Fringe: Well This Sounds Familiar...

I thought this show was going to be so good. I thought it would be scary and interesting and fun. If there had to be an X-Files rip-off, J.J. Abrams seemed liked the guys to make it. But no. Instead we get a show that is not at all scary (and trust me, I get scared very easily. I was scared of "Mulan" the first time I saw it. I was scared of "Muppet Treasure Island." And ok, those were a long time ago, but I may have also recently screamed during a movie that was billed as a comedy. But let's not go into that, ok?) It's not at all interesting (there were times last night when I considered switching over to "Privileged," which, by the by, continues to be a sweet, happy show- sort of Gilmore Girls-lite.)

In addition to clunky-beyond-belief exposition, the storyline of last night's episode was almost exactly like the X-Files episode "Squeeze". Let's compare, shall we?

Fringe: Introduces Freak Of Nature
X-Files: Introduces Freak Of Nature
F: FON kills
X-F: FON kills
F: Our heroes get called in on the case
X-F: Our heroes get called in on the case
F: One hero has an idea about how FON kills, knows his style- once every so many years, he comes out and kills a series of people and then disappears
X-F: One hero has an idea about how FON kills, knows his style- once every so many years, he comes out and kills a series of people and then disappears
F: FON goes to kill again, but gets stopped by heroes
X-F: FON goes to kill again, but gets stopped by heroes
F: Turns out he's a genetic freak who has to kill (but only extracts the part that he needs- the pituitary gland) to stay alive
X-F: Turns out he's a genetic freak who has to kill (but only extracts the part that he needs- the liver) to stay alive

Except in The X-Files, the killer was so creepy and disgusting that I'm getting chills writing about it now at 3 in the afternoon. It was scary! So scary! Creepy yellow eyes. Totally gave me nightmares. And of course in The X-Files, one of the heroes was in actual danger (Scully almost got her liver removed). In the end, Eugene Tooms, the mutant, got away (and then he came back a few seasons later and killed some more. Seriously, those episodes were really popular ("Squeeze" was the first "Monster of the Week" episode)- if these Fringe writers know anything about science fiction, they know these X-Files episodes).

And yes, this episode also had the rapidly aging baby (which could have been really cool, but... wasn't.) Massive Dynamic got some more screen time. And we were introduced to the possibly that Peter Bishop has a sketchy medical history that only his dad knows about (and now Olivia knows something's up, but doesn't know what). The father-son interactions are really the only highlight to these otherwise surprisingly dull episodes (I loved "Do you have any cocaine?"), but that's going to get old fast if the rest of the show doesn't shape up.

The biggest problem remains that the main character is so stiff and dull that she brings down every scene that she's in (and there are a lot of them.) She's not annoying, or obnoxious, or mean, she's just there. She should be a sympathetic character, someone that we care about (she is the main character, after all). Instead, she's just taking up space. She sucks all of the energy out of the room. Oh hey, that could be a case- someone who has the ability to destroy energy. Not scientifically possible, but I'm sure they could find some way to explain it (well um we did these top secret experiments that proved that you can create and destroy energy that nobody knows about except the people at Massive Dynamic who might be behind all of the crazy stuff that's been happening. Could everything be interconnected? *gasp* No way! Is the corporation actually evil? No way! Will Olivia and Peter fall in love but not sleep together until February sweeps of season three? No way!)

2 comments:

TiVo Queen said...

so much agreed. there's no getting around a boring heroine.

annonymom said...

Ditto. This show can not compare to the X Files - the acting and the story. The star just doesn't hold up as an FBI agent - there isn't that cool juxtaposition between the buttoned-down FBI vibe that Scully and Mulder had and the wacky stuff they investigated.

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