Fringe Season 1 and 2 [Blu-ray] [Region Free]
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The complete first and second seasons of the sci-fi television series, co-created by J.J. Abrams, about a team which investigates cases of strange phenomena that exist on the fringes of science. FBI agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) suspects a sinister presence behind bizarre and unexplained events and enlists the help of a scientist who has been in a mental institution for the last 17 years, Walter Bishop (John Noble), along with his son Peter (Joshua Jackson). Together the team investigates various cases which go beyond the realms of normal police work and soon begins to uncover a trail leading to a global corporation called Massive Dynamic. Episodes comprise: 'Pilot', 'The Same Old Story', 'The Ghost Network', 'The Arrival', 'Power Hungry', 'The Cure', 'In Which We Meet Mr. Jones', 'The Equation', 'The Dreamscape', 'Safe', 'Bound', 'The No-Brainer', 'The Transformation', 'Ability', 'Inner Child', 'Unleashed', 'Bad Dreams', 'Midnight', 'The Road Not Taken' and 'There's More Than One of Everything'. In the second season, Olivia, Walter and Peter have to deal with forces from an another universe, including an alternate Fringe team. Episodes comprise: 'A New Day in the Old Town', 'Night of Desirable Objects', 'Fracture', 'Momentum Deferred', 'Dream Logic', 'Earthling', 'Of Human Action', 'August', 'Snakehead', 'Grey Matters', 'Unearthed', 'Johari Window', 'What Lies Below', 'The Bishop Revival', 'Jacksonville', 'Peter', 'Olivia. In the Lab. With the Revolver', 'White Tulip', 'The Man from the Other Side', 'Brown Betty', 'Northwest Passage', 'Over There: Part 1' and 'Over There: Part 2'.
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I really enjoy the Fringe science aspect, the interesting, wild theories, gadgets, experiments, and how they're utilised to develop each episode's plot.
However, 7 episodes into season 2, I'm starting to loose interest somewhat. It's descending into the same re-hashy ground that the X-files got bogged down in, concentrating on one central premise that seems to be dictating the flow of each subsequent episode. This would be fine if I was totally absorbed and engrossed by the central premise, but i'm only so-so. The X-files aliens were a heck of a lot more interesting until the humanoid aliens turned up. And that's almost exactly where Fringe is heading.
I love sci-fi above almost every other genre, but can't shake the feeling that the show is beginning to tread water, the same way Alias did, never getting to the point and if anything, opening more questions than answers. Abrahms' Lost did this obviously, but that was far far far more compelling.
I'm also not 'in love' with the central characters. Walter is good value and at times delivers amazing performances full of tortured emotion, but Olivia and Peter are far too one dimensional. You can almost guess at the one liners peter is going to quip in any given situation. The story is too obsessed with shapeshifters and the parallel dimension that is threatening to collide with ours. It's interesting for a few episodes, but hearing the same 'tune' for twenty or so gets dull.
I wish they would focus on more single episode stories, exploring the vast multitude of theories out there. If they did this more, the show could be much better. They also need to add a much needed injection of emotional purpose. At the moment I'm only getting this from Walter. Peter displays the range of emotions you'd expect from a squashed apple.
I'll probably come back to watch the end of season 2 in a bit, but I'm not as enthralled as I wanted to be.
As I'm sure many reviews will have said, Walter owns this show. His acting is top notch and everything that occurs seems to be occurring in response to him, from Red Vines to Dimension Shifting goodness.
p.s. I do have a small gripe that the Olivia Peter ship came across as rushed and not quite real in Season 2. Normally I'm very open to shipping but to me it just seemed as if they threw them together without connecting all the dots and crossing all the t's. They went from two people who were curious and attracted to each other to a huge, passionate love with no explanatory middle... with no bridge. I'd've rated it down for that but the music really is that good.
It is a bit like the X-Files used to be, except it is based around a family unit/ensemble rather than a two people.
You tune in to follow the events in the characters' lives as the series develops and also to see what weirdness the writers will come up with next.
If the X-Files was about unexplained phenomena, like UFOs, Ghosts and Werewolves, Fringe is about strange things on the fringe of science, although it does often cross over into the fantastical.
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