My New Favorite Hour of Television.

a Clevenger nodFRINGE, yep. Best series opener I think I’ve seen. And that’s including the white bears in LOST, the aliens in X-FILES, the space jellyfish in STAR TREK NEXT GENERATION, the plummeting cheerleader in HEROES, the (if I’m remembering correctly) sewn-up mouths in MILLENIUM, the look on Tom Vail’s face when Alyson denies knowing him in NOWHERE MAN, and even the tomfoolery in BRISCO COUNTY, JR. Too, they’ve set the dynamic up well, it looks like. That’s always the trick with serial drama: come up with a formula that can spit out episodes without ever quite ratcheting up to the truly ridiculous. It’s why detective shows tend to work more than anything else — because you just plug the same team or p.i. or whatever into a new ‘case.’ It worked in the stars too, for Kirk & Company, was even their mandate (okay, ‘mission’). And Olivia Dunham, she seems to be consciously modeled on Julianne Moore’s character in THE FORGOTTEN. Which is a good choice. And the show itself, at least the debut, seemed to be cobbled together from things that had worked elsewhere. Again: smart. And, granted, we could see most of the twists coming, but the level of the writing, for me at least, didn’t lessen their effect any. It maybe even made it better, in that it was satisfying that the things you didn’t want to happen finally didn’t happen. [ spoiler alert . . .] Like, say, what a mistake it would have been to have given her a steady guy. You never want your protagonist to be so stable, right? To have any kind of homebase to return to? And the block-letter, in-scene-yet-invisible-to-the-characters location title things (surely there’s a less clunky name for the effect), they’re the coolest. And the effects this lot was able to get away with, especially the zombies on a plane part. Very impressed. Throughout. Will be there til it’s over, but’ll be watching this one again before next week, too.

Author: SGJ