Of all the terrible things about being a teenager, here is one that’s only really terrible in retrospect: There will be books and movies and TV shows you consume in your adolescence that, upon future reflection, might prove to be embarrassing, especially when you realize just how much they reveal about you. There’s an inevitability to this — the most you can hope for is that the media with that kind of power over your psyche won’t include a Vancouver-produced micro-budgeted Fox show about people who hop between alternate universes with the help of an oversized cell phone.
I am, alas, not so lucky.
The pilot episode of Sliders opens with Jerry O’Connell videotaping his experiments with wormhole technology in the basement of his mother’s house; blah blah blah science science science Jerry’s a genius, having successfully opened up a portal of some sort to a… I dunno. It’s a mystery! (The answer is parallel universes.) Read the rest of this entry
So this isn’t the first time I’ve tried to tell you about Fringe — when the show first premiered in 2008, I watched the first couple of episodes with an eye towards filling you in on a regular basis. I even came up with nicknames for the characters, like Agent Cate (because star Anna Torv looks like a poor man’s Cate Blanchett) and Pacey (because Joshua Jackson was on Dawson’s Creek, a show I never watched as a teenager because of its lack of space battles).
But while the show wasn’t awful, the first few episodes also failed to hook me (you’ve seen one misfit FBI team investigate strange phenomena, you’ve seen ’em all) and so not only did I not tell you what happened in it, I stopped watching altogether — an experience, I’ve heard, many other potential fans also shared. (Especially fans unwilling to put their faith in a J.J. Abrams production after Alias and Lost failed to follow through on their narrative promise.)
Here’s the trouble with Fringe, though — once you get past those first six or so first season episodes, Fringe is awesome. I mean, it’s not immediately awesome, but about halfway through the first season it starts getting good, and then it gets better, and then it’s onto full-on awesome, and then its awesomeness quotient increases exponentially until the awesome meter breaks and gets awesome juice everywhere. But you DON’T CARE about the mess. Because of how awesome it is.
I wouldn’t have discovered this, though, if my dad — who pushed through those first few episodes and became a fan — hadn’t (with my permission) spoiled me on a detail from the season one finale. So today, Frank, I’m not going to tell you everything that’s happened in Fringe — I’m just going to tell you enough to make you (hopefully) want to watch it. Read the rest of this entry