I am only really watching one TV show right now, and that’s Fringe. (I would be watching Glee as well, except that I am out of space on my iPad and I wanted to watch the first two seasons first.) Unsurprisingly, the first thing I compare Fringe to is the X-Files, since the two are related in genre and in architecture: a through-line of conspiracy and global secrecy and strangeness, backed up by one-off “monster” episodes where the team investigates something strange/weird/horrifying. I basically stopped watching X-Files because I went to college and had no TV/little time, not because I didn’t want to watch it anymore, so I was interested enough in Fringe when I discovered it to pick it up on DVD and begin watching it in its 2nd season.
Fringe does a lot of things right. The dynamics among the main three characters – Olivia, the cop/Mulder; Peter, the skeptic and requisite shady-connections guy/Scully; and Walter, Peter’s father and the mad scientist – is really pretty interesting, and keeps a lot of the less plot intensive episodes going strong. I am in love with the primary conceit of the series (which, minor spoilers, involves a parallel universe), and I feel like they have the right pace to revealing things about the overarching plot. I also really like the positioning of unexplained mysteries on the periphery – unlike Lost (another Abrams show), Fringe keeps things connected enough that I never feel like I am being pushed from mystery to mystery, and even when not everything is explained, I have a good feeling about the world created.
On the other hand, Fringe has recently restarted and I am bothered a bit by the pacing of action. If the entire season progresses along the arc created in the first few episodes, which is a trite sort of infiltration plot, I’ll be pretty upset, because it is breaking apart the character dynamics that I have come to appreciate. I almost think said plot would have been waaaay better earlier in the series, as a means by which to increase closeness to the characters as opposed to the reverse.
Authenticity of Crazy Scientist Character: A
Ratio of Conspiracy/Overarching Plot to Monster Plot: B+
Future Prospects: B- (but I still highly recommend watching seasons one and two!)