Amazon Prime’s original animated series Fairfax—created by Matt Hausfater, Aaron Buchsbaum, and Teddy Riley—premiered last year, giving audiences a freshly satirical take on hypebeast culture and zoomer’s obsession with social media clout.
The series does so by following a diverse quartet of Los Angelos teens who call themselves the Gang Gang: Benny (Peter S. Kim), Truman (Jabouki Young White), Derica (Kiersey Clemons), and the newer edition to the group, Dale (Skyler Gisondo). An all-star cast of talented voice actors, may I add.
Season one of Fairfax proved the show had a Bojack Horseman-esque sense of self-awareness—with the same ironic silliness. Perhaps Fairfax is not quite as meaningful as the acclaimed Netflix animated series; however, the first season showed enough potential to entice viewers to stick around for what more Fairfax had to offer.
In fact, the second season has brought even more zany misadventures for the Gang Gang: conflicts with fake woke feminists, a continued love affair (gone south) with a female-coded computer, and a who-done-it style mystery to be solved involving the middle school’s gender-neutral bathroom.
And although Dale was the viewer’s point of entry into the wacky world of Fairfax, the rest of the characters within the Gang Gang are easy to become invested in and root for. If anything, Benny, Truman, and Derica’s mishaps often prove to be more engaging (you can decide whether that’s a pro or con for you).
Derica, in particular, continues to be a stand-out character for me. Derica is a queer Latina who desires to become an activist but has found her morals frequently challenged by superficial clout. In season two, episode four, titled “Career Day,” Derica basks in the rapid rise at a makeup company called Girlbossier.
Although it turns out that the company profits from seemingly progressive politics while maintaining the status quo of having rich white men in charge. Here, Danica experiences “sneaky racism,” as she calls it—otherwise known as racial microaggressions—and must figure out how she should overcome this injustice.
Overall, I enjoy witnessing Danica’s journey of finding where she fits in her world and the world at large, and I hope to see more of it unfold in the coming seasons.
Interestingly, Fairfax is a real district, in Los Angeles, California, west of Hollywood, that encompasses a diverse hub for pop-up retail shops “and so-called hypebeast capitalism,” explains Daniel Fienberg for The Hollywood Reporter. The consumerist culture in Fairfax is fickle, similar to the audience’s reception to the immense amount of television and film options across an ever-growing number of streaming platforms.
That, ironically, puts Fairfax in a predicament wherein the show can fall victim to the very unpredictable, volatile culture it’s critiquing. Not to mention, given the ambitious premise of Fairfax, who exactly the show’s audience is can feel a little unclear. It’s promoted as an animated series for adults, but our central characters are barely scratching the cusp of adolescence.
At the same time, however, the age of our central characters allows Fairfax to pull off their over-the-top tone and cultural critiques without feeling out of touch or pretentious. So, again, you can decide if that aspect of the show works for you. Oddly enough, for me, it works out well.
If nothing else, the show has a universal, relatability aspect that makes the characters and show enjoyable, all things considered (and I believe the diversity certainly helps).
According to Amazon Studios, Fairfax is about “the timeless struggle to be cooler than you are, to fit in while standing out, and what it feels like to wait in line for a pair of sneakers you’re never going to cop.”
Regardless of whichever generation you fall into, most of us know what it’s like to have desired some semblance of popularity or acceptance while growing up. Audiences’ ability to relate to this universal experience may be what makes Fairfax the gift that keeps on giving and saves it from falling victim to its own irony: something here today and canceled tomorrow.
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This article was produced by Wealth of Geeks.
Featured Image Courtesy of Amazon Studios.
Ebony Purks is a graduate student at the University of Incarnate Word working toward getting her Master’s degree in communications. She is also a freelance writer, interested in writing about pop culture, social justice, and health; especially examining the many intersections between those subjects.