Pilot Review – Fringe (FOX)

Fringe cast
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The What:
From J.J. Abrams (Lost), Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, the team behind Star Trek, Mission: Impossible III and Alias, comes a new drama that will thrill, terrify and explore the blurring line between science fiction and reality. When an international flight lands at Boston’s Logan Airport and the passengers and crew have all died grisly deaths, FBI Special Agent OLIVIA DUNHAM (newcomer Anna Torv) is called in to investigate.

After her partner, Special Agent JOHN SCOTT (Mark Valley, Boston Legal), is nearly killed during the investigation, a desperate Olivia searches frantically for someone to help, leading her to DR. WALTER BISHOP (John Noble, Lord of the Rings), our generation’s Einstein. There’s only one catch: he’s been institutionalized for the last 20 years, and the only way to question him requires pulling his estranged son PETER (Joshua Jackson, Dawson’s Creek) in to help.

When Olivia’s investigation leads her to manipulative corporate executive NINA SHARP (Blair Brown, Altered States), our unlikely trio along with fellow FBI Agents PHILLIP BROYLES (Lance Reddick, The Wire), CHARLIE FRANCIS (Kirk Acevedo, Oz) and ASTRID FARNSWORTH (Jasika Nicole, Law & Order: Criminal Intent) will discover that what happened on Flight 627 is only a small piece of a larger, more shocking truth. Source: FOX

The Who:
Anna Torv, Blair Brown, Jasika Nicole, John Noble, Joshua Jackson, Kirk Acevedo, Lance Reddick, Mark Valley

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The (How) Good!:
Going into this, I had high expectations. It is J.J. Abrams after all. The master behind one of my all-time favorite shows and a seeming genius when it comes to dramatic tv. I also knew going in that I love the cast. I’ve loved Joshua Jackson since Dawson’s Creek, Kirk Acevedo was on the short-lived Law & Order: Trial By Jury and guested on several of the shows I watch, Mark Valley has been one of my favorites for a long time, from Days of Our Lives and Keen Eddie to most recently as Brad Chase on Boston Legal. I also enjoy watching Lance Reddick on shows such as Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, CSI: Miami & others.

Even with the high hopes, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. Fringe immediately grabs your attention and doesn’t hold back during the intense, gore-filled opening bits. And from the moment we meet the core cast, they draw you in and you begin to care about what is happening to them and around them. There are several intense and shocking moments in the 2-hour premiere and a few spots to make you laugh out loud (Joshua Jackson is terrific in this role doing that).

Fringe 4

The Why?!?!?!:
The one negative I have is the labels they put up when you go to a new place. Most shows will flash a bit at the bottom of the screen telling you that the characters are now in such-and-such town or country and they aren’t obtrusive or annoying. Unfortunately Fringe decided to take a much more… direct approach. Looking like big block letters (& I do mean big) on a sign with no background, they are placed in weird positions. At one point, we are looking down at the roofs of buildings and we see the new location spread across the tops of the roofs. Several times, they look like big signs in the middle of the road and the camera just goes right through them into the scene. Finally, on one, we see the location from the top so we can read it and the camera pans down and around to come up from behind and below and we see one letter of it from underneath. It’s distracting and annoying (& really really silly looking, if you ask me…) but not so much that it detracts from my enjoyment of the show.

The When & Where:
Fringe airs on FOX at 9/8c (with a premiere date of September 9th at an earlier time of 8/7c) and has a good lead-in with House but is up against one of the biggest draws in the Fall, Dancing with the Stars. It’s also up against the new shows The Mentalist on CBS and Surviving the Filthy Rich on the CW and the returning The Biggest Loser on NBC.

Check it out on FOX.com.

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4 Responses to Pilot Review – Fringe (FOX)

  1. bookjunkie says:

    I thought the captions were unusual and interesting. I understand why you might find them obstrusive, but all captions are somewhat obstrusive. These were kind of unique.

  2. Jenny says:

    Eh, I dunno, they just seem to be put in such strange places and they are huge. lol I just ignore them now though. 🙂

  3. Shadow says:

    I happen to adore the show, its got kinks but all new shows do. Bring on more Fringe



  4. Jenny says:

    Yeah, I really like it too. 🙂