Tuesday, September 16, 2008

FRINGE Is a Bit on the Outside

Spoiler alert – I will be giving away the plot to the FRINGE pilot in this blog. Or warning you away, however you choose to accept it.

Tonight FRINGE airs its second episode – and it may well be a make-or-break one for me.

I watched the heavily hyped pilot from the creator of LOST and ALIAS this weekend, and here’s what I have to say:


I never engaged with the characters, for which I blame the writing and the acting.

And I was never really on the edge of my seat, which for an actioner is a problem. Here’s some things that need fixin’, in my humble opinion:

-Let the characters focus on what’s important.

The whole shebang opens with a terrorist attack with a horrific weapon of mass destruction. But the drive of the episode isn’t to stop the terrorist, or to secure the weapon, or to find out if another attack is planned, or any other such global thing.

The drive is to find out what chemicals were in the shed, so we can save Olivia’s boyfriend.

If we happen to prevent the release of a chemical attack that could wipe out millions in one stroke, that’s cool too; but we aren’t going to waste any time going for that goal.

(When the bad guy is in custody, no one from Homeland Security or the FBI ask him any questions unrelated to the inventory of shed chemicals.)

Good for Olivia; not so good for the rest of us that she is supposed to be protecting.

-Give us a reason to like these people.

A lot of effort was made to make me care about the romance (this is the only man that Olivia ever truly loved!); but very little effort was made for me to like Olivia herself.

And if I’m luke warm on Olivia, I’m not going to care for her romance no matter how many loving looks you make me sit through.

-Let the good guys be, well, morally good.

Okay, the guy that runs the agency that is in charge of the security of the free world? He has a conflict with Olivia. Conflict is good, that’s what made Skinner a compelling boss.

But this guy’s conflict is this: Olivia prosecuted a Marine for sexually assaulting several girls. Yep, that’s it. You see, in a civilized society, we think that rape is just something good ol’ boys do every now and then.

You know, as a well deserved tension breaker.

This is the attitude of the good guys. Yeah, we are in trouble.

-Stop pretending that there haven’t been any advances in science since the ‘80s.

The whole of “fringe” science is based on the work of Dr. Bishop, a man who hasn’t been in a lab, touched a computer, or read a journal in twenty years.

And yet he requires no time to catch up.

In fact, he uses the lab that has been shut down since the eighties without any upgrades other than dusting.

No need to update the computers in this world; he’ll just take out his old five inch floppies, boot those suckers up and be in business.

I’ll watch tonight’s episode and see if they are on a path of correction before giving up completely.

Just my thoughts,


1 comment:

David Goulet said...

Another show based on hurricane writing, not surprising since it's coming from the scribe of Lost.

The whole point of the show is to end every episode with another tempting question mark. Hook enough viewers for the first few eps and hope you get picked up for the season. Then you can worry about how to solve all those question marks you've dangled in front of your viewers.

These shows have no purpose beyond staying on air and providing work for their creators.

Lost is a perfect example. So compelling because of the riddles, yet what was the show about? The punctuation I just used says it all.