8/17/11

FRINGE SEASON 1 - REVIEW


Following a hugely popular show like Lost was always going to be tough but who knew that J.J. Abrams had one more trick up his sleeve?

From the very first scene of the Fringe pilot you know you're in good hands as a bunch of passengers on a plane (so far so Lost) start melting...

Yeah.

You guys just wait till you get to the zombie baby episode.

What Abrams has skilfully and seemingly effortlessly managed to do is single-handedly reinvent the FBI cop series into a sort of sci-fi/50's B movie/CSI hybrid which on paper really shouldn't work but actually does just that, and beautifully so. It might take a bit of time for Fringe to grow on people but it's pretty clear for anyone having followed it from the very beginning that this is the natural successor to X-Files. Not that aliens are at all involved but in terms of sheer serious out-there-ness and cleverness of concept, Fringe is right up there and has a definite sense of fun to it not to mention lots of creativity to go around.

Put in some great characters, ridiculous (but awesome) twists at every corner, that guy from Dawson's Creek and you've got yourself something pretty darn special.

The show sees FBI agent Olivia Dunham (played solidly by Anna Torv) become part of a "Fringe" division of the Bureau. In other words, she joins forces with a mad scientist, his wise-cracking son, a stern bald guy and a cow among others to crack some of the weirdest cases out there. All of which are actually part of a "Pattern" and lead up to some mysterious cataclysmic event of some sort. Oh, and a dodgy corporation run by a creepy lady with a robot arm also has a hand in all the madness taking place.  

The mad scientist in question is Walter Bishop (played to perfection by John Noble), a friendly enough kook with unusual working methods to say the least and occasional child-like cravings. This is one character which could have easily just been played for laughs but along the way Walter displays facets to his personality and history which make him an unpredictable, potentially deeply troubled individual with about a million secrets. All of them conveniently forgotten but super important.  

As the first season progressed towards its nail-biting conclusion, I started to remember how ass the first season of Lost actually was and wondered why it couldn't have been as good as this and why it got so much more press than this little treat. The ending of the first season may be a weird, unexpected one but it works and sports enough twists and turns to make you rush to season 2 as fast as possible and trust me, you don't want to miss what happens to Charlie (Kirk Acevedo).

Great show, great season and if you're wondering when the zombie baby episode takes place, you'll just have to wait till the 22nd episode. But fear not, it's well worth it.

Keep it up.


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