Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fringe Fan?

First, HELLO!! It's me! Remember? Girlscout?? Yes, I am back. And why am I back? Because last night my sister and I were held up in my room watching JJ's new brainchild, Fringe and HOLY CRAP- could there have been any more call outs??



Don't this picture look slightly familiar?

It should be pretty easy for us Alias Addicts to pick up and notice certain JJ-isms on TV and in movies. Last night, I found myself saying "That's so JJ" like 500 times. Or "call back to..." For those of you who haven't heard of Fringe or were not able to watch the premiere last night (which will run again on Fox on Sunday)let me recap for you.

Olivia Dunham is an FBI agent, and she's sleeping with her co-worker, John. When an international flight lands at Logan Airport in Boston and no one on board is alive, the team is called in to investigate. All passengers seemed to have come down with a bad case of...? Skin-melting disease? Either way, its gross and its deadly and Liv's on it.

If you're like me- you knew the might John said I love you that he would be dead by the end of the episode. Just another case of Hi Danny, Bye Danny. While investigating the disease, John is explosed during an explosion in a make-shift science lab. Liv is now not only on a chase to find the killer, but a cure for John. Bring in Vaughn- oops, I mean the ever so handsome, Peter Bishop (played by Dawson's Creek alum, Joshua Jackson- love him!!). He's smart, he's funny and his estranged father happens to know a little about this mystery disease. Walter Bishop has been losing his marbles in prison for the last 20 years, and when Liv has him released in order to aid in her search, Peter must take his father into his care. This makes for an interesting family reunion. Dr. Bishop demands that his old lab be refurbished and the trio sets forth to find the man that might have exposed the flight passengers and John. It is learned that Dr. Bishop once shared his lab with William Bell, a man who now runs a multi-million dollar company called Massive Dynamic.

The kicker is, John, in a drug-induced coma, is the only one who saw this man. However, Dr. Bishop has a solution- very similar to Sydney's dream therapy in season 3. Dr. Bishop is able to connect Olivia and John's brain waves in a coma-sleep like state and John is able to "show" Olivia the man's face.

Now that Liv has been introduced to the likes of fringe science, her boss, Phillip Broyles offers her a position on his team- a black ops group, in which she can pick her own team and have access to classified materials. Liv declines. All she is worried about is saving John.

Liv and the Bishops are able to track down this man, Morgan Steig, who's twin brother Richard happened to be a passenger on the plane and a disgruntled former employee of Massive Dynamic. He is forced to give them the ingredients for the cure and John is saved! Thank goodness. BUT! IN GRAND JJ FASHION- nothing is as it seems. It turns out someone from inside the agency was asking about this mysterious disease- and I will give you ONE guess. YES, good old lover boy John. When Liv learns of the truth, she and John get into a hot car chase and BAM! John kicks the bucket. Before he passes on, he reveals another bit of information, telling Olivia to ask why Broyles wanted her at the make-shift lab the night of explosion!!

As you can imagine- Olivia takes the offer set forth by Broyles and invites the Bishops to join her team. All in all, the show seems pretty promising. I enjoyed it. My sister and I hardly said a word, other than to point out Alias-like tidbits. We got a heart-broken heroine with a dead lover, a father-son (instead of father-daughter) team, mysterious diseases, a dream sequence, a troubled airline flight, and I think at one point Olivia and Peter were sitting on the exact plane set as the one Sydney and Vaughn used on their many international flights. We've got a questionable boss, a secret branch of the FBI and I am fairly certain we may someone come back from the dead.

The show was very JJ, who had the help of two other Alias-writing originals, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. Shauna Duggins, the one and only stunt double for Sydney Bristow/Jennifer Garner, also adds to the new show, taking honors in the stunts department.

SO... what do you think? Did you watch it? Did you like it? Any other Alias call outs I missed??

52 comments:

Page48 said...

Welcome home GS. Drop in any time, there's always someone home.

More thoughts about the "Fringe" pilot, which I don't think has a title yet.

Before I forget, they didn't do this for "Alias". I think technology lagged "Alias" by just a few years.

