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Liz Tells Frank What Happened In “Upside Down”

Dear Frank,

Upside-Down-poster-2As you know, while I deeply enjoy mocking the shit out of mock-worthy topics, I try to be an optimist when it comes to the stuff I set out to tell you about. Especially films and whatnot which show more ambition than, you know, some stupid fucking Katharine Heigl movie. We’ve seen boy meets girl, right side up before, after all. Boy meets girl, upside down? Now, that’s something new.

What I’m getting at is that I know I promised to tell you what happened in Upside Down last week, but I didn’t get to it. One reason why? Frank, I actually kind of liked it!

I’m embedding the trailer below because it’s important you understand the expectations I came into this movie with — but the short version of the premise is that in some alternate universe, there are two planets locked in orbit with each other, each with its own gravity but… Read the rest of this entry

“Fringe” Season One: The Skip It/Watch It Guide

Hey, want to check out on the complete series? A guide to all five seasons of “Fringe” can be found in “Liz Tells Frank: The Skip It/Watch It Guides,” now available on Amazon!

A few weeks ago, I spent a whole bunch of words telling Frank how great the show Fringe is. But I included this one caveat: The first season is pretty problematic, as it darts between narrative-heavy developments and stand-alone monster episodes almost at random. That might have worked for The X-Files in its day, but screw The X-Files, it’s the 21st century and Chris Carter floats in exile on a surfboard. We can demand more from our TV, is what I’m saying.

So (because I have had at least four friends request it) here is a guide to watching Fringe that should help you avoid the less consequential episodes and focus on the good stuff that relates to the ongoing narrative. I try to add as much guidance as possible when it comes to the Watch It episodes, so that if you’re on the fence about a particular storyline you can use your own judgement. But otherwise, trust in me to steer you around the dull bits.

Fringe Season One: The Skip It/Watch It Guide Read the rest of this entry

Liz Tells Frank What Happened In “Fringe” (Sorta.)

Dear Frank,

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

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