As Cool As A Fruitstand

…and maybe as strange. A movie blog.

Fall Pilot Review: Fringe

Posted by Hedwig on September 10, 2008

I’m not much one for mystery/conspirary shows. I was never into the X-files, I’ve watched a few episodes of Lost without getting sucked in, and the same goes for Alias. Even in my teenage drama years, I might have watched Roswell for a bit, but I lost interest pretty soon. So why would I even bother with J.J.Abrams’ latest effort, Fringe?

Well, the main reason harkens back to those same teenage drama years. Fruitstand confession (TM): I used to watch Dawson’s Creek religiously. Oddly enough though, it wasn’t Dawson, the wannabe filmmaker, that I watched it for (he was dull, as evidenced by his rather predictable choice of idol: Steven Spielberg). No, the boy I drooled over, the boy who I imagined in my daydreams kissing and reforming, was Pacey.

Over the years, Joshua Jackson, who played Pacey, descended into ever worse thrillers and horror movies, his face getting doughier and less bad-boy every time. But he’s back now, it seems, as one of the leads on this strange show. So, to humor my fifteen-year-old self, I had to at least watch the pilot. Right?

The episode starts with a plane in which everyone’s face melts off. Tough yet sensitive FBI agent Olivia Dunham investigates, and stumbles across weird shit. The premise of the show (as far as I understood it): there is some kind of mysterious pattern. Seemingly unrelated weird and horrific events might have something to do with it. Apparently, the only one who can make sense of it is loony professor Walter Bishop. And apparently, the only one who can get the professor to co-operate is his brilliant but troubled son… Pacey!

Of course (mild spoilers), the two leads must have this will-they-or-won’t-they chemistry. This means the FBI-agent Dunham’s currently banging will have to either die or turn out to be evil (or both). Furthermore, there will be loads of pseudo-scientific mumbo-jumbo (check), cool and creepy special effects (check), a nefarious organisation and more questions than answers (check and check).

It might have been my mildly intoxicated state (I crashed a physics BBQ), or just my general disdain for show that present “science” as being something arcane and really more like magic, but I couldn’t get very exited about all this. The tone was also a bit too self-serious to my liking, and Pacey (yes, I am going to keep on calling him that) a bit lackluster. I will give this one one or two more episodes to hook me (unlike, say, 90210), but so far, it isn’t doing it for me.

Except, that is, for the final quote, which is pure campy ridiculousness.

Anyway, did you watch? What did you think? Or do you find J.J. to be impossible overrated?

4 Responses to “Fall Pilot Review: Fringe”

  1. cjKennedy said

    I’m a huge fan of mystery/conspiracy shows so I tuned into this one. I kind of hated it. Admittedly after about 20 minutes it didn’t have my full attention, but whose fault is that? It’s the show’s fault, right?

    JJ Abrams is massively overrated in my book.

  2. Lanchka said

    That dude looks like a cross between Kiefer Sutherland and Dexter. Too bad his show is not quite as impressive. I’ll be interested to hear if later episodes that you watch can mitigate the meh-ness engendered by this unpromising premiere.

  3. Elizabeth said

    I kind of hated it. I was willing to give it a chance, because I liked the X-Files, and I’m still on board with LOST, but I hate decaying corpses, so the melty faces lost me right there, and I have no interest in Pacey, so when they (apparently) got rid of the vastly more attractive Mark Valley, that was it for me. Nobody I know has had much to say about the later episodes.

  4. sarcastig said

    Yeah…I watched half of the second episode, then decided it’s not worth my time. I already watch so many shows (and am behind on half of them). I mean, I haven’t even watched the second heroes episode yet (ok, granted, heroes is pretty bad too, but at least it has enjoyable moments).

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