Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Fringe Benefits: The Spooky Familiar

Fringe TV Show

Well its happened again. I tried and tried to avoid being in this situation again; but to no avail. It seems that sooner or later every season some new show comes along that hooks me. Last year it was Heroes and before that the X-Files. Other than those, I can take 'em or leave 'em; not including the nightly news so I can see who shot who and current gas prices. Oops...I shouldnt leave out the Sara Connor Chronicles struggling to keep up with the herd. The Fringe: how do I say it and where do I begin....hmmmm.

Well I guess the basics are first. Its a Tuesday night show whose plot centers around a female FBI agent who is forced to work with an institutionalized scientist in order to rationalize a brewing storm of unexplained phenomena. Of course this show is riddled with conspiracies of secret societies, the milk of history. Now let me get this out of the way up front; yes, its kinda like X-Files with its winding and "things that go bump in the night" plots; yes, it has a dramatic flare like the first season of LOST; and yes, (for we older viewers) a twisted reality much like the old Twilight Zone or Planet of the Apes.

Obviously there are some hiccups with the show, afterall its TV; but at the core of all great cult stories and conspiracy theories, there's just enough truth or doubt to give them the spark of life, even if its self perpetuating. Tim Goodman of SF Chronicle writes a great blog story on how to fix the show. Much of which I can agree with except the odd 3-D graphics that show up in a trademark expectation. After watching again last night, I found the premiere show better inspite of watching the characters begin to grow. No doubt, there is much room for character growth; but noone knows everything about someone when they first meet...so thats cool.

The show has cool graphics! There's just no way for a Salvador Dali, M.C. Echer fan to overlook. Yes, they are odd; but isnt that what makes us unique. Its as strong as the LA Law double donks at the beginning...you know whats coming on without even looking at the screen. We all love symbols; baseball, hotdogs and apple pie with the Statue of Liberty in the background cheering us on to victory. Thats grits and gravy with free cathead bisquits!

But on to the meat of this blog. Why I like the Fringe. It has a darkness that can only be located around thin shards of truth that society would never really want to know as in the media following the troops around and erasing what Hollywood has so tainted reality with — the glories of war. Don't get me wrong, freedom isn't free and war is not only hell but manditory. Nothing changes without blood, weapons and conspiracy. Such truths are always enshrouded with religion, politics and the ethics of the button pushers. The Fringe represents the same magic that has kept Area 51, the Bermuda Triangle and Atlantis just on the outskirts of our fears and imaginations. Whether the show makes it our not; its premises will never expire. Its the classic X-File when Mulder finally comes face-to-face with the aliens and then doesnt know what to do but unload his clip which wasnt firing any bullets anyway. We have all these moments of searching and wanting but we have yet to plan what we will actually do in said moment. It's like the old lottery question: What woud you do if you won a million dollars? Ok, you hooked up all your friends and family and paid your debts but there's $999,250 left to be used. What looks back at us when we look at the obvious? We seem to be flooded with media that tells you its one thing thats not that but like something else...ie Secret, strong enough for a man, but made for a woman; pink is the new black, grapple - the taste of grape in the size of an apple....where does it stop? Vice President, pretty as a woman; strong as a bulldog?

1 comment:

Andrew Stanfield said...

Quit writing like this: you're going to get me hooked on another show I don't really have the time to watch! (you almost lost me on 'cathead,' but I got pulled back in!)