Thursday, November 27, 2008
The initial buzz on Fringe(Fox, Tuesdays, 8:00 P.M.) was that one of TV’s golden boys, J.J. Abrams (Alias, Lost), had come up with one of the few hits of the fall season, plus a possible successor to the late and much vaunted sci-fi/ conspiracy series The X-Files. Like everyone else I bit on these potential tidbits but after a half dozen shows I find the series unable to keep spinning its initial captivating spell, timidly poking around its central mythology while trotting out a far too neatly contained creature-feature of the week. While well cast, Abrams and his writers keep writing the same show: Icy beauty Anna Torv gets whispered to by her handler Lance Reddick about a new bioscience phenomena and she seeks out the help of nutty professor John Noble (who always suddenly recalls a past connection to said phenomena) and his reluctant son Joshua Jackson who somehow tackles a baddie or fumbles around with a gun while spooky Blair Brown oversees the action as the head honcho of some shadowy mega corporation. Filmed in an entirely faux Massachusetts the tone is that oh-so-familiar Orwellian ominousness and the setting the industrial gray of aging labs, empty warehouses, and dank cellars. While most of what’s delineated is presented with a sturdy paranoia nothing actually resonates, and the player’s moves are far too predictable.