I love the team-Alias aspect. Surely there has to be some magic left in these guys, and as I mentioned a few days ago, the next few episodes are said (by co-star Acevedo) to make the pilot pale by comparison.

Immediately, I would start looking for the number 47 in this show. As Uncle pointed out a while back, the flight out of Hamburg carried 147 passengers.

Olivia to drive, among other things, a Ford Escape Hybrid (a la Jack Bristow).

Coming back from the dead? It's already revealed that Agent John Scott will return, but in what form, we don't know (dream, flashback, who knows?).

I read recently that Anna Torv is receiving lessons in the fine art of kicking ass, something that was conspicuous by its absence in the pilot. Although, 'truth be told', she's a liaison, not a black ops spy-babe like Syd. I, for one, hope to see her in much more dicey spots than she found herself in last night. You need danger lurking in every corner if you hope to put the thrill in thriller.

Olivia taking the flying leap off the rooftop to the fire escape without looking was very ballsy and right out of Jason Bourne's latest flick, where JB went off rooftop and thru the window across the way. These guys are dedicated. You won't catch Page48 doing that.

Ratings were pretty good at 9 million viewers, but I believe "Bionic Woman" debuted with 8 million which dwindled to 8 viewers by the 3 episode.

I like Anna Torv. She's not ripped like Jen, but she's not (yet) in a similar line of work. Her face is very expressive and I love her voice and her suppressed Aussie accent. I love watching over and over the scene where she tells Broyles "I just want to go back to before". Watch her mouth and eyes when she speaks that line.

I thought the way Agent Scott's badness was revealed was very clever, with his end of the phone conversation revealed very innocently early in the show and the realllly revealed toward the end.

Many things I liked about this debut, but for my money it lacked that real excitement level of Syd's debut. Syd's murder was contracted out in the first episode, after she had already (on screen) been tortured and widowed and broken Will's heart. Olivia, aside from being concussed in a warehouse blast, was never threatened except with a lot of sexist remarks from the new men in her life.

Anyway, I'm in for the long haul, I just hope they start piling on some layers, but it sounds like JJ doesn't want to go there. Let's see where he does want to go.

Kendrah said...

Totally agree Page! I liked it, but I didn't love her enough by the end of the episode. I wanted to, but they didn't give enough. Maybe it was because the younger Jennifer Garner looked so naive and innocent in the Pilot, that Danny's death really ripped us open and made us want to take care of her.

Not feeling that yet with Liv. But I agree, I like her. She grew on me. I love love love Joshua Jackson. Have I mentioned that? Aside from his looks, he has acting chops, chops that Dawson's Creek never really allowed him to try out. I am glad he's getting a shot.

Page48 said...

I posted this on another blog and it's still in my clipboard, so... waste not, want not:

Definitely no "Truth Be Told". I wanted to love love love it, but the best I could do is like it. It's billed as a 'thriller', but where I come from, you can't have a thriller without thrills.

We met Sydney Bristow with her head under water, gasping for air, and speaking a foreign language. We found out her father never sold airplane parts. The very first "Alias" saw Sydney's boss send his goons to a parking garage to kill her. We saw her colour her hair, break Will's heart, lose her man (like Olivia). We saw her go on an unsanctioned mission abroad using her best buddie's sister's passport, steal a car, trash a lab, go to college. We saw a tear dangle on the bottom of her chin and drop to the ground when it became too heavy to bare. We saw her leave her boss's office and walk with confident swagger and beautiful shoulders through the mean streets, on her way to CIA headquarters to become a 'walk-in'. And she did it accompanied only by her conscience and Sinead O'Connor. We saw her size up her future husband and question his motives, accusing him of trying to play her for a triple agent. Who even thinks about triple agents?

And best of all we saw her in the cemetery, her hair blowing in the strong summer breeze, holding the phone given to her by her father moments earlier to her ear, and calmly saying "hello", lighting the fuse on a whole new way of life for her and those around her.

