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John Drew

Fringe

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A little too reminiscent of The X-Files. I was really looking forward to this one, and it may grow on me, but the premiere episode just seemed to throw too much into the mix. There were some very annoying production values that went out of their way to draw attention to themselves - namely the "location subtitles" that the camera moved around, or through, or (as in the case of the "Baghdad, Iraq" subtitle) were flown over and then shown in reverse when the camera changed angles. By the time John "Denethor" Noble arrived, I was beginning to fall asleep. I DVR'd the show, and will try and watch the rest tomorrow. Hopefully the show will drop the pretentious effects in upcoming shows.

Edited by Baal_T'shuvah

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Yep, it's X-Files.

Wait, no... it's Alias (in at least one obvious way).

No, it's 24. (Josh Jackson will not hesitate to do bodily harm in an interrogation!)

No, it's Lost. (Sheesh! Could those musical cues have been any more similar to the Lost scene climaxes?)

No, it's Psychic. (For obvious reasons.)

It's The Bourne franchise! (Certain musical motifs and the car chase.)

It's... let's have a show that has it all!

And yeah, I started losing interest pretty quickly.

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Consider me one of the underwhelmed as well. I might check out a few more episodes, but the premier got so preposterous and over the top that I found it difficult to suspend my disbelief -- or get past the nearly constant foreshadowing -- without getting a migraine.

I found it interesting that our spunky heroine, despite being on such bad terms with her overseeing officer, was able to get so much government clearance and clout and always in such a short amount of time. Not even Mulder and Scully could pull that off.

And here's how the show ramps up the tension:

her boyfriend/partner gets seriously injured, she uses the FBI's super-duper precise search engine to find out about the mad scientist, she travels to Baghdad to pick up his son, she drives to Massachusetts to visit said mad scientist, gets his lab reinstated after nearly two decades complete with all of the uber-geeky stuff he asks for,

only to find out they only have 24 hours left to save her boyfriend/partner?!? Who then turns out to be a traitor?!? Really?!?

I almost laughed out loud at those revelations, considering how preposterous everything up until that point had been.

The location subtitles and musical cues had Lost written all over them. I wonder if we'll ever see a cross-over, seeing as how J.J. Abrams is the man both shows.

The scene where our heroine visits Massive Dynamics, and meets with the cybernetic assistant also threw me for a loop. Are we really meant to believe that a company who imbues people with super-advanced cybernetic limbs -- that are whipped out a moment's notice -- hasn't been spotlighted by the government yet? Or wait... maybe it's all part of a conspiracy, er, I mean, pattern.

Like I said, I'll check out another episode or two to see if they dial things back, but with all that talk about teleportation and parallel dimensions, I doubt it. I think I'll just stick with Heroes for that kind of stuff.

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I repost a version of the annoyed comments (some might call it a rant) I posted to another list:

I watched almost all of the premiere or pilot or whatever it was. Took

a break somewhere in the middle, but don't think I missed much.

Preview articles made much over J.J. Abrams opening another show with

an airplane disaster, but other than airplanes and disaster, the two

events were pretty dissimilar and the *Fringe* opener had an enormous

"eww" factor. Note to Abrams: I don't watch any CSI shows specifically

because I do *not* wish to be forcibly confronted by decaying corpses.

Thanks.

Anyway. Their next misstep was

blowing away that cute Mark Valley,

turning him into the Visible Man and putting him into a coma for

most of the next hour or so.

Instead, Our Blonde Heroine gets to work

with Snarky-Grownup-Pacey (AKA Joshua Jackson). Since I never watched

even one full episode of Dawson's Creek, I don't care much. Blonde

Heroine does crazy-risky things to solve the

Mystery of the Corpse

Plane and save Visible Mark Valley, but since we only just met the two

of them, it's a bit early for believable "love makes you do the

wacky."

But that's the kind of thing I expect from J.J. Abrams,

unfortunately.

Sure enough,

Mark Valley is gone forever (or is he?) by the end of the

episode

and we're going to be stuck with Snarky-Pacey and his mad scientist dad

(played by Denethor of LotR--they went for high-class crazy) in a lab

straight outta Frankenstein. Add Blondie's Magical Negro boss

("Daniels" from *The Wire*--one of the good things) and (I bet) oracular cyborg Blair Brown.

