Philosophy, Psychology, Nerdisms, Writing from the Trenches

Posts tagged “fringe

The End of Fringe

Well, Fringe is over. So goes another sci-fi show on Fox.

I figured with the news about J.J. Abrams inheriting the new Star Wars, I should talk about this. Who am I kidding? It’s Fringe. I would talk about it anyway.

The 5th and final season of Fringe wasn’t so great. There. I said it. Compared to the rest of the series, the 5th season left something to be desired. This is a little ironic. I remember when Letters of Transit aired, the original Observer-controlled future episode in season 4, I wanted there to be a whole spinoff series based in that world. That’s exactly where they put season 5, but here’s the problem: I didn’t want Olivia and Peter and Walter involved.

Imagine SHIELD, the upcoming Joss Whedon show. It’s not going to be about the Avengers, it’s going to be about SHIELD, which means we have the opportunity of investing in new characters in a familiar world. It’s exciting and new, but tried in true. We get to take our existing frame of reference and apply it to new situations. Human brain function relies on pattern recognition, and this feeds that function. We know the patterns. Now, we bump up to a new pattern hierarchy.

Fringe put the Avengers in SHIELD. I wanted to see resistance fighters using Fringe events to strike back against the Observers. This didn’t really happen in season 5 until the last few episodes. And while it was wholly satisfying, it would have been more entertaining to see them using the knowledge established in the first four seasons on the next level.

I wanted to see Henry Ian Cusick as the lead rebel leader. He died.

I wanted to see an army of cortexiphan super humans, the normals who responded to treatment. Wasn’t this what the series was setting up? The closest we get to this payout is the second to last episode, where Olivia is dosed with cortexiphan again in order to jump universes. Shouldn’t they have thought of that sooner? Appealing to the other universe for help? Ah well. Why dwell on it?

Really, the best way to deal with the Observer invasion was a spinoff series, but that probably wasn’t possible. Maybe he did the best with what he had.

Abrams had a time limit, with a truncated episode order. But, the ending amounted to hitting the reset button. And this is why I don’t think Abrams should have Star Wars.

Abrams doesn’t do endings.

He’s amazing at beginnings, great at middles…not so much endings. And, if he (and the royal We) can’t let go of Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and Princess Leia, we’re not going to be satisfied with a new Star Wars movie.

He’s a fan of hitting reset buttons. This boils down to two things: don’t ask questions you never intend on answering, and don’t forget to deliver your promise of the premise.

In a perfect world, Abrams would have done the prequels, Lucas would have done the middle trilogy, and…who would I cast as the ending leader?

Joss Whedon. He knows how to write an ending. Look at Buffy. Look at Avengers. Man knows how to write an ending. Of course, Whedon would kill Chewie. Or some other beloved character. But you take the style with the style.

That’s my feelings on Fringe. Didn’t end so great. So, if you’re going to watch, stop with season 4 and you’ll be all right.

Here’s the Thing: Revolution

Guilty Pleasure: something one enjoys and considers pleasurable despite feeling guilt for enjoying it.

Revolution has become my guilty pleasure.

Let me back up.

I have a love/hate relationship with J.J. Abrams and when I say “love/hate” I mean I mostly love every project that he is involved in. LOST and Fringe were defining shows in my television history. I remember Regarding Henry and Forever Young as staples in my childhood movie diet (okay, I was a weird kid). The “hate” part happens when he makes something that I find simply unbearable. Like Alcatraz.

For me, though, Abrams has been more hit than miss.

So, when Revolution came along, a creature dwelling in the middle of my gut rolled over and seized control of my brain waves. I knew it was too high concept for lesser mortals, but Abrams has the chops, right?

