At times, “October Faction” feels like two separate shows taking place in the same universe. One show follows Fred and Deloris Allen being badasses and only slightly washed up monster hunters while struggling to maintain a constantly moving family lifestyle with their twin offspring.
The other show is a spinoff cringey high school drama starring said offspring, Geoff and Viv Allen, navigating an asinine high school social hierarchy and somehow making enemies with “Curb Your Enthusiasm” level lack of intention to do so.
The social strata and “rules of the school” explicitly laid out for Viv by her singular friend are comically juvenile and insincere. She preaches “using people’s pressure points” that are, of course, inorganically fabricated by one of the many popular kids in power and amount to nothing more than “watch out she’s weird” or “ew he’s gay.”
Coupling that unnecessary drama with untimely developments of the twins’ supernatural sides makes for a kind of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” atmosphere with a more modern high school setting and better acting.
For those that prefer higher stakes than high school house parties and self-discovery, the adult Allens secretly operate as “Men in Black” style field agents in their high tech family mansion for a broader monster killing organization.
Though they share an entirely different dynamic, Fred and Dee make for a vicious duo reminiscent of Sam and Dean and give the show a similar appeal as “Supernatural.” The realm of monsters with which they deal is similarly expansive, though prominently featuring vampires and warlocks that blend seamlessly into the world.
The Allens’ first on-screen interaction with said vampires is a refreshing change from mindlessly killing their foe like … any zombie movie or show. Presidio agents like the Allens often deal with real, humanoid threats, some of whom have contributed to famous ad campaigns, apparently.
Despite my ability to reference similar works for context, the show certainly breaks formula, make no mistake. They are not training to follow in their parents’ footsteps in the shadow organization Presidio (like “Spy Kids” might) and the younger Allens hold secrets of their own. Of course, as can be expected, there’s the whole “I did and hid this for your own good” mentality that, as it always seems to in the cinematic world, backfires.
Sometimes it may feel scattered as the show tries to be many things at once: horror, teenage drama, action, sometimes even swinging for comedy. The first few episodes felt a touch overwhelming as the show establishes backstories and offhandedly introduces a pivotal character in the midst of gathering bearings at a family funeral. Sticking with it rewards a unique experience in a genre where other shows become gold only to burn out. No comment on further season potential.