There's also a cow.

Well, it's no X-Files. I should have watched *Eureka*--which,

fortunately, I recorded :)

Forgot to mention one more irksome thing about Fringe--GIGANTIC

FLOATING PLACE-TITLES. I guess they're supposed to be surreal or

something, but srsly, I was afraid the plane would crash on the big D

at the end of BAGHDAD in one scene... Whoever thought this was a good

idea should think again.

I'm happy to see from the TV Guide schedule that Fringe's regular 9

p.m. slot puts it opposite *The Mentalist*--even though that show

sounds a lot like *Psych*, I'd watch Simon Baker smile for no reason

at all, even if some idiot did name his character "Patrick Jane." For

pity's sake, writers, if you're going to give a man a girly name,

make it ironic at least? Like "Jayne."

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::spoilers::

And, they go ahead and kill off the only reason I watched the pilot in the first place: Mark Valley. He was very well cast in Keen Eddy, an excellent cop show that nobody watched. (Well worth watching the DVDs if you can.)

Edited by Guest

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And, they go ahead and kill off the only reason I watched the pilot in the first place: Mark Valley. He was very well cast in Keen Eddy, an excellent cop show that nobody watched. (Well worth watching the DVDs if you can.)

I guess I put all those spoiler-tags in for nothing? Yes, this was my main objection to the pilot as well. I liked Keen Eddy a lot, and Mark Valley is, IMHO, more charismatic (not in the theological sense, as far as I know) than Joshua Jackson.

Of course

cyborg-Blair-Brown may either reanimate him or else just extract some info from his still percolating corpse, since he's only been dead for "five hours" and mad-scientist-Denethor revealed earlier that he was able to use his freaky mind-reading technique on people who'd been dead as long as six hours...

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Also, he's in all of the series' promo photos. I suspect we'll be seeing him again.

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I guess I put all those spoiler-tags in for nothing? Yes, this was my main objection to the pilot as well. I liked Keen Eddy a lot, and Mark Valley is, IMHO, more charismatic (not in the theological sense, as far as I know) than Joshua Jackson.

Argh! Sorry all, completely phased out on that one. Thanks for sticking that tag on there Alan. At least it is nice to stumble across another Keen Eddie fan (unfortunately the DVD's don't have the same snappy Brit-pop soundtrack the TV series did).

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I think I'm with Alan on this one. I thought it has enough potential to keep watching for a couple of months. If for no other reason, it will be good to watch Noble and Reddick.

I'm not so sure about that magical negro thing. Maybe it started to turn that direction at the very end, but he sure started out behaving, rather than just walking, like he had a stick stuck somewhere a stick does not belong. (I do recall reading that Reddick had some kind of back injury in the past which contributes to his unique posture)

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The trap door on the suspension of disbelief gallows for this show finally sprung open, and the noose tightened. After viewing three episodes, I've decided not to waste anymore time on this one.

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Hmm... I'm kind of enjoying it still, but you guys are making me wonder if I'm wasting my time on a show that's going to get cancelled out from under me midseason after stealing an hour of my time every week.

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I'm with you popechild. I kind of like it, at least the two episodes I've seen. I don't really care if its derivative or unrealistic. At least its derivative of all my favorite shows. My wife works on Tuesday nights and I'm starting to enjoy my Tuesday nights with Fringe.

Don't spoil it for me people. :D

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I guess there are some people out there who like Fringe... it's been picked up for a full season.

Season-to-date, "Fringe" has averaged a 4.2 rating/11 share among adults 18-49 and 10.7 million total viewers. It ranks as the top freshman series in the adult demo.

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Not a single post about this series in three years?

I know it's not one of the very best TV shows, but am I the only one on the board to find it at least frequently entertaining (John Noble has created a great, eccentric character in Walter Bishop) and thought-provoking (OK, so there's monster of the week stuff here but also some interesting angles on the dangers of scientism and technology and an intriguing parallel worlds thing going on)?

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I still watch it but I too find myself losing interest now. I'm realizing that I much prefer television shows with a continuous story line (Lost, Breaking Bad). Plus, the first few episodes this season have been boring without Peter.

But I agree, John Noble's performance as Walter Bishop is fantastic.

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