Let me just tell you right away that I am already loving this show. You all know I am a huge fan of Alias and Lost, so the fact that I am ALL OVER J.J. Abrams’ new show, Fringe, should come as no surprise. I finally got to see the premiere tonight and it was far, far better than I expected it to be. I remember feeling super-excited about Six Degrees before it premiered, and it turned out to be rather ho-hum, so I was prepared for possible disappointment this time. Luckily, there was nothing disappointing about this great new show!
I’ll just tell you a little bit about it here, but don’t worry, there will be NO SPOILERS. Rest easy. I went into the show knowing basically nothing about it, which is the way I like to do things. So, if you are the same way, you may not want to read this post, because I am going to mention a few things about the premise of the show that you might not already know.
Okay then! If you’re still here, let’s proceed!
This is the main character, Agent Olivia:
She’s no Sydney Bristow, for sure (a serious dearth of cute wigs so far!), but she does have the earnest expression and the ponytail. The premiere also established her as an extremely resourceful badass, so I am expecting good things to come from her. The fake American accent is a tad noticeable (she’s Australian, as I discovered via IMDb), but I am feeling generous and will therefore ignore it! (BTW, if you went to grad school with me, you might notice that she looks EXACTLY like one of my program colleagues. It is uncanny, dude!)
And here we have Peter Bishop, ably played by Pacey Witter (the only person from Dawson’s Creek whom I don’t mind seeing back on the small screen):
He’s also quite the badass, reportedly, and — like any good character on a J.J. Abrams show — has daddy issues. I hope he’s sticking around for the duration, because I’d like to see some of his badassedness in action.
We’ve also got That Dude from The Wire (like I’ve said before, I cannot be bothered to learn all the characters’ or actors’ names on that show):
As on The Wire, he’s got a simmering intensity and we’re not quite sure what his deal is (quite like all the best characters on Alias and Lost, of course!) Could he be the Sloane of this show, or the Dixon? Or maybe the Ben? We’ll have to watch and see!
Of course I have to mention some of the design elements of the show, starting with these strange titles:
The main title sequence features the word “FRINGE” in these sort of silvery 3D letters on the screen, and each time a location title is shown, the same letters are integrated into the image. It’s…bold. But I don’t think I am a fan. If they’re going to keep it they’ve got to budget more for the graphics guy and get him to smooth out the edges a little bit. The CGI is way too apparent.
One element I really like is the typically creepy institutional interiors:
These kinds of sets are easy to find in any J.J. show, and they never fail to add to the ick factor. This one reminds me of the set they had when Sydney had to go undercover in that mental hospital in Romania (or wherever). Creepy, I tell you!
Another typical element is the bright white business interior:
This looks just a bit evocative of the inside of APO headquarters on Alias — the place that TWOP recappers and forum posters referred to as “The Apple Store.” Frankly, I think it looks awesome!
And finally, I absolutely must mention the weird science:
Even casual viewers of Alias and Lost will know that weird science is a hallmark of the J.J. canon, and it’s being quite well represented here! The premise of the show involves a special unit in the FBI dedicated to investigating the fringes (aha!) — things normally thought of as paranormal, but that can be achieved through science and technology. It’s the equivalent of Rambaldi or the Dharma Initiative, and it looks to be equally AWESOME. I mean, come on! Any time a lady is immersed in a tub of liquid wearing only her bra and a bunch of science wires, you know something spooky, mysterious, and excellent is about to go down, and do not try to tell me any different!
If you loved and miss Alias, or if you’re waiting on tenterhooks for the new season of Lost to begin this winter, you absolutely MUST check out Fringe. Fox is airing a “special encore” of the premiere episode on Sunday at 8 Eastern/7 Central, or you can watch it online here. The new episode airs Tuesday at 9 Eastern/8 Central.