Review: ‘Fairfax’ on Amazon Prime Tweaks Teens and Influencers
Animated comedy premieres on Amazon Prime Video Oct. 29
Fairfax, an adult animated comedy, follows four middle-school pals looking to get ahead in Los Angeles. Named for the central L.A. neighborhood, Fairfax pokes fun at tweens and their obsession with social media followers.
Nerdy Dale recently arrived from Oregon. How dorky is he? He wears a fanny pack, kisses his father — on the lips — and still dabs in 2021. Dale falls in with Derica, Truman and Benny, the threesome hoping they can make Dale a little less of a dweeb.
The pilot sees the entire middle school, and beyond, obsessed with acquiring a Dr. Phil T-shirt given away on a trendy online retailer known as Latrine. No one can seem to land the desired T-shirt, until Dale gets a visit from a certain TV host doc in the middle of the night.
The second episode sees an influencer schoolmate, Melody, host a party to celebrate being verified on Instagram. Only those with 100 followers or more are invited to her mansion, so Dale has some work to do to get his numbers up. Under the tutelage of Truman, an aspiring filmmaker, he goes with the handle Big Peens, and aims to attract followers with pranks involving pizza slices.
Skyler Gisondo voices Dale. Kiersey Clemons portrays Derica, Peter S. Kim handles Benny, and Jaboukie Young-White tackles Truman. Yvette Nicole Brown voices Dale’s mother, and Rob Delaney his father.
The series is created and executive produced by Matthew Hausfater, Aaron Buchsbaum and Teddy Riley. Artist Somehoodlum has designed the characters.
Fairfax spoofs our social media-obsessed mindset with relish, but is it funny? It didn’t seem particularly witty to us, but we don’t seem to be the target audience. The main characters, and material, appear to target tweens and teens, as does the poop humor. But the plentiful profanity in the series suggests otherwise. And will kids of that age watch all eight episodes of a somewhat traditional TV show?
Fairfax has its moments, such as a pair of wisecracking pigeons, voiced by John Leguizamo and JB Smoove, weighing in on the latest happening in town. The pigeons call to mind Statler and Waldorf, the old guys in the balcony making fun of the Muppets.
The guest voice cast is rich, with Billy Porter portraying a Latrine mastermind and Pamela Adlon voicing the elderly waitress at the kids’ favorite deli. One might wonder if the talent outshines the material.
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.