Against my will (initially), I watched Fringe last night. I was all set to ignore it, but my living-in-sin companion was all into it and I'm too lazy to get off the couch so I gave in. First I'm going to tell you about all the obvious plot devices, then I'm going to tell you about a wacky new show I'm going to pitch about a gravedigger who builds bombs in an old shed by the cemetery called Plot Devices.
So my sin companion is the one who got me into Lost, and I was a giant fan of Alias (and a lukewarm fan of Felicity one weekend when I was home sick and there was a marathon on Oxygen! or We! or some other Lady Network!), so I know J.J. Abrams does solid work. Except for the Felicity time travel finale. And also the pointless void known as Six Degrees, which is the main reason I didn't want to watch Fringe. I was soured on Jabrams because Six Degrees was more like Sucks Degrees. YES!
So let's count all the kooky things that were not entirely deal breakers on their own but stacked atop one another created a nice funeral pyre for my interest in the show.
Opening scene, plane crash, turbulence! OMIGOD! It's...Lost all over again.
Also...It's Lost music throughout the entire episode!
(But wait! people's faces were melting off in that first scene! I can live with this.)
Special Agent Olivia Dunham. How many officers of the law are named Olivia on TV vs. how many people named Olivia do you know in real life? You don't know any, right? 'Cause I don't.
Establishment shot of a location featuring giant letters floating in space - like "ESSEX COUNTY, MASSACHUSETTS" - ok, that looks neat, cool. Cut to someone in the scene walking under a close up shot of the letter C. They took that graphic a titch too far.
Uh oh - crazy volatile scientist alert!
Crazy volatile scientist's disapproving son alert!
Son disapproves so much that he would rather be in Iraq! Mention of Iraq alert! (what is this, a Sorkin show?)
Disapproving son's warning to Olivia Dunham that his father is dangerous alert!
Eventual warming of disapproving son to crazy volatile scientist father alert!
People eating Chinese food out of cartons with chopsticks. Seriously, TV execs? I haven't gotten a carton from a Chinese restaurant since I was nine. They all use plastic now.
There's a cow on the show! Of course. The cow's name is Jean, because that's wacky.
The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd has a bionic hand! Ok, didn't see that coming to be honest, but I don't trust this woman any further than I can throw her. Also, that is some crazy CGI that they'll have to keep up for the whole show. Unless she re-grows a hand. Because it sounds like that would not be impossible on this show. There's a lot of talk about regeneration and mind reading and stuff that I could get from Heroes, if I still watched Heroes (worst show ever! sorry people but I watched season 1 and kind of just wished everyone blew up at the end).
Molly Dodd mentions "The Pattern" and Olivia Dunham is like "The HUH?" and Molly Dodd is like "Oh, you don't know about the Pattern?" and I mean, come on. "Oh really? You don't know about the Others/Smoke Monster/Hatch?" Out with it, Jabrams! Don't be like that. Unless this is a Project Runway challenge, lets get on with explaining the Pattern.
Olivia Dunham and her comatose, see-through boyfriend meet in mindspace, only they're standing on...a seal of the FBI? She enters his mind and that's what he is mentally standing on? Sure. We are in the guy's mind which is also populated with mountains and is very windy and whimsical, but his choice of flooring is the FBI seal. 'k.
Someone asks crazy volatile scientist "What do we do now?" and his response from the auto-script-dialogue-generator is "Now...we wait."
There's an unseen-billionaire-Bill-Gates-metaphor guy named William Bell. Also, see: Linderman on Heroes. I thought he was the end of the line in diabolical rich guys, and now I have another one to not see until the right evil guy is cast.
I won't say anything about people who you thought were good turning bad or anything in case you're hoping to catch the series premiere encore on Sunday (But: spoiler alert! that happens!), but I will just say that hey, I wasn't entirely sold on Lost either for the first few episodes and look how good that is! Maybe they will introduce a future-seeing Scottish guy and all will be right with the series.