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cast of "Fringe"

"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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Updated 9/21/08 

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