Why Fringe Season 1 Left Me Wanting More
This is not a review, I want to get that out of the way. I am not rating this season of Fringe as I only watched about half of it. I followed this guide on what episodes were important to the ongoing narrative as the writer of that article assured me season 2 was better.
If you’re not aware Fringe is a TV series on Fox that’s about to go into its last season in the fall. The show centers on the FBI fringe department. A task force that solves weird(think spontaneous combustion) shit that happens on the east coast is lead by Agent Olivia Dunham. She is accompanied by Peter Bishop and his mentally unstable but brilliant father Walter Bishop. Also in the mix are:
Phillip Broyles – Olivia’s boss.
Charlie Francis – who is supposedly higher rank than Olivia despite the fact that she is the one who is leading all this fringe shit.
Nina Sharp – the COO of the mysterious Massive Dynamic corporation which is somehow connected to all of the strange phenomenon.
Oh and the lab assistant Astrid is in there too, I guess(she doesn’t do much).
Now back to the title. Fringe left me wanting so much more, because it has so much potential to be awesome. The show has a moderate case of not being able to keep up with all of its promises(look to LOST for a more acute example) and it’s characters don’t get the development and time that they need to grow as characters and grow on me as the audience.
The acting is mostly good, with John Noble as Walter stealing the show as the bizarre mad scientist.
However a lot of the characters fall flat due to their writing.
Olivia doesn’t feel like a person for the better part of half a season. And even later on I wanted them to do more with here character. Ok so SPOILER WARNING, but her boyfriend(also fbi partner *scandalous*) dies in the first episode and it turns out he was a traitor and its all shadowy and mysterious so she’s super distraught about it. But that’s it. That’s pretty much the only character you get from her for a while.Later on they introduce her sister and niece, and they try to make the problems more personal to her but they don’t go far enough.
I would have liked to have seen more of her at home talking with her sister or something because they need someone for her to talk to about how she’s feeling…she CAN’T just say oh ya great, everythings great to everyone when clearly things aren’t great.
It just doesn’t work for me. I mean we feel for her but to make it any more than simple sympathy(slowly turning to come on! as she continues to bottle up) we need to hear her thoughts. It’s something the writers of Buffy always got right. Still its encouraging seeing them work at it, hopefully season 2 continues the trend.
All the rest of the characters are real blaah, except for Peter and Walter. Their relationship is genuinely great. Walter was locked in an insane asylum for most of Peters life leaving Peter bitter and Walter barely knowing his son. Throughout the season we find their relationship changing believably and satisfactorily. Their an interesting pair because neither think very highly of the other, but as we see they both need each other.
To me it seems as if the writers of Fringe went into the show with this father-son relationship in mind and just sort of figured the rest would fall into place. It’s good that they had something to focus on, but I would like to see them give the same craftsmanship to some of the other characters.
Regarding twists ,cliffhangers, and mythology.
From what I understand the show becomes less about monster of the week story lines, and more about the shows mythology and ongoing narrative. Now that’s OK with me, in fact it sounds great to me, but I just don’t want to see them fall into the same trap that LOST did about promising too much. As they already have alluded to soooo much only some of which they returned to.
The show does know how to pull off twists though. I’ll give them that. They don’t always come right out of left field, which I like because it gives me the satisfaction of going…aww I knew it! Again I think the best reveal is about Peter and Walter when we find(Spoiler…duh) that Peter died, and Walter stole another Peter from an alternate universe. Stuff like that, and whatever the hell is going on with Olivia’s powers will be interesting to watch. Plus Leonard Nimoy am I right!
I”m not ready to go tell you to watch Fringe yet, but if the show improves it could become a must watch.What are your thoughts on Fringe?