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Are you on the “Fringe”? by SEBASTIAN

Posted on February 11th, 2009
Posted on February 11th, 2009


FRINGE(2008- )*****TV Series Review

If you missed out on the whole “Lost” phenomena that is still occurring, then I’ve got a new show for you that shares similarities with “Lost”, while still breaking new, and in my opinion better ground: “Fringe”. The show debuted late last year to remarkable appreciation from fans (myself included!), and is really forging ahead into some great new television territory.

Much like creator J.J Abrams’ other TV shows, “Fringe” carries a very high production level and an extremely likable and talented cast. Watching the 14 episodes that have aired to date (there will be more in April), I am absolutely taken aback by how well Mr. Abrams and fellow show creators/writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci understand the dynamics of conventional genre storytelling. Already in this first season I find myself more involved with these characters and the intricate plots and sub-plots than I was by the time “X-Files” had hit its 3rd season.

Combining elements of “Twin Peaks”, “The X-Files, “Altered States”, and numerous other superior genre efforts, “Fringe” bursts forth onto the scene with a premise so simple, yet elegant, it makes most of the recent sci-fi offerings from Hollywood seem like mindless drivel. In this world we find at the center of the story three main characters (this is departure from “Lost” which features dozens of main characters) who fuel all of the concepts offered with very real and witty depth. The show of course is stilted; very little sci-fi can work without it. Yet throughout everything a sense of reality remains.

The concept involves an F.B.I agent, Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv), who becomes entangled in a series of bizarre and life-altering metaphysical incidents involving something referred to as “the pattern”. To help in her quest to figure out what the pattern is and what it means to the world, she enlists the aid of Dr. Walter Bishop (the brilliant John Noble) , an eccentric, possibly dangerous scientist who has spent the last 17 years in a mental hospital. In order to bring Walter back to the land of the living, Olivia enlists the aid of his completely unwilling, estranged son, Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson). The twist here is that everything they encounter along the way turns out to be something that either Walter or his mysterious co-conspirator(someone we have yet to see) invented over twenty years ago. This of course puts the trio in a place ideally suited to deal with these events.

The writers and crew are meticulously concerned with creating an elaborate and complex mythology here. Conspiracies and shady characters abound. Danger is everywhere and reality sometimes collapses in the wake of these “fringe” events. And the idea that the one man who understands what is going on, does so only because he helped to make it is a really interesting concept.

This is my personal favorite of J.J. Abrams’ shows. I love Lost, but this one really has me hooked. Fans of “The X-Files” and “Millenium” take note. You will love this series. I have an idea as to where they might be heading with this, but knowing Abrams, I’m probably completely wrong. Wherever it is they’re going, I’m with them for the long haul.

I must say that I’m really impressed with the dialogue in this show. Its up there with the best of “The X-Files”. John Noble is also of note here. He makes it all look so easy. Kudos to the fantastic actor!

Whatever they do, they shouldn’t cancel this show. It would be the worst move since the cancellation of the stellar, but oh so shortly lived series “Firefly”. I think J.J. may have a huge smash on his hands if they keep things going steady. All I can say is: so far, so GOOD!!

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