The pilot was less than impressive. I wasn’t sure why. Perhaps it was because everything was revealed in the trailers. There wasn’t any new ground covered. Maybe it was because of a shallow Katniss-wannabe in the lead (no one would accuse me of being a Katniss fan). Revolution wasn’t breaking any barriers. It wasn’t something I hadn’t seen before. While the main mystery of the show is “what caused the blackout?”, I have a hard time wrapping my head around why I should care. I wanted to see people moving on with life, rather than dwelling on a 15 years gone past.

Revolution Hunger Games

My younger sibling, who I feel responsible for, has been chosen. Quick! To the bow and arrows!

Is Abrams attempting to reach the young adult post-apocalyptic dystopian audience? If so, he’ll need a few more bread references (Panem? Peeta? Tell me I’m not the only one loafing around…)

But, the worst, most unforgivable maneuver? My favorite actress in the show was killed off in the first episode.

Or was she?

Elizabeth Mitchell.

Elizabeth Mitchell is the J.J. Abrams secret weapon. Her appearance in LOST at the beginning of Season 3 reinvigorated my passion for that show. Finally, I was watching the intriguing people. Finally, we were seeing a new side to the mystery that had history and context.

After LOST, Mitchell went on to star in V. Though not an Abrams project, Mitchell again brought something to the series that was undeniably her.

So, when I was told in episode 1 that Mitchell’s character was dead, I signed off. But, she was in the promos for the next episode. Kids, when Elizabeth Mitchell shows up in a scene, there’s only one thing you need to know: Shit’s going down.

Episode 2 of Revolution was again underwhelming. Something about the American flag referred to as a rebel symbol, as though it was something lost in history (while only 15 years has passed, so it’s still within working memory). The episode bounces from the “present day: 15 Years Later” timeline to the days immediately after the blackout. During one scene, when I was practically yelling at the television for someone to grow a pair and DO SOMETHING, Mitchell picked up the gun and did.

Elizabeth Mitchell Revolution

Following my emphatic “thank you”, we flashed back to 15 Years Later and, lo and behold ***SPOILER***, she isn’t dead at all.

No, no, my friends. Elizabeth Mitchell lives on in both timelines. The strong, powerful woman is playing a con, or being kept prisoner, or God knows what. So here’s the thing:

Rachel Matheson is the most interesting character on the show. She doesn’t need that complexity nonsense or fabricated teen angst. All she needs to do is take action. I will be watching gleefully as she takes matters into her own hands and kicks ass.

If he pulls a Joss Whedon, so help me…

If you’re looking for something extra exciting, don’t miss J.J. Abrams on Conan coming up this Thursday, 10/4. It will be a-mah-zing!


Fake Busy

I’m that sort of busy that’s all kind of fake.

I’ve built up the illusion of busyness, and, it’s so good, I’ve even faked myself out.

Here’s what I’ve been up to:

  1. I remembered that I have a library card. This is not a good thing. When I go to the library, I usually have a list already made. Then, I start browsing. What ends up happening is I check out 10-12 books I can’t possibly live without right that very moment. Even though I know I’m at the library and they will be there for my next visit.

    I end up starting this pile a week late and have to scramble to read every book before it’s due. I’ve done this thrice in two months.

  2. I got into Pottermore. While I’m not sure what this entails, I’m sure it will be exciting. For at least fifteen whole minutes.
  3. I turned 25. Hurray.
  4. I started watching X-Files on Netflix. I’m not really interested in the alien parts, but I find the paranormal stuff pretty awesome. I’m a big Fringe fan and definitely see the similarities. Just because I have a special place in my heart for multi-verse theory doesn’t mean I can’t like Mulder and Scully. The history of television owes them thanks.
  5. I saw a slew of movies, none of which are worth mentioning.
  6. I broke 50,000 words on my current WIP.
  7. I received 22 rejection letters in 38 days.
  8. I have listened to Evanescence’s new single “What You Want” far too many times.

So, that’s it. Oh, yeah, and I have a job and volunteer and nonsense like that. So, you know, maybe I’ll pick one of those things and start blogging again.

What have you been up to?