I’ve recently dipped my toes into Fringe, which is a show about a small group of people that investigates the unexplainable. The cool thing about this show is that it hovers somewhere between magic and science. It seems unbelievable, and yet you can’t help but wonder if, one day, the things they’re doing may just be possible.
Fringe was one of those shows I had heard good things about but hadn’t paid much attention to. It sounded good, what little I knew about it, but I didn’t pay it much mind. More than likely I had plenty of other things to keep myself busy while it was on air. But now that it’s on Netflix in its entirety, I can go through it as quickly or as slowly as I want.
Spoiler alert: If I had the time, I’d sit down and marathon all 100 episodes in as little time as possible.
Fringe actually had one of the best pilots of any TV show I’ve ever seen. Pilots are, unfortunately, very give-or-take, with a lot more taking than giving. You can’t really blame them, as they’re there to set up the story. There’s a lot of exposition, you have to establish relationships, and you have to set up an entire season of a series within the usual 45 minutes or so.
It can be tough for any show, even those with big names attached to them. You need to hook your audience, but you also have a lot of information to slog through. It’s a fine balance, which is why I usually give a show a couple of episodes before I decide to drop it or not. (Unless that show happens to be called The Cape. I had trouble getting through even one episode. It was TERRIBLE.)
But Fringe was different. Granted, it was nearly a two hour premiere, so they had a bit more room to get the story rolling, but that doesn’t matter. The pilot was good, man. Like, really good.
It started off in a slow and intimate scene that did not feel like it was dragging on. You immediately wanted to know who the characters were and what kind of relationship they had. And that was established through minimal dialogue and a lot of action, which as any good writer knows, is an excellent thing.
The mystery was set up fairly quickly, as well as the whole the-under-dog-is-our-champion-so-we-immediately-connect-with-the-main-character thing. Or at least that was how I felt.
And from then on it was a bounce between mystery, action, and the relationship of those characters. There was a HUGE twist that I didn’t see coming, too. It actually caught me off guard, which doesn’t usually happen, so I really appreciated it.
But even beyond that, beyond the main focus of the mystery, we get introduced to some other characters that quickly become leads in this story. They’re set up perfectly, and there’s just enough animosity and humor to keep things interesting.
I may be a bit biased here because I love complicated shows with a lot of heart, which Fringe seems to have in spades, but this show really is excellent, and I would advise you — if you haven’t already — to definitely check it out. Report back and let me know what you think!