FRINGE pilot -- a great beginning - Mania.com



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FRINGE pilot -- a great beginning

September 10, 2008


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FRINGE. I'm a big fan of JJ Abrams' work, yet when I read of the announcement of this show on the Cinescape/Mania site months ago, I have to admit I kinda winced. why? because it sounded too pat. too "been there done that." I felt that the female FBI agent solving mysteries with a young gambler and his super-scientist father was just... trying to hard. too similar to other things, yet trying to be something "new", too this, but not enough of that. too... meh. I'm glad I was wrong. actually, I remember thinking, "X-Files is such a good idea, but I feel like they let it get too unwieldy... if they could reign that in..." well they did. sure it's NOT X-FILES but the comparisons will be drawn and they're to a flattering end. also, it's a good way to quickly explain to someone what they'll be getting into... yet it's actually nothing like X-FILES, and that's where they kinda do a sleight of hand on us. it's better than X-FILES because it plays cleaner, seems more focused, even from the start. in this pilot they started 'er right up, set a tone for the show, and let you know that there's a bigger story just a little deeper. there are twists as well, and the big fun? the "fringe-science" that the title (and title credits) suggests. the notion that we're living in this science fiction world we've been reading about and watching for years. and the scariest thought of all -- that it may be going and growing faster than we can handle it. Michael Crichton wrote about it in NEXT. so many others have touched on it too. so I really dig that the show kinda tricks you with the whole X-FILES thing, and delivers more. I like that - make no mistake - this is good fun genre stuff. but I like that it's never easy. not for the characters and not for us. I like that "the pattern" (to use some of the best of the LESS IS MORE aesthetic) is hinted at more than once, but that it's the tip of the iceberg... yet it feels like it's going to be a true mystery, with a real resolution. Abrams let the very good ALIAS sort of unravel just as it was taking hold. he's made comments to that fact, and so, it feels that with this, he's going to take this one and really deliver. my hopes are that the FRINGE (science) that drives this show will be equally fun and exciting to watch (that it never goes corny or for straight comedy that's unmotivated). if it holds, then I think the cast and crew (loved the way the show looked and was shot!) will deliver us another great show to love for years to come. the real question is: what's next?

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