'Fringe' Benefits

For the last few years (and I don’t think I am alone here) the programs on network television have been absolute shite.  Okay, calm down… I know there is some loser out there who is screaming bloody murder because they live and die by Grey’s Anatomy or Big Brother.

Speaking of reality shows, I watch television to escape from reality, not to watch some schmucks concept show representing it.  I hate having to come home and flip on the tv to some whack-ass program (that’s right, I said it), which is obviously staged, with boring people (all of whom are assholes now…at least they used to put decent people into the mix), with horrible situations and gossipy dialog because some jerk-off CBS exec wanted to pinch the penny and not hire real actors.  STFU, reality tv fans!!!

Anyway…enough ranting.

I was at home the other day, cruising through the network channels, numb from the neck up when I stumbled upon the opening scene to the pilot episode of the new Fox series Fringe.  It had me at hello.

Fringe is a pseudoscience based show that deals with  concepts on the verge of irrational possibility.  Things like mind reading, levitation, invisibility, and reanimation to name a few.  In fact, I’d say it pretty much throws reality out the window.  This aneurysmic spawn of Lost executive producer J.J. Abrams is X-Files meets CSI meets some other program that you can’t quite put your finger on.

Oh, thank you, Fox!  Finally, a completely unbelievable program that allows you escape from the daily, swampy, quicksand waste pit of our everyday lives.

The Pledge – The opening scene starts on a flight from Hamburg to Boston’s Logan International, when a sudden onslaught of horror starts passing from person to person in the form of an aggressive viral entity. You get the full force of what’s going on when the co-pilot turns back into the cockpit (hahaha…”cock”) with his jaw falling off of his face in gobs of drooping translucent skin.  Okay…at this point I am willing to let my eyes wander from the boobies in my dirty magazine to give this a gander.

Mysterious epidemic on a plane with horror filled screaming and melting faces? The Dash likes! (Pay no attention to my obscure reference from The Incredibles)

The Turn – The show revolves around special agent Olivia Dunham played by unknown Anna Torv.  She’s got that girl-next-to-the-girl-next-door thing going on and she conveys a calm mellow demeanor on screen that is Pfeiffer-esque.  She’s probably a 5 or 6 out of 10 on the Iwannaseehernaked scale (It’s a scale used in the Pacific Islands somewhere…I’m surprised you haven’t heard of it).

Dunham is the determined, driven, willing-to-do-anything agent that the show revolves around.  In the opener, she is an FBI inter-agency liaison that noses her way into the flesh eating swamp face problem on the plane mentioned earlier.

Next, she meets up with Joshua Jackson who plays Peter Bishop, a cocky (Ha…did it again…”cock”) con-man genius whose deranged institutionalized father is needed to help solve the Hardy Boys mystery of the clear-skinned people.

Did I mention Agent Dunham was boinking her partner who caught the virus (not that virus, the one from the plane..ha) while trying to track down the man that planted it and she is now willing to do anything to save his life because he just told her he loved her for the first time?  I swear I said that already.

Anyway, Agent Dunham needs Peter Bishop’s help to obtain his father, Dr. Walter Bishop, who has been in the booby hatch for the last 15 years (finally…”boobies”).  Dr. Bishop (John Noble) was one of the pioneers of low key government fringe science projects and his expertise in the matter at hand is the best lead that Dunham has to help save her partners life.

Jackson sheds his pussy Pacey persona for the rugged, intelligent, and slightly tough (Wait…did I just come on to him a little?) catalyst that is the voice of reason, and also the link between the commonplace factual world in Dunham and the technological and scientific insanities of Dr. Bishop.

John Noble’s Dr. Bishop is both the left turn into the abnormal and a slight bit of comedy relief, where his unusual comments and antics leave us chuckling even in the most serious situations.

The Prestige – Okay, here is the big tamale.  Throughout the pilot it is alluded to through various comments that there is a force, or “pattern” as it is called, that all things seem to conform to.  Rational order out of the chaotic irrational show…my intrigue continues.  Obviously, this is something that will be constantly researched and slowly revealed throughout the series, but it is nice that the program shows signs that it knows where it is going.

Back to the plot.  After Dunham acquires Dr. Bishop and somehow gets possession of his old lab and equipment (of course its absurd that all of his equipment would still be there in the now “storage basement” at Harvard, but its supposed to be unrealistic, right?  Nobody questioned how the plane landed at Logan with dead people inside? C’mon!! You’ve got to love this!!!) they figure out how a cure can be put into his blood, a batch of which is conveniently stored at the Hoover building.  Oh… but this is discovered only after transporting agent Dunham into her partners coma using electrodes, a sensory deprivation chamber, and a mix of psychotropic drugs (are we unbelievable yet?)

So they save his life and during his recovery they find out that (gasp) her partner-lover was one of the perpetrators of the initial airline snafu.  Nice!  They chase him and he dies in a truck-flippingly exciting way that is a bit cliche’, but stays in tune with the eventful aura that this show possesses.

After all that happens, the FBI higher-ups decide that the tenacity of agent Dunham should be rewarded with a special asignment and any team or team members she deems fit… and like that, a show is born.  The Fringe creators must have limitless imaginations.  Cheers to the show with limitless possibilities!!!

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