Friday, December 19, 2008
I don't like this yet. I may do. But it's essentially JJ Abrams does The X Files (I nearly typed that as JJ Abrams does The X Factor, which would be a whole other world of wonder, wouldn't it? Simon Cowell would get a backstory, Louis Walsh would have lots of improbable Irish flashbacks, and Cheryl Cole would get lots of fight scenes. Blissy!).
I don't hate Fringe, although plenty of people do. I just keep giving it final chances. Will Sour-Faced Special Agent stop sitting around on park benches looking poignant? Will Joshua Jackson stop looking like this is beneath him (How Dare YOU?!?!)? And when will they get rid of those fucking 3-D Letters In The Sky that set up each scene? (Just once I'd like to see one hovering over a building that says "Pretentious Wank").
The pilot was all over the cocking shop. Terrorists! Duplicates! A Race Against Time! Lovable Eccentrics! An Arc Plot! A Pensioner Mansonator (imagine Penelope Keith with a robot arm. That!). All fine. And then came The Twist. The Twist that was So Clever you felt your feet pulled from under you... or rather, you just felt a bit baffled and giddy before your chin hit the floor. If you've seen it, you'll know what I mean. It's that moment when you go "What? Hang on. What a sodding waste of my time."
Episode Two went back to the X Files for its inspiration... unfortunately they chose the second X Files film, and served up a grisly serial killer runaround... but with A Twist. There's that settling fear that it's basically The X Files all over again. There are still secret groups who meet in hidden rooms. There are wheels within wheels. No-one is who they seem. And we've got two charismatic leads with undeniable chemistry.
That last bit is a lie. As I said, we have a pram-faced Blanchett impersonator and I-Can't-Believe-I-Fancied-Him-In-Dawson's-Creek who now looks like William Riker.