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Photo: Amazon Prime Video

Television

‘Fairfax’ season 1 review: Social media obsessed satire with heart

Popularity can be fleeting but friendship is forever. However, in Fairfax, why not have both.

Fairfax Avenue sits within the district of the same name in central Los Angeles. The area is a vibrant neighborhood that attracts a young crowd with its trendy boutique stores and hip restaurants. It’s also the setting of Amazon Prime Video’s newest adult animated series which draws from the famed street for its title.

Dale is an Oregon transplant who moves to the area for his dad’s new business. He’s in awe of Fairfax because the urban setting is a far cry from his old life in the Pacific Northwest. Next door, lifestyle brand Latrine holds a surprise drop for some new exclusive gear. While Dale inquires about the long line, he meets the Gang Gang composed of inspiring influencers, Derica, Benny, and Truman. He is quickly accepted into the group and the four friends set out for clout all while navigating the complicated world of middle school.

Fairfax is an updated take on familiar stories of growing up and going through junior high. This brings a commonality to it and allows it to resonate with various types of viewers. Episodes cover a first crush, trying out for sports, body insecurity, school elections, and a variety of other recognizable experiences but with a modern twist. For example, instead of the football team, Benny hopes to earn a spot on the eSport squad for a League of Legends type video game. The different takes provide a freshness to the common tropes and are very entertaining and humorous.

The friends’ main motivator is increasing their popularity and the series takes a satirical look at society today. There’s the infatuation with social media and posting to invoke FOMO in others. It doesn’t hold back with current trends and our needs as consumers. The name for the big lifestyle brand is a fancy word for a toilet and one of the hit musical artists is named is Yung Polluter who headlines Chernobylfest and literally raps about destroying the environment. Despite his message, everyone eats up his songs.

Structure wise, Fairfax makes the smart decision of pivoting from the first episode of the group’s obsession for Latrine and its eccentric designer/owner, Hiroki Hassan, to more classic misadventures. This allows us to become familiar with all the main crew. It could be easy with the premise, to have very obnoxious, one note characters but over the course of the season, they are given a surprising amount of depth.

fairfax 2
Photo: Amazon Prime Video

Jaboukie Young-White stands out the most as the charismatic Truman. He’s the artsy one with dreams to become a prestigious film maker. He exudes coolness and everyone would want to be buds with him. Skyler Gisondo instills the small town, square, personality into Dale but he’s also the one who is most likely to stick to who he is, even though he flirts with the dark side a little.

Benny (Peter S. Kim) is the one who is closest to becoming annoying. He can be pretty selfish and his goals aren’t as admirable as Truman or Derica’s. However, he has some redeeming moments especially in the episode involving his family and church. Though we get that Derica is an activist and wants to do some good in the world, her character is maybe the least developed of the four.

Together, the group brings a lot of heart to Fairfax. Although they have materialistic needs, their friendship comes first. Like any relationship, they all can disappoint but their ability to own up to their mistakes and sometimes give up great opportunities to support one another demonstrates their closeness. This sentiment grounds a show about buying stuff especially when simple mundane things can quickly explode and get out of hand into ludicrous situations. The lively colors and infectious soundtrack also contribute to the overall good vibes.

The conclusion returns back to Latrine, Hiroki Hassan, and the overarching story. There’s a crazy ode to a classic children’s film and novel, which serves as a fitting opportunity for the group to achieve ultimate influencer status. It’s a trip following along their journey all season filled with laughs and camaraderie. The finale nicely calls back to when the series first began and addresses the fleeting nature of popularity while also planting possibilities for season two.

Overall, the first season lampoons the current social media driven culture in an amusing way while providing relatable, funny experiences of what it’s like being a teen hanging out with friends.

Stream Fairfax on Amazon Prime Video starting October 29.

'Fairfax' season 1 review: Social media obsessed satire with heart
Fairfax S 1 Review
Overall, the first season lampoons the current social media driven culture in an amusing way while providing relatable, funny experiences of what it’s like being a teen hanging out with friends.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
The depth of the main characters and the amount of heart they bring to the series.
The over-the-top situations that explode from regular mundane things.
The satirical look at today's social media obsessed culture.
Derica could have been developed more.
9
Great

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