Thursday, November 11, 2010

On The FRINGE Between Two Worlds

Promotional image released by FOX Broadcasting Company.

It's been a while since I've written about my latest television obsession - FRINGE! I love this show more with each and every episode, and that's no exaggeration. It's not so much a replacement for LOST, since it's a very different kind of show as far as structure and subject matter, but there are other things that make it similar to LOST. It has a cast of characters that are complex, imperfect and engaging who are always growing, learning and changing. They are characters that I care about, root for and cry over. It has an inventive, creative plot, with twists of a forensics procedural combined with sci-fi creepiness. Each show has a problem or mystery that is solved within that one episode, but also ties into the larger over-reaching plotline. Each week, I am invariably on the edge of my seat, or so excited I'm yelling back at the TV.

Those of you who haven't seen the show yet, I suggest you try it out, but be sure to start from Season 1, Episode 1 and go from there. Give the characters (and the writers) time to settle into the show and really get their footing, and the whole thing just takes off and soars (about midway through the first season). For those of you who are watching, you can keep reading.


I think Anna Torv should get and Emmy for her acting this season. She's playing two different characters, who in turn, are pretending to be someone else. How hard is that? And she's pulling it off beautifully. I always know who is on screen (even if it wasn't for the different hair color) and with just a glance, or the way she carries herself, you know what they are thinking. I've also been impressed with John Noble's (Walter) acting from the beginning of the show. His character could easily be played as a cliche - the mad scientist - but Noble gives him heart, and shows the frustrations and triumphs that come with being a brilliant genius, but also someone challenged with mental/psychological problems. I love it that they didn't make his relationship with Peter easy and straightforward, and didn't give them an easy resolution to their problems. In fact, some of their problems are still ongoing, and that's good. Life isn't so easily resolved in one 40-minute block of time.

If you weren't aware of it, there's a great website called Fringepedia that you simply must check out if you're a fan of the show. Did you know the images that appear before commercial breaks are actually glyphs in a code? Did you know the Observer appears in every episode? Did you know there are secret clues or references in the above picture? These things don't make the show what it is, but they certainly do add to the fun.

If you're watching, what do you think of the new season? Please leave me a comment and let me know. I'd love to discuss what's going on. You can also read my other thoughts about FRINGE here.


Laura said...

I love Fringe and I agree, the character development is superb. Unlike other sci-fi shows, the writers of Fringe are taking time slowly unwrapping complex relationships. I love that they are spending almost as much time on the characters as the action events. A good mix imo.

I hate to compare Fringe to LOST, they are quite different, but there are so many similarities that it's hard not to see them. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see the bronze Statue of Liberty has four toes! As to your question about the writers running out of ideas, remember how LOST changed focus each season (S1=Losties, S2=Tailies, S3=Others...etc)? Now Fringe is doing something similar with Season 1 being "normal", Season 2 was alternate universe, and Season 3 is cross-over time. I expect there is more to this than we know. No telling how much stuff Walter and Walternate are going to uncover (or screw up) between the two of them!

As far as the crazy mythology (i.e. glyphs), I'm not giving it much thought or spending time researching hidden meanings. I got burned when none of that was revealed with LOST. I rarely look at Fringepedia save the occasional glimpse for details of a specific episode. Unlike Lostpedia, which had pages and pages of information that apparently didn't matter to the overall story line. Yeah, I won't be making that mistake again.

Perfect cast, perfect writing... I'm sticking around awhile.

D.L. White said...

Equal time on action as on character development - yes! This is the key!

And you're right about the breakdown of the seasons. Maybe that's the "Pattern"?! Ha ha.

And you just blew my mind with the four-toed Statue of Liberty reference. I totally want them to do that now!

If I think about it, I'll go over to Fringepedia to check out some stuff, but thankfully I don't feel obsessed or compelled to read every little detail or find every hidden clue. I enjoyed LOST, but it is soooo nice to watch a show and not feel like you have to do homework!

Jessie said...

I started watching "Fringe" during the first season, but then lost interest. I loved the characters, but at the time "Lost" was wrapping up and I only had room in my life for one consuming show.

However, your post has made me want to reconsider. I did love the actors, especially the Peter character because, well, I'll be honest, I liked that Joshua Jackson when he was on "Dawson's Creek". How embarrassing...

Maybe I'll give this one another shot...