Monday, April 05, 2010

Trying out Fringe

One of the weightiest decisions of our era is in which TV on DVD sets to watch. The time suck is tremendous, but the payout can be excellent. Some shows are obvious. I would include Band of Brothers, the Wire, and Lost. Depending on taste, you can add Deadwood and Battlestar.

Thanks to my love for the late lamented X-Files (the early years at least) I decided to try out Fringe. I just finished episode six and I can tentatively vouch for it. If you are not familiar with the show, it is about a team employed by a shadowy arm of the Department of Homeland Security, that investigates "fringe science" which is part of something mysterious called the Pattern. Like the X-Files, each week there is mysterious activity, which the team investigates. Unlike the X-Files, so far at least, EVERY case is tied back to the Pattern. That irritates me a little.

JJ Abrams is the producer so he has brought some Lost formula to the show. Like Lost, it keeps piling on more questions, with nary an answer in sight. You can tell they are going to drag out just what this Pattern is forever. It has Lance Reddick (yay!) For the fantasy nerds, you get Denethor (AKA John Noble) On the whole, we don't get the character standouts we got with Lost.

It also differs from the X-Files. While that show's boogieman was a government-led conspiracy, this show's, appears at least, to be corporate, which fits the times of course. Much of the fun of the X-Files was in the way that it used urban legends. I was so happy when they based an episode on La Chupacabra. Lost gains much of its power from its teasing ties back to mythology. With this show, you get a bunch of ideas that sound like weed induced brainstorms.

All that said, I enjoy it. The stories are peculiar, but I like them. The characters aren't great, but they work. The show is set in Boston, which means we aren't looking at New York, Vancouver or LA yet again.


christa @ mental foodie said...

Thanks for posting this. I have this reserved in the library and couldn't remember what this is about! I wasn't a big follower of the X-Files, but am loving Lost (though I am waiting to watch Season 5... yeah I'm behind). So glad to hear this may be another good series to follow!

I enjoy watching Bones, Numb3rs, Castle, and the now finished Boston Legal and The Unit.

Tripp said...


Thanks for the recs! I am particularly interested in the Unit, which I nearly picked up the other day.

Please note, Fringe is NO LOST, but it's pretty good.


christa @ mental foodie said...

Fringe is ready for me to pick up (as well as Dexter, which I heard good things) at the library, so will find out soon :) Also heard people say Flashforward is like Lost?

I am not really into military stuff (did like some military memoir I read), but enjoyed watching The Unit to see how the team carried out the missions. My husband did too.