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.

7 comments:

RedCochina said...

I decided last minute to tune in to Fringe and I'm glad I did. It has lots of potential and I agree with everything in your review.

I was rather irked by some of the little detail slips though. Joshua Jackson can just walk into a high level security FBI interrogation room? They can move the mysteriously ill patient with dissapering skin out of the hospital...to a college campus? Stuff like that bugs me but I'm still hopeful and looking forward to the next episode.

And yeah, Pacy is way sexy. He could totally be the next Fox Mulder.

Liz said...

I am totally with you on the little details. I kept thinking, "How come the see-through dude is being kept in this sterile room but everyone can just walk in without any kind of face mask on?" There were a lot of little slip-ups like that and they kept pulling me out of the drama but overall, like you said, I'm still hopeful and will definitely watch again.

Jen said...

I also dug the JJ Abrams viral marketing - the commercial for Massive Dymanic (which everytime I say or type it I fight the urge to say/type Massive Attack). The "MD" website puts the Dharma Initiative site to shame.

The SpongeBob piece had me cracking up!

Josie Thames said...

In Joss we trust...I'll just keep repeating that to myself as I rock back and forth here in the fetal position...

quirkyknitgirl said...

There were a couple of things I was meh about, but overall I'm a fan. There's a cow! Named Gena! Also, Joshua Jackson, who I've thought was a hottie since his Pacey days. (Oh, come on. I was 15, and let's face it, Pacey was way cuter than Emo!Dawson.)

Kinney said...

I watched it because of Joshua Jackson. However, it did take him almost 20 minutes to appear.

The show I am still ify about, but Josh..not so much. :)

Sara said...

I believe the cow's name is Jean (not Gene since it is a girl) after the reference to DNA.