That's what was missing from "Fringe". It's not irreparable, they just have to make the effort that was so obvious with "Alias". I'm in and I'll be patient, but there is work to do.

Robetron said...

I admit, right out of the gate, that I have not yet seen the show.

After your description, however, I am inclined to seek it out, either when it re-airs or by download.

Even though no one has attacked JJ, I want to say this in his defense. Lest people begin to think that JJ's work tends to be formulaic due to all of the similarities to Alias, we should make a mental note to cut him some slack. In the 5 (blessed) years of Alias, they pulled out every trick, every twist, and every surprise they had in their expansive arsenal and even barrow a few more. They scraped the bottom of the jar clean, and even recycled a few ideas into new ideas (delving into people's subconscious to extract important intel was used at least four times). When you have produced a show like Alias that has everything, how can you help having other shows seem like lesser imitations?

In my opinion, humble or otherwise, any show that has a link or similarity to Alias must be approaching greatness. Alias set the bar in the first few years, and no other drama has come within reaching distance of it, even with continually growing technology. There are a lot of shows that I love, some with obviously better budgets, but nothing yet has appeared to touch the hem of Alias' garment.

I look forward to seeing Fringe, now that I have a better idea of what it is, but I will not put my expectations so high that I hope for another Alias-experience. I think that may just have been a once in a life-time, perhaps a once in history viewing-paradise.

-R.

Page48 said...

Robetron, good point, I think it has to be acknowledged that saying a show is "not Alias" is not the same as saying a show is "not any good".

Another observation I meant to touch on earlier is that, sadly, it appears that there will be no awesome soundtrack to accompany Agent Dunham in her travels, as there was in "Alias".

Apparently, the 2nd airing of the pilot (is this pilot not going to get a name?), on Sunday night, will feature a few minutes preview of the second episode.

uncle111 said...

Wow. Since I don't want to look like I copied and pasted everyone else's comments I'll have to say there really isn't anything I can add. You guys covered everything I could say, plus some.
It's not Alias, but when talking about any show that is like saying,"It was on TV." It applies to any TV series, and likely always will. JJ will never be able to live up to that. He will do good work, but that will be remember (by us anyway) as his best.
I have hopes for Fringe, but not for it to be my new Alias. If it becomes that I will conclude that JJ is Rambaldi. (Page48- yes, you can use that.)

BTW, welcome back Kendrah!

Page48 said...

Interesting "Fringe" podcast from Orci and Kurtzman. Several "Alias" mentions here.

Apparently "Lost" has these weekly podcasts, but I confess I don't check them out. Again, to the best of my knowledge, there was never an "Alias" podcast. "Alias" was born too soon, I tells ya.

uncle111 said...

In the Fringe podcast they said the actor they have to play William Bell doesn't know he is going to play William Bell. I doubt they have an actor on retainer who is waiting around to find out what part he's been hired for, who will be told at some point he's going to play Bell. It would be easy enough for him, and anyone who knows he's been hired for a part not yet disclosed, to figure out that he is to be Bell.

So, it seems to me one of the characters we already know, or will know soon, is really Bell using an, dare I say, alias.

Which one of them is going to turn out to be Bell?

I also thought it was interesting that the writers are spending a lot of time on blogs and sites to interact with fans and see what they are saying. What most manufacturers wouldn't give to be able to focus group their product a daily basis and mold it to consumer desires on a weekly basis.

Page48 said...

Uncle, I found the Wm. Bell situation strange as well.

With +/- a half dozen episodes in the can already, the actor to appear as Bell could well be, as you suggest, someone who has already wrapped up an appearance that we may not see for several weeks yet.

I like the idea that Orci/Kurtzman are scouring the blogs. I would like to know which one(s) they are monitoring, so I could post my opinions there.

I fired off my reaction to the Pilot episode on fringebloggers.com. If they are keeping an eye on that blog, then we should soon see some tweaking in future episodes (yeah, right!).

How would Season 4 of "Alias" have differed if someone was monitoring consumer feedback, OR (gulp!) was Season 4 a response to consumer feedback?

uncle111 said...

