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Primetime Show Reviews
"Fringe" Series Premiere
Review by Suzanne 9/10/08
Tuesdays on FOX.
This show, created by J.J. Abrams of "Lost" and "Alias", is very
similar to "The X-Files" in many ways. It involves strange, unexplained things,
but it doesn't seem to have anything to do with aliens or monsters like that
show often did (or at least, it seemed to). It is creepy, dark, and involves
weird and gross things that are investigated by the FBI. There is great
chemistry between the two people doing the investigating. That's pretty much
where the similarities end.
In the pilot episode, people on a plane are infected with some strange toxin
that kills everyone and destroys their bodies. Later, one of the FBI agents
(played by Mark Valley, whom you probably recognize from "Boston Legal") gets
caught in an explosion of chemicals that gives him a similar skin-destroying
disease. Another FBI agent, a woman, our star Olivia Dunham (Anna Tory), is this
agents' lover, so she does everything she can to save her partner/boyfriend. She
finds that an old scientist might know about these chemicals, but he is in a
mental institution and can only be visited by a family member. She goes to Iraq
to track down his son (Joshua Jackson), who is a wayward genius. She gets the
scientist back at his old lab. He is an expert on "fringe science", which is
where the name of the show comes from. This includes weird things like telepathy
and astral projection. He is able to connect her brain with her almost-dead
boyfriend's brain, so that she can see what the bad guy looked like. She then is
able to figure out who that is, track him down, and then find out which
chemicals were used.
This is the short version, believe me. It is all much more involved than what I
am describing here. There is a twist at the end that, frankly, kind of irritated
me because it just ruined the whole point of the rest of the story. While I
found the show enjoyable, I found it ridiculously implausible, even for a scifi
show. A good scifi or fantasy show has to be somewhat grounded in science or
reality. This one doesn't seem to be too concerned about doing that. It kinda
bugs me that way. You can't have too many weird or strange things happening
without a reasonable explanation or else you go, "Oh, come on!"
Anyway, at the end of the first show, the FBI decides that this little team
should stay together to investigate weird things. They have found many weird
things that form "The Pattern", so that's what they will be searching for. I
really want to like this show. I loved Abrams' other two shows, and I love
Joshua Jackson. I hope they improve the show in future episodes. Even if it's
just like the X-Files, that's okay, too. I like the characters. They work well
together. The dialogue is fun and interesting. The action is fine, and the
creepiness factor is A+ (In fact, I'll probably have nightmares now). They just
need it to be a little more believable to keep my interest.
UPDATE: The second episode was much better. I will probably stay
with it and see if it evolves into more than just an X-Files type of show.
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