people grapple with the realities of their past. Expect some sexual content that shows kissing and making out (including same-sex couples) and hints at (but doesn't show) oral sex and the like.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
OCTOBER FACTION tells the story of the Allen family -- globe-trotting monster hunters Fred (J.C. MacKenzie) and Deloris (Tamara Taylor), and their twin teens, Geoff (Gabriel Darku) and Viv (Aurora Burghart), who are totally unaware of what their parents do and believe them to be insurance representatives. The series opens with the family returning to Deloris and Fred's hometown after the death of Fred's father, Samuel (Stephen McHattie), who also was a hunter for Presidio, the clandestine corporation that employs the main characters. As Fred wrestles with personal demons from his past, outside trouble follows the hunters there and long-held secrets are revealed, yielding consequences for the family as a whole. As the fallout builds, the Allen family legacy as monster hunters hangs in the balance.
Is it any good?
This high-drama series has all the ingredients for a gripping TV addiction for mature sci-fi fans, but it falls short of the mark on several counts. The cumulative acting is surprisingly clunky for a cast of individual talents such as they are, but that presents as more of an issue of imprecise writing than anything else. And speaking of writing, while the overall edginess of the violent, gritty content certainly warrants some salty language in parts, October Faction interjects excessive and unnecessary amounts of cursing that don't feel at all organic in some cases, ultimately compromising the intensity of some of the scenes.
That's not to say that this well-produced series won't garner a following. There's enough intrigue and tantalizing drama bridging the episodes to ensure that viewers who power through the show's misfires will want to come back for answers on a slow reveal. What's more, the Allens are a likable kind of character in how they ride the fence between heroes and renegade justice seekers. And just how and where Geoff and Viv fit into the picture remains to be seen as the October Faction story plays out for those who are willing to weather the show's considerable rough patches.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how October Faction presents the idea of good and evil. Which characters fall into each category? Would you consider some to be both good and evil? Can good intentions help forgive actions like killing or torture? On the flip side, can evil intentions (monsters hunting humans, for instance) be understood as survival instincts, given what you see of the characters in this series?
How does this show define "family?" Does it have to do with blood? Shared experience? Simple affection? Where do biological family ties suffer in the story? How has our definition of family changed over the past several decades?
Is it possible to admire character strengths like integrity and self-control in villainous and otherwise unsavory characters? How do characters like Alice challenge our impressions of these kinds of positive traits when they present in such negative ways?
Is the violence in this series excessive, or does it serve the show well? How does a show's target audience determine what kind of content is acceptable?
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