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Focusing on Fringe

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I don't know about Fringe, I simply don't.

I watch the show every week, or at least on the week's that there are new episodes, but I can't figure out if I really enjoy it.  I think that, perhaps, the reason I'm so up in the air about the show is that I find the episodes so terribly uneven. 

Fringe has weeks were I think the show is terribly fun and smart and fascinating.  Most of those are the weeks that deal with the big-picture story instead of the freak-of-the-week stuff.  Some of those FoW episodes are good, particularly the massive-sized cold virus one.  That was just the right amount of disgusting and weird. 

Okay, that episode may have had something to do with the larger story as well, in fact it probably does.  It's almost certainly of this "Pattern" which now may be related to the notion of a multiverse and a war between our Earth and Earths that aren't quite our Earths.  Does that make sense?

See, that's another problem with the show, it doesn't matter how much attention I pay to the show, how much I concentrate on what's going on, I find it very hard to remember from one week to the next what's going on with those episodes that may or may not be part of the larger picture.  I'm not quite sure why that is, but I'm placing the problem squarely on their shoulders, not mine (mine already hurt from a little too much Wii Fit-ting yesterday, but at least I beat the trainer in the highest level of one of the challenges). 

I think that a lot of the problem relates to the fact that the show is so very obtuse about such things.  Massive Dynamic has their hand in everything that takes place, but we, right now, don't know terribly much about what they're doing and why and who they're working for.  They're evil, they're not evil; they're good, they're bad, they're ugly; they're fighting for us, they're fighting against us, they're fighting for us but are against us anyway. 

I'm not against the obtuseness, it's certainly Fringe's prerogative, and by keeping things murky they certainly help keep viewers tuned in… at least they do right up until they don't.  Right now I think it would be great to sit down at the end of the season and watch the entire thing on DVD when it comes out (and you and I both know that it will be released this summer).  My Tuesdays aren't currently business enough however for me to need to shunt all of Fringe to summertime viewing, but I can see a world in which they would be, and why it is that Fringe, a show that allows information to trickle out ever so slowly, would get moved to a point where I could watch all 22 episodes over the course of five days instead of 40 weeks.

But, then again, last night's episode was just outstanding.  It really advanced the overall plot, it kept me completely entranced, and I can't wait to find out more about this battle between parallel worlds.  Of course, now we're not going to get another episode for a while.  If Fringe comes out with a one-off episode upon their return instead of advancing the larger plot I'll probably be massively disappointed.

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About Josh Lasser

Josh has deftly segued from a life of being pre-med to film school to television production to writing about the media in general. And by 'deftly' he means with agonizing second thoughts and the formation of an ulcer.
  • http://www.dorksandlosers.com Tan The Man

    Josh, you perfectly sum up my feelings for the show. The last few episodes have been disappointingly derivative…