Sunday, January 11, 2009
What Bugs Me About Fringe: Part One
You know, I've started this post two or three times and just never gotten around to finishing it, but seeing the promos for the second half of Fringe's first season really solidified something in my mind. The thing that bugs me the most is that fucking robot arm. In the first episode, when Olivia met with the suit from Massive Dynamics (can't remember her name, but it might as well be Deus Ex Machina), to show the benevolence of the company's owner, she shows off the nifty robot arm he gave her to replace the one she lost to cancer.
See, with The X-Files being one of my favorite TV series ever, it's obvious that I'll make comparisons, seeing as how they're pretty much the same, ie. FBI Agents exploring weird shit. However, The X-Files always went out of their way to make things somewhat plausible. At the end of the day, most of the stories could be explained by delusion or some other, real-world type of explanation, and even the more fantastical stuff was grounded in a some form of reality. Hell, the aliens in the show didn't run around blasting each other with lasers...fuck no! They stabbed each other in the neck with ice picks.
But in Fringe, that robot arm showed that all bets were off, we were no longer grounded in reality and in full on, sci-fi zone. This show does not take place in anything close to the "real" world (unless you listen to a lot of Coast to Coast AM), and it does not have to play by the physical rules as we know them. Once I saw that, I just started to care less. It's not that it resides in that zone, it's that it went out its way to flaunt it in its first episode. Take Fringe's older brother, Lost. A show it is obviously meant to be a companion to (the in-jokes leading me to believe that they even take place in the same "universe"), Lost, though dealing in the fantastical as well, didn't delve into the full-on, anything can happen, sci-fi realm before its third season, when it had earned the audience's trust through a lot of very good story-telling. In my mind, it had earned that leap. Everyone who was watching had seen the clues along the way, the polar bear, the subtle time-shifts, the smoke monster. But at any time, there could have been a "rational" explanation. Then they took the plunge and it worked. It just seemed cheap to me that Fringe took that leap without earning it, like they took the believability of the series for granted.
Ah, what do I know, I'm just some crank on the internet. Plus I keep watching, but really, I can't deny the awesomeness of crazy-Walter. I wish the show was just about him.
Yes, apparently, this is the first in a possible series, as there are some other things that bug me about Fringe and I will continue to keep venting them at you until you go to everyone of my Amazon affiliate links and buy all of the shit that I am pushing on you.