Wednesday, September 10, 2008
How 'bout that "Fringe?"
Just finished watching the debut of "Fringe," the latest series by J.J. Abrams that makes air travel look like the worst idea ever. And...it was pretty good. It doesn't blow you away like the pilots for "Lost" and "Alias" did, but it has promise. In case you missed it, the premise of "Fringe" revolves around an FBI agent, Olivia Desmond, who has to solve the origins of a mysterious disease with the help of a formerly institutionalized scientist and his son. In other words, the show is pretty much a revamped "X-Files" with better title cards.
So what does "Fringe" do right? Well, half the cast is really, really good. Joshua Jackson has a Sawyer-esque quality as the scientist's son and has a surprisingly sexy quality that I would not have associated with the dude who played Pacey on "Dawson's Creek." He's totally going to be a new sci-fi hottie. And John Noble as crazy scientist Walter Bishop is truly endearing and brings some much needed levity to the proceedings. Anna Torv, who plays Agent Dunham, looks distractingly like Cate Blanchett and is solid although not stellar. I think she'll grow into the role, though, and she's got a nice bad-ass quality brewing.
"Fringe" also does a nice job of maintaining a certain sense of realism in the midst of the craziness, which makes it eerier than it might otherwise be. And judging by the previews for upcoming episodes, it looks like that creepy factor is going to be ratcheted up in the near future and that can only be a good thing.
The other awesome thing? Bishop's got a cow named Gena and she likes to watch "Sponge Bob." TV would be so much better if every show had a cow named Gena.
Despite the awesome cow, "Fringe" does have room for improvement. The pacing of the first episode was erratic and failed to build to as strong a climax as it could have. Some of the plot was fairly predictable as well without giving us any of the "holy shit" shocks that we're used to on "Lost." Again, though, I have a feeling these things will change over time and evolve into a stronger, richer show.
Until then, I'm confident Joshua Jackson and Gina the cow will sustain me.