Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Endymion, Nov 27, 2009.
Fringe's overall mytharc is quite original, I think.
Sure, a 98 for the incredibly acclaimed fourth season. You'll notice the lesser appreciated final season drops to an 89, and if the first season was listed it would be far lower. Many important critics panned The Wire during its first season.
Of course, Fringe still looks like an X-Files knock-off with a criminally wasted cast (Lance Reddick!) and no sense of mood to me. But I admit I haven't seen it at this point. Maybe if it lasts longer I'll give it a shot.
The Wire, in any event, is one of the finest television series ever made, if not the finest. It's not perfect (the second season could have been plotted better, and the final season suffers from a reduced episode order), but it's hard to beat.
Yeah, a lot of people shunned The Wire during the first season.
By that same standard, can you ridicule people who like Star Trek by saying that The Godfather is better?
Star Trek (2009): 83.
The Godfather: 100.
As somebody who enjoyed both films, sounds about right.
I don't want to hijack the thread, and have said my peace. I don't like procedurals, and my distaste increases in direct proportion to their lack of realism. Well, okay, now I've said my peace.
I caught the pilot for Fringe when it first aired and was severely underimpressed, so I passed on it. Maybe it gets better, maybe I should give it another chance (alternate universes? Mr. Spock? Sounds good to me) but the initial impression wasn't favourable at all. There was also some rather moronic technobabbly reason for the female lead to strip to her underwear, which, er, yeah.
I don't like procedurals either, and Dexter is my favourite show on TV.
Weird. I do like the show less when it drifts away from the dark wit of being a serial killer, though.
Dexter isn't a procedural.
Well, cop shows then. I don't like cop shows, procedural or otherwise. Bore the hell out of me.
Tough to argue against the unimpressive beginning of the show, or with the technobabble expositions (which crop up more than they should). The show does get better, but its weakest aspects are the "cop procedural" elements. For me, the show generates just enough interest by way of its mythology and its characters (especially Walter) to justify calling it "entertaining." But I doubt Fringe will ever be mistaken as a great show like The Wire -- or even cutting edge like Dexter. It's possible, but Fringe will have to evolve quite a bit before that happens.
Are you sure you don't want to repeat the same thing for a 3rd time in this thread... There's always a chance we missed it the first two times!
^^ That's fair, but I must note in my defense that more people were replying to my remarks than calling for a return to the OP before I made that post.
To agree with others, the character of Walter Bishop is extremely entertaining. He's not believable. The show can't seem to make up its mind about how mentally ill Walter is. Even worse, the producers seem to think that a mentally ill scientist is a particularly well qualified one, instead of one who can't do science because he's sick.
One character doesn't make a show, however. Peter Bishop is slowly being modified to a character hanging around because he wants a relationship with his father. But his original motive (horny for Olivia Dunham) still lingers, and the show's plots are all skewed because there's no real reason for him to even be there, much less be Olivia's partner/boy friend. The producers seem to think that Peter's militant ignorance makes him cool, instead of realizing it just makes his presence even more inexplicable.
The so-called mytharc is only interesting in respect to the Walter/Peter dynamic.
The less said about Olivia the better. Anna Torv is very attractive so maybe you won't want to throw things at the tv when her character's on.
My recommendation is do not, do not, buy this until it's marked down to $6 for a season set at Big Lots.
Every once and a while there's a rare example in which this does work out, such as Patrick McGoohan as Number Six on The Prisoner.
But from what I've seen of Walter (which is to say, a few youtube clips), he's not enough to hang the show on. An amusing supporting character can't keep a ship of leading characters who aren't the least bit interesting afloat.
I wish Lance Reddick was on a better show, but he's probably earning more money on Fringe than he did on The Wire, and it's a good stepping stone to a role in the next Abrams Trek movie, too.
^^^Lance Reddick is a supporting character. Walter is a main character, and the de facto star of the show. At least, in the sense that he is the only thing worth watching on it.
He may be the only thing worth watching on it, but aren't the young FBI agents (The Mulder/Scully clones) the supposed leads?
Only Olivia Dunning is an FBI agent, Peter is Walter's son and Walter is in his custody since Walter was in a mental hospital. But I think all three are the leads of the show. And I do think the relationship between Peter and Olivia is closer to a brother and sister relationship than a romantic one.
Personally I really like the show, it started out a bit of an X-Files clone but it goes off in it's own direction late in the season. But they have X-Files style eps. even into the second season.
Walter, Peter and Olivia are the three leads. Walter is the heart of the show (his silent breakdown in the diner in 1x19 alone was award-worthy), and is one of the two or three very best characters on TV right now (up there with Gemma Morrow on Sons of Anarchy and Bobby Singer on Supernatural). Frankly, he is enough to hang the show on.
To say that Olivia and Peter are clones of the original leads of The X-Files is to do the show a disservice, though. Their vastly different backstories and worldviews are more than enough to differentiate them. Granted, it owes its origins to Carter's series, but has more in common with stories like Planetary.
The sense I get is the writers view Olivia, Peter and Walter as the primary characters and who the focus of the stories are directed while Astrid, Nina and Broyles are the supporting cast.
Astrid is not much more than a glorified but amiable extra. Nina is hardly seen anymore but I always found her intriguing. Broyles is okay but nothing to exciting. I actually preferred him on LOST as Abaddon who himself was not much more than a plot device. Strangely enough season one's enigmatic Mr Jones was a far more interesting character than all of the others in my opinion. Olivia/Peter lack the chemistry--platonic or otherwise--that Scully and Mulder had and what made TXF such a wonderful viewing experience.
The problem isn't that they do freaks of the week type stories--the problem is that they aren't the least bit fresh or clever with any sort of interesting spin or twist. It pretty much is straightforward as we sit through the motions as they go from point A to point B by the end of the hour. It also has a bad habit of being formulaic in that some mumbo jumbo gadget saves the day. Those were big problems in season one and the only time we got a break from that was with the mythology episodes which injected some genuine mystery and suspense as to what is going on and what would happen next. That is why the show desperately needs to be the kind of heavily serialized show that LOST or season one Heroes is/was. It forces the writers to carve out a unique identity for the show.
The "freak of the week" formula on The X-Files was taken from the original Night Stalker show, so it's not new either way you look at it. But they can still provide some good shocks which really is the point of the storylines to being with.
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