Thursday, August 21, 2014

I've been rewatching Fringe


Sleeping is not my friend lately, so I've been rewatching Fringe, an episode or so a night, and here's some stuff that has surprised me:

  • This story is packed. Like, from the very beginning, there's hints and echoes and set-ups for things that don't happen for a while. Watching it the first time, I knew that there was more going on than I realized, but watching it now, knowing what goes on later, it's amazing how much of it is right there at the very beginning.
  • I forgot how gross some of these cases are. Like, seriously gross. But also, totally in-tune with taking over from the X-Files, on the same channel and the same time slot.*
  • Peter still gives me life. He's so snarky, so hard-shelled, but even in that first episode, there's these moments of softness, of delicateness, of something other than angry yelling--he helps Olivia, he holds her when she comes out of the tank all messed up, he defends her against whatever crazy his dad brings on--and better yet, she doesn't argue against being defended, but she also doesn't depend on it or even really seem to notice it. She's trying to get him on her side, and it's established early on that they're going through this crazy together, but after the vague sexism of the first episode, there's really no comment on how she's a pretty, basically young lady; she's an agent first, and a good one, and that's great.
    • Their ship is among the greats on TV, I think. It still rings, even knowing that everything is fine in the end and everything they go through only makes things stronger.
  • Lenseflares! If you didn't know this was JJ Abrams, you can tell from that alone.
  • Walter is everything. He's weird, he's rude, he's full of crazy moodswings, he's crazy, and he's actually crazy--I knew, of course, that he was phenomenal, but I'd forgotten the details, the carefulness of how he played the part, and it's still brilliant.
  • This show, if it was being made now, would be a perfect one to sell to Netflix, because it really benefits from being able to mainline it, to have the option of watching the episodes close together, all in a row. On TV, it got...gappy. If you miss a week, nothing makes sense. If you don't come back from the bathroom on time, you miss stuff. Commercials and week-long spaces between episodes water down the pacing, which is tight and involved, even early on. Frankly, I'm amazed that they lasted so long on TV, and I'm so grateful that they did!
  • I feel like we're missing a show that actively tackles all the weird science and conspiracy theories and makes them all work together, right now.


NOTES:
*Well, at least part of X-Files' timeslot. They were on Friday in the Death Slot, but they were also on Sunday; I can't remember which came first.
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