Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Return of Pacey -- or -- The "Fringe" Premiere

Lost creator J.J. Abrams' newest series, Fringe, premiered last night. I was excited because I knew it was supposed to revolve around "fringe science" fields like teleportation, nanotechnology and mind control.

I couldn't get to sleep after watching it. But it wasn't because of anything I saw in the show, it was because I couldn't remember what Pacey from Dawson's Creek's last name was.

Joey... Potter.

Dawson... ... ... Dawson... ... oh, yeah, Leery.

Pacey... Pacey... what was his last name?!?!

Finally it came to me: Witter. Ah, yes. Witter.

And then I got some shut-eye.

The reason I was even thinking about all of this is because Joshua Jackson, who played my beloved Pacey, now stars in Fringe. So you can guess how good I thought Fringe was if I spent the night reminiscing about Dawson's Creek...

That's right, I was really underwhelmed by Fringe. It bored me. And confused me. Haven't I seen this show before, only it was much better and was called The X-Files? Haven't I heard this score before, only it was much better and was on Lost? Haven't I seen that guy before? Only he was more awesome and was on Dawson's Creek? Haven't I also seen that other guy before? Only he, too, was more awesome and was on Lost? What is going on?!?!

Yeah, Fringe just felt like a mishmash of a whole bunch of other shows that I love or have loved, and it didn't work. The coolest thing about the show was how it suspended 3-D-looking blocks of text in mid-air to explain the locations of scenes. Oh wait... I've seen that before, too! In the opening credits of Panic Room. Wow. There really was nothing original about Fringe.

I'm sure some of you out there saw it, thought it was decent and feel that I'm being too hard on the show, and you're probably right. But when I enjoyed watching 90210 more than Fringe, that says something about the entertainment value of the latter. Even the "this season on Fringe" preview clips didn't leave me curious.

My judgment has been made. Fringe just didn't do it for me. I really, really wanted it to. I still adore Joshua Jackson and would've liked a reason to see him again on a regular basis. But there's just only so much time in the week, and I feel like watching Fringe would be a waste of that precious time.

To leave this post on a happier note, Pacey and Joey reunited this week! Hmm, maybe that's not such good news. Pacey better keep himself far, far away from Tom Cruise, lest any of the Crazy Germs affect him!

Actually, that's a great idea for an episode plot. If the Fringe team ever investigates what in the hell is wrong with Tom Cruise, I will tune in again.

- e


Scott said...

Agree completely. I was very excited about this show, but when it was over I was depressed that I was bored all the way through it. I thought it was going to be an hour long, so I when it pushed on for that extra half hour, I thought, "Oh man, there's more."

I am going to give it a second chance though. I'm hoping maybe it was so bad because I thought it was going to be so good. I may even rewatch last night’s episode Maybe, just maybe, our expectations are what made it so bad. I’m crossing my fingers because I really want to like this show.

ALC said...

I, too, was under-whelmed. I am a huge LOST and X-Files geek, so this should have been right up my alley. But it wasn't, for a few reasons:

1) The show lacks a skeptic (so far) and therefore lacks conflict. From what I saw, everyone including the lead woman was quick to believe in the mad scientist and even quicker to believe that there is a mass government conspiracy afoot. The show needs a Scully or a Jack Shephard to keep it honest. Otherwise, every episode will be like Macgyver on paranormal steroids, where the main characters can get out of or explain any situation by saying "get me the flux capacitor and make sure we have enough magnesium sulfate to get us into hyper-drive" or other such made-up nonsense.

2) Shows like the X-Files and Lost unraveled the freaky a little more slowly, giving us bits and pieces about the conspiracies and supernatural stuff over time. More importantly, the viewing audience of Lost and the X-Files learns about the weirdness right along with the characters. With Fringe, I didn't feel involved as a viewer, because the characters already KNOW and ACCEPT everything--the mad scientist and Pacey know everything about synthetic compounds and all sorts of other pseudo-science, and Olivia goes along with it. The only thing she really learns in the pilot is that her boyfriend is playing for another team, but she is pretty quick to believe a terrorist over her own boyfriend. Overall, I felt like I was thrust into the middle of the series with the first episode last night, both in terms of plot and character development.

3) God this show takes itself seriously. The X-Files and Lost know how to use humor to diffuse tension, build characters, and poke fun at themselves, in a good way.

