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Sci-Fi Television Entertainment

J.J. Abrams Promises 'Fringe' Will Die Fighting 392

An anonymous reader writes "Fringe creator J.J. Abrams has said of the show's much-maligned move to Friday nights, 'Fringe deserves to live beyond season 3. If we're going to fail, let's go down doing the most bad ***, weirdest, interesting, sophisticated version of a series that we could possibly do.' Previous announcements about the move were more defensive, claiming that Fringe's shift to Fridays was an attempt to draw younger viewers back to the 'dead zone' of Friday nights. But season three has been confused enough in tone and approach that it's no surprise to hear yet another contradictory statement about its future..." Good episodes of Fringe have been great TV. I've really enjoyed the first half of the season and am looking forward to seeing what they do with it. A lot of mediocre SciFi has been shut down recently (Caprica? SGU?) and a lot of bad SciFi continues (V?) but Fringe flirts with greatness with regularity. I hope it makes it... even though on Friday it's not likely.
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J.J. Abrams Promises 'Fringe' Will Die Fighting

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  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Friday January 21, 2011 @12:13PM (#34953898)

    This is one of those series that I keep hearing fellow geeks talk about (like Eureka) that I just don't get. I tried watching a couple of episodes of this show early on, and all I saw was a pretty boring, predictable, and pedestrian "incident of the week" show with some pretty silly supernatural or pseudo-scientific themes. It reminded me of the X-files in that regard (with the notable exceptions of the frickin' *brilliant* X-files episodes that Darin Morgan [] wrote).

    So what is supposed to be so great about this series, again?

  • SGU bad? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by feepness ( 543479 ) on Friday January 21, 2011 @12:17PM (#34953958) Homepage
    SGU, like any show, took some time to find its footing, but it had certainly started to pick up the pace.

    Compared to the original two series, it was much better than the "go through a Stargate and everyone speaks English" tripe. Not that SG and SGA weren't fun, but they weren't "great scifi".
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 21, 2011 @12:21PM (#34954020)

    I second that emotion.

    Most science fiction requires some sort of suspension of disbelief. This one requires it for the entire freaking show.

    I'm just not cut out to put up with that for very long.

    Here's wishing Fringe a short, relatively noiseless death.

  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Friday January 21, 2011 @12:24PM (#34954066) Journal

    Season 2 finished in May last year. It wasn't available for me to rent on DVD until September. I watched Season 1 over the summer and, because season 2 wasn't available I couldn't add it to my rental queue. I forgot about it until just now.

    When I rent a DVD, the studio gets some money. There's no need to persuade advertisers that I might buy something they advertise, it's a direct transaction - I exchange money for something they've created. Very often, however, they don't even bother releasing the DVD until after they've already cancelled the show.

    There's no reason for DVDs to take this long. They can produce the menus concurrently with the show and just drop in the episodes once they're done. Some shows have come out with half-season DVD releases at the mid-season break, which is great. ITV managed to release DVDs of the last two dramatisations of Sharpe the day after they were first broadcast.

    In short, if you want to sell a TV show to a relatively small market, sell it to them, don't sell it to a network, who will sell it to advertisers, who will sell things to the viewers, and hope that after the two layers of indirection taking their cut that you have enough money to continue.

  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Friday January 21, 2011 @12:25PM (#34954096) Journal
    It's a long way from hard science fiction, but it's entertaining, has a decent story arc (something missing from a lot of episodic TV), and entertaining - if somewhat stereotyped - characters.
  • by guidryp ( 702488 ) on Friday January 21, 2011 @12:39PM (#34954340)

    I know what you mean, but their is no good, hard Sci Fi.

    Fringe has good characters (chemistry), acting, directing, production values and writing.

    But yes the "science" is eye-rolling pseudo-science nonsense that sort makes it just plain silly after getting so much right.

    My other gripe is that JJ Abrams keeps repeating himself, this feels a lot like Alias. With all the body double nonsense and now it looks like they are gather Rimbaldi artifacts...

    I still watch it for characters and acting, but I wish we could have had less pseudo science nonsense and less Alias rehash.

  • Re:SGU bad? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Frangible ( 881728 ) on Friday January 21, 2011 @01:09PM (#34954974)
    Indeed. SGU was very much the "200" allusion, and it didn't please many fans when SGA, which had higher ratings than SGU and cost less to make, was canceled in favor of it. Brad Wright & co are simply not Ron Moore, and do best writing SG1/SGA style scripts.

    Has anyone tried to rewatch BSG lately, anyway? While I enjoyed its first broadcasts, more recently I found it to be melodramatic, slow, and boring. The plots are too tied in to current events and political issues from several years ago, and it has not aged gracefully. So, even if Brad Wright & co had done better copying BSG, I'm not sure it was really something worth emulating at this point. Before someone flames me and says how awesome it was back in the day -- yes, I agree, it was -- but try watching it again today. It's not very enjoyable or interesting.

    SGU was not much of a Stargate, at all. Does anyone recall the episode with Stargate Command / Sam Carter and the F-302 raid on a Lucian Alliance base? It felt nothing like a Stargate, and was simply bizarre to watch.

    That said, I took no pleasure from SGU's cancellation. While not on par with SG1 or SGA, its writing was improving, and was somewhat watchable. Most of the characters were uninteresting, the BSG-wannabe camerawork was terrible, and Season 1 was mostly unwatchable. But, it was improving. Just not enough.

    Still, I would have preferred SGA remain on the air. A proper Stargate series should be tongue-in-cheek, use cameras with image stabilization functions, be recorded by people who understand how to properly expose a shot, and be filmed in the forests of British Columbia, which coincidentally look like every alien world the SG teams visit.

    Also, regarding the grandparent's claims that "everyone spoke English" through the Stargate... no, they didn't, not initially in SG1. But having dialog that Daniel had to translate, then have O'Neill say something, and have that get translated again, was just cumbersome. Further, some of the humans transplanted by the Gao'uld were in fact, white dudes from Earth who natively spoke English. So yes, they should probably be speaking English.

    Stargate gets dubbed for foreign language markets anyway. Do you think they speak French, German or Italian full-time at the Cheyenne Mountain Complex? Survey says: no.
  • by Sockatume ( 732728 ) on Friday January 21, 2011 @01:20PM (#34955176)

    Seasons 2 through 4 of B5 are really great. There's a proper arc there, and because they thought they were getting cancelled after S4 they pretty much threw every good idea they had at the show and wrapped up everything.

    Then they did a season 5, which we will not talk of again.

  • Re:It's Fox (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Friday January 21, 2011 @01:29PM (#34955344) Homepage

    Nielsen has been irrelevant for nearly a decade. Cable TV companies get better data from their cable boxes, I could tell you from reading the database that at 11:15 pm last night the number of subscribers and boxes that were turned to a channel at that time, cross reference with the billing database and we can get age demographics as well as race demographics (Yes that data is in the customer database, Comcast mines you) to the point that I was able to give sales people targeted data to report to customers buying advertising.

    My project only covered a single state and was a technology demonstration but was simple to do and was only SQL queries. Getting numbers from real viewers instead of a select few is far more accurate. In fact I used to correct the Nielsen data we paid heavily for with my numbers to better reflect the state.

No extensible language will be universal. -- T. Cheatham