Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fringe - 1x01 "Pilot"

So, Fringe. It was all right, definitely bears the JJ Abrams touch, which, depending on the level of his continued involvement with the show, unfortunately doesn't bode well for its long-term prospects. And by long-term, I mean expect the show to jump the shark no later than the second season.

First episode spoilers abound after the jump.

Fringe opens like Lost (remember, he's one of the creators?), with an airplane catastrophe, but it most resembles Alias, the show that probably defines JJ and his aesthetic most thoroughly. We have a headstrong action chick who is not too de-feminized to have a good cry when her love interest is bumped off. She works for a quasi-governmental agency (or thinks she does) and is surrounded by people who are damn good at what they do, equally headstrong (one of whom is a quirky/bizarre science-genius, and who is at least temporarily the brightest ), which results in a lot of heated cross-talk when they inevitably disagree with each other. JJ has even dusted off a trick that I once called the live past, where we cut to a scene in medias res but then hear a voiceover that refers in the future tense to what we see, then cut to another scene that matches the time of that voiceover, so what that first scene was is like a flash-forward (to what purpose, I don't think I ever decided -- maybe the permeability of narrative time?).

And finally, dead people totally not being dead.

Given all of these Alias echoes, I really hope that JJ doesn't resort to some pseudo-apocalyptic prophecy every time he can't figure out what to do next to develop the show's grand narrative.

Indie rating: Love - "Andmoreagain"

11 comments:

geeky Heather said...

It's like The X-files, you know, except with Pacey making snarky commentary during pseudo-scientific explanations. We're all thinking it, Pacey, we're all thinking it. w00t!

tehresa said...

yeah, it didn't really leave much up to the imagination, but perhaps they were just laying the groundwork with the pilot. still, not particularly catching.

momo said...

Stylish, visually, but way too much action for a first episode. I want more exposition, more character building. We already went from "I lost my sweetie" to "my sweetie is not who I though he was". Too fast, ends up being more like Bones than House in terms of character investment. Since I never watched Lost or Alias, I don't know the style.
The guys are not my type, so I'm not motivated to watch for hotness reasons. I like Blair Brown, and wish the show was about her, not the blond Cate Blanchett wannabe.

Margot said...

I loved the pilot! I’m an X-Phile and Fringe is such a rip it’s amusing! Just add a little new Bionic Woman. And don’t try to throw me off by ripping in reverse – instead of waiting the entire series for them to knock boots, we start with that, and the chick is the Believer this time. So I’m looking at it as a sequel and that sits fine with me. Only thing is I won’t have much patience for the “this-is-the-truth, no-this-is, no-this-is” stuff that Chris Carter put me through. Also I keep thinking how much I loved the Bionic Woman pilot, then it lost it for me later. But I’m crossing my fingers! I’m all over melty faces, robotic arms and cows watching TV.

(Can we add Annabeth Gish to the cast please?)

Leee said...

Oh, fer sure, Fringe totally treads on the same ground as X-Files. But in terms of narrative makeup -- e.g. the cast, the interrelational dynamics, how the plot unfolds, certain other narrative structures -- it's pure Alias. I seriously hope, though, that Olivia and Pacey (I've watched more Felicity than Dawson's) don't get bogged down in more stupid JJ-style shipping.

momo, don't diss Bones! Which has kind of sucked so far this year, but it's still got the great Booth/Brennan comic screwball thing going, and still has, far and away, the most radical and complete representation of uber-rationalism on TV.

Is Blair Brown blondie's sure-to-be-sassy black assistant? (Oh, god, Francie.)

momo said...

Hey, Bones is one of the few shows we actually watch in this house, but neither of us is pleased at how they ended last season.

momo said...

Blair Brown = Nina Sharp.http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001974/

Anonymous said...

Hey leee do you have an email? the one on your profile didnt work, i had a quick non comment question. Thanks. gabriella

Leee said...

Huh, weird, thought my email was already posted here someplace. Anyhow: leeeee at gmail (that's 5 e's).

PS to momo -- I think the less one speaks of last season's Bones finale, the better this world can be.

shayera said...

JJ says that he expects the show to jump the shark often. I'll give it a few more weeks. As long as Pacey keeps getting to be snarktastic, I'm in.

Margot said...

Sorry to be off-topic, but if you haven't yet seen the SYTYCD parody that aired on Mad TV this weekend, you gotta check it out! YouTube, of course...