, the latest J.J. Abrams
show, has been reviewed and opinions are mixed on the new series set to appear tomorrow night.
As reported by Hollywood.com, Abrams has been out and about promoting his new series, which focuses on an FBI agent played by Anna Torv who investigates strange occurrences of "fringe" science.
When asked how he felt about Fringe being compared to X-Files, Abrams said, "When I did 'Felicity,' it was 'Ally McBeal' in college. When I did 'Lost,' it was 'Gilligan's Island' and 'Survivor' meets 'Twilight Zone.' We're doing this, it's 'X-Files.' I'm used to that sort of thing and I'm always so grateful that they're referring to something that's great. 'X-Files,' to me, you know, was a seminal influence. And so as much as I love the 'Twilight Zone' and 'Night Stalker' and [David] Cronenberg films and [Michael] Crichton movies, all these things connect in some way and 'X-Files' is right there at the top of the list. So I would be a fool to say, 'Oh, there's no influence, there's no connection,' I mean, clearly, it's an FBI agent and weird stuff. I do think the similarities sort of end there, but I could see the comparison."
Fringe "was born out of our love of all things bizarre and kooky in media we loved growing up," explained Abrams as reported by AMCTV.com. "The 'X-Files' was definitely one of the sources of inspiration, as were things like The 'Twilight Zone' and 'Nightstalker.' We actually did an episode of 'Alias' once guest starring David Cronenberg as a mad scientist. It was something I felt could be a TV show, the idea of a Frankenstinian mad doctor, the classic cliché character, but done in a way that Cronenberg has treated a lot of his out-there protagonists, where he makes them broken people and emotional characters."
Reviewers however, were critical of the seeming derivative nature of Fringe. According to Steve West of Cinemablend.com, ""The new Fox series created by Abrams, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (who had great success with Alias and are indeed the ones behind the upcoming 'Star Trek' film) is a pure exercise in potential and major errors in judgment. The opening scene, horrific and vile in its own right, calls to mind explicitly the pilot episode of 'Lost.' It is intentional, and is possibly the biggest mistake I’ve seen made by a creative team launching a new show."
Verne Gay of Newsday agreed, calling Fringe "derivative."
Other reviewers were more positive. "Lots of good action and lots of fun to boot," said Linda Stasi of the NY Post. "If you love 'Lost' and were crazy for 'Alias,' then have I got a show for you. It's called 'Fringe,' and it's a little bit of this and a lotta bits of that."
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