When The X-Files ended its nine-season stranglehold on the bizarre, it created a vacuum. In this void, hundreds of shows showed up and competed for the market on the strange, the odd, and the otherworldly, simply to recapture the glory days of X-Files. J.J. Abrams, fresh from Star Trek and Lost, decided that it was time to try to fill the emptiness once again. With this in mind, he created Fringe.
Fringe is a show that follows FBI agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv), a crazy scientist named Walter Bishop (John Noble), and his son, Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson), who happens to be good at everything. The trio head around the country, finding paranormal and odd activities, and then attempt to solve them. Pretty straightforward, right?
Well, it is way too straightforward. Instead of a show like Lost, Abrams decided to make a show where you only need to see every third episode or so. This way, the audience has more freedom, and they can choose which shows they want to watch. While this seems beneficial, it actually harms the show. I really hate TV shows that have little in common between episodes, where you can jump in and out. These shows don't foster a feeling of connection or loyalty with the audience. Hopefully, in future seasons we'll be able to see better connected episodes.
Not all in Fringe is bad. I really do like the different cases, the complexity of the scenarios, and enjoy watching the characters interact, trying to solve the case, and simply trying to make sense of what is going on around them. Like other 'mystery' shows (House and Lost, to name two), Fringe makes sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. To me, this is the tell of a good episode, and something that I am happy to keep on watching.
Another thing that I like about Fringe is how the show looks. Using a massive budget, and plenty (lots) of special effects, Fringe lays on the gore. People melt in front of your eyes, stomachs are expelled, and blood is in almost every scene. I like how visceral the shows are, and, frankly, how gory it gets. This might just be the college male in me, but I really like how disgusting this show looks.
Speaking of the looks, Fringe: The Complete First Season is presented in stunning 1080p. With a smooth transfer onto the disc, Fringe makes sure to please the eyes. All of the colors are vibrant, the textures are smooth (or rough, depending on what the scene needs), and the contrasts are clear. The colors are so well done that the blood (hey look, that gore thing again) looks extremely realistic. The Blu-ray transfer of Fringe is stunning, simply stunning.