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taoman1121 (profile) wrote,
on 5-10-2010 at 1:23am
Subject: Fringe - A Show on the Rise
So, I have a question for you fellow TV viewers out there: When did Fringe all of a sudden get so good??

I've been watching this show since the beginning, and despite the fact I immediately saw it for what it was (a 'X-Files' ripoff), it didn't stop me from making it a part of my regular viewing rotation for the past couple of years. While I've always enjoyed (most of) the characters and its escapist/sci-fi tones, I always felt it was vastly inconsistent. Well, that's not entirely true... it was consistent in its inconsistency. The mythology episodes were usually good-to-great, while the stand-alone episodes were usually boring-to-silly. But something's happened since it came back from hiatus. To start, even the one-offs have been captivating, with the time-traveling episode guest starring Peter Weller (aka RoboCop) the most noteworthy example. But, more importantly, I think the showrunners are finally letting the characters and the storyline find their own voice. Yes, they are still ripping off 'The X-Files' (even going so far as cribbing the "I Want to Believe" tagline in last week's episode), but for once, I'm able to see past the similarities because I find myself totally engaged in the stories on their own merits and not as a derivative of another show. To wit, last week's twist evoked an audible reaction from me usually reserved only for my most "hardcore" shows. (As a side note to complete the 'X-Files' comparison, they have even managed to do something the veritable FOX show couldn't, making local law enforcement characters richly detailed with their own angles and motivations. Hell, it's even picking up at the same time 'The X-Files' did: late second season.)

More than anything, the one facet of this show that has kept me coming back through its ups and downs (and is all the more richer now that the rest of the show has caught up) is Walter Bishop. Make no mistake, John Noble's character is the best, most complete, and engaging currently on television (and yes, I'm including 'LOST' in that discussion). There's no other character I can think of--on any medium--that can have me laughing out loud one moment, pulling on my heartstrings the next, than back to guffaws, all within the space of a single scene, as the supermarket scene in last week's "Northwest Passage" did (see link below). Noble's performance is absolutely gripping, and the range and nuance he brings to the already juicy lines reminds me of how criminal it is that this man has not even yet been nominated, let alone won, for this role yet. (Seriously Hollywood, get on this!)

If you haven't seen the show or previously gave up on it, now's the time to give it a(nother) chance. As sad as I am to know that my favorite Leonard Nimoy won't be making any appearances past this season, I can't wait to see where they take it from here.

"Delicious Strawberry-Flavored Death!":
http://www.hulu.com/watch/144902/fringe-northwest-passage
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