I've thought way too much about this.

Spenzer said...

I was pretty okay-ish with the show, I saw the preair that leaked like 2 months ago and I thought I could probably watch it if there was nothing else in my schedule. But the end just lost me. I mean really? The guy we were just trying to save over those 2 hours is the bad guy and dies? That wasn't messing with the expactations, that was just plain wrong on so many levels. That whole pilot episode was pointless ...

Islandgirl said...

Eh... I guess I can see some potential in this show. I will give it a few more episodes. Maybe my expectations are just too high? Or maybe I don't want to believe a J.J. project could suck? Say it ain't so!!

Anonymous said...

I was a little worried when I looked for e's take on Fringe, because I didn't like it and if e did then I would have to consider myself an idiot. So color me relieved. The relationship between the homeland security boss or whoever it was and the female lead (yeah, I can't even remember their names) felt very contrived, although at least it fit in with the rest of the show, which was equally contrived. The only way the federal government is able to reach out and touch someone in a mental hospital is if a family member agrees to come from Iraq? It was just bad.

And isn't the definition of being dead is that you no longer have brain activity? The coma communication was interesting, but there ain't no brain waves to synchronize once someone is dead.

This wasn't Bad Robot, it was just Bad.

Christy G said...

SO SAD!! haha i loved it. but i must say i'm too young for x-files, so i can't compare. and i loved your comment about the music because the whole time i was thinking, ah what is he doing, this is LOST music!!! but i did really like it and can't wait to see all the fringe science exploration. it will be the sci fi that will fill my LOST void during the fall. No worries though, this show could never ever surpass the greatness of LOST. oh how i miss it!!

Erika (aka "e") said...

Well, I'm glad to see I wasn't the only one who was disappointed. I had braced myself for a flood of angry tirades from fangirls and boys. But it seems that most of us are on the same page.

For those who continue to watch it, definitely let me know if it gets SIGNIFICANTLY better, and then I might give it another try, but right now I just don't see that happening.

And yes, if you never watched The X-Files, then I do think Fringe would be more bearable, because you wouldn't be constantly comparing the two in your head.

Oh, well, there's 45 more minutes that haven't vanished from my life each week.

- e

Erika (aka "e") said...

And specifically to ALC... yes, you have thought about this all A LOT, but I definitely agree with all of your well-thought-out points. Everyone was too willing to believe and it did feel like we had joined the show a few episodes in.

To to Spenzer, regarding the guy that died (can't remember names, either...) - not only do I agree that it was pointless, but I also felt from the very start that I didn't understand the intense "connection" between him and the main female lead. It just seemed like they had been fooling around on the sly for a while, he finally says "I love you," and then she's willing to possibly die for him? At the whim of some insane scientist she's never met before? It was too much. Perhaps if they had been a married-for-at-least-a-few-years couple and seemed to have more of a commitment, I would've understood her willingness to jump into that tank of water on LSD. With a cow mooing in the background. Ugh, I'm just embarrassed.

- e

Brian said...

In response to the linked article, I'm so glad someone's reaching out to Katie. As a giant Dawson's fan and a gianter Katie fan, I've been sad for her ever since she got married. I just hope she's ok.

And I agree with you. Josh played Pacey last night minus the sense of humor. He's a great pick for the role, I just hope he can round it out a bit.

PS - I don't know about you, but I don't like seeing Lost characters not on Lost. I don't want interviews, cameos...nothing. THey exist on Lost and that's it. Unless Kate wants to also exist in my apartment. That's cool.

Nicole said...

I didn't get a chance to watch the whole thing. I want to catch it make sure. In the 30 minutes I saw (and not the beginning) liked Josh and his Mad Scientist Dad. Did not like the girl. She just seemed aloof and yet whiny. Two things that shouldn't go together.

Tori said...

I agree with you completely. I was staying at my sister's place for the week and was glad she had recorded it on DVR... but when I started watching it I couldn't even finish it. My sister came home later in the week so I agreed to watch it with her. I made it all the way through that time, but only because she was there to complain to. We gave it an overall rating of "meh."

(My other observation about the mishmash effect was: series opening scene on airplane.... couldn't JJ come up with something ELSE?)

ALC said...

I watched episode #2 tonight because I was too lazy to change the channel after "House". Blech. It was like three bastardized X-Files episodes strung together by plot contrivance. No more for me.