Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Initial Thoughts On The Fringe Premiere

John NobleI loved it, of course, just like all the reviewers said I would. They were also right about it being exciting at the middle and end, but a little draggy in the middle. I expected draggy, though. They had a lot of set-up to do and sometimes exposition can drag itself out. I am hoping that now in subsequent, shorter episodes we'll have more quickly paced writing.

If you haven't seen the episode, be warned: this blog post will contain spoilers.

As a Lost fan I chuckled to see the show open with a flight attendant chasing a nervous, sweaty man down the aisle during turbulence. Luckily it took a decidedly different path story-wise. I knew about the flesh-eating toxin before watching but man oh man was that done with jaw-dropping gore. Literally. I backed up my DVR to see the co-pilots face slide off again and again. Apparently the flesh-eating toxin was also a clothing-eating toxin as I thought it funny that some of the corpses were just skeletons. Some were clothed in photos but one just had on a tie. I hope his name wasn't Faraday. Hmm.

Hey, here's a little bit of trivia; did you know J.J. Abrams wrote the opening theme song? Is there anything that man can't do? There's got to be something but it's probably a little thing like he can't make a decent omelet. The music for the rest of the episode was composed by Michael Giacchino, who is also the composer for Lost, and it is apparent to everyone that watches both shows that he uses the same type of musical cues to heighten tension. Again, it brings back flashbacks of Lost, but if it ain't broke, don't fix it. It's only helping here.

I mentioned in my earlier post that I'm not the biggest fan of sci-fi and there was a scene that sort of illustrated my underlying nit-pick about the genre. It went something like this:

"How did the plane land if everyone on board was dead?"

"Oh, Logan Airport has this special doohickey that lands the plane automatically."

"I accept that with no reservations as totally believable. Moving on now..."

At that moment I knew I had a choice: get annoyed and end up over-the-top critical about everything they put forward, or buy it and enjoy the ride. I chose the latter, of course, so I won't dwell, but I did think it needed to be said.

The middle part, again, was all about giving us massive amounts of information and back-story, which was slower than the beginning, but compared to other shows, still excellent television. It's kind of like saying that compared to the Sistine Chapel, the Mona Lisa is a bit drab. It still sure as heck beats Dogs Playing Poker, is what I'm saying.

I did not see the ending coming at all, not one bit, not one iota. But after I caught my breath again, I could only form four words in my head: LEAST GRATEFUL BOYFRIEND EVER. I mean, she went through hallucinogenic drugs, skull probes, walked around in her underwear in front of an old crazy guy, flights too and from Iraq, cow procurement, dealing with a meanie-head boss, transported his see-through hiney all over eastern Massachusetts to save his life, and he still runs her off the road? I'm starting to think he would not, in fact, do the same for her if the situation had been reversed. I love the idea that he will be interrogated post-death. The lady with the robotic arm whose name escapes me looks like she is going to be one of my favorite evil genius villian characters. My favorite overall character on the show so far? Without a doubt, Walter Bishop.

I have watched the show now one and a half times, and plan on keeping it on my DVR. It definitely deserves at least another rewatch, but for now I pretty much give it an enthusiatic 8 out of 10, if only because I could have sworn it was supposed to be 2 hours, not an hour and 37 minutes. The show has made a fan out of me. They had me at "flesh-eating toxin", of course, and the rest of the show just solidified this relationship.

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