I didn't make it to any Alias boards till after the last episode of S4, so I'm not familiar with what was being discussed there during S4.

Do you remember much of the discussions?

Page48 said...

I can't recall any specifics of the discussion on the ABC Boards of the day, but clearly the elephant in the room was self-contained episodes, an abandoning of the formula that made the first 3 seasons so amazing.

I remember watching an early S4 episode with my brother, and neither of us wanted to state the obvious, but it was clear that someone had dropped the ball.

This is an obstacle that "Fringe" will have to overcome from the git-go, since JJ seems to have gone right off of serial TV. In fairness, there seems to be a backlash across the board when it comes to serial shows, although people at work still rave about "Prison Break" and certainly "Lost" is still riding high. I'm not sure I understand the fear of going serial.

uncle111 said...

Page48,
Any comments on Fringe last night?

Page48 said...

Well, for starters, I think they missed an opportunity to say "Previously, on 'Fringe'".

Considering the self-contained nature of this show, I liked the fact that it ended with unanswered questions about Peter's medical history. Obviously more to come there.

Olivia faced actual danger in this episode, which will be essential, IMO. Personally, I can do with less weird science and more conspiracy and more high probability of capture/torture/death on Olivia's part. One of the highlights of "Alias" is that you could barely trust anyone to be what they appeared to be. Backstabbing and double dealing were key ingredients and I would like to see those themes revisited here.

I was annoyed by the character recap performed by Nina Sharp at the beginning of the show at the hastily called meeting. I didn't feel there was any need for that and I don't want it popping up every week.

Overall, I thought it had a strong "X-Files" influence. Mulder and Scully dealt with a lot of weird shit and "Fringe" certainly brings on more of same, sans aliens.

I was extremely impressed that Agent Scott could die in the dead of winter and (presumably) days later it's spring sunshine and green grass in every direction. Doesn't work that way where I live.

uncle111 said...

My reaction so far-
I have yet to form any attachements to the characters. However, I am liking the Bishops, Peter first and then Walter. Broyles is also interestingly mysterious. No connection/attachments to Olivia, however. She seems too new to her profession emotionally. She is both bland and new to it all, but isn't the kind of person I want to rescue or see rescued, or believe could rescue me.

I loved X-Files. But this is too much like the sci-fi side of X-Files, but lacking in the centrality of it's "shadow government" conspiracy side.

In addition- you know how in Lost (I bailed on it after second season because of the endless back stories, so this observation only applies to what I know of that)good guys who should have dispatched people who looked like they were the baddies, but didn't, and how you never were sure if the people you wanted to see get it in the face were in the end going to be shown to be good guys? I'm feeling a little of that here.
In Burn Notice you have the dynamic of Weston having to let people you want dead, and who you know he could kill, live because if he doesn't kill them he can use them. But you have the sense that Weston is really in control, or will be, and is equal to the task. That's missing in Fringe.

Now, I know this is just 2 episodes in and they need time to develop these themes and dynamics, but I need something a little stronger to keep my involved long enough to follow the development.

I'm still in for now, but I need that missing something in order to emotionally commit to this thing. We've already had X-Files and Alias. They left us with a taste for developed mysteries, conspiracies and characters that grab us. If we don't get some of that in a few more episodes I'll just pop in a DVD, maybe Alias for the 8th round.

Page48 said...

Yeah, the beauty of "X-Files" was in the shenanigans of the Cigarette Smoking Man and his cronies and how Mulder and Scully matched wits with them, rather than the prospect of catching a glimpse of alien flesh (or an eyeball 3 inches out of its socket as per "Fringe" 1.2).

The conspiracy aspect will be key because I don't believe the show can survive if all they do is clean up Dr. Bishop's old science experiments every week.

I've actually enjoyed the first 2 eppies of Season 2 of Terminator TSCC and I'll be tuning in to "Heroes" again next week (or whenever it is). It's do or die for Hiro and company in my estimation. Last year's short season, with the first several eppies boring the crap out of me with 16th century Japan, was a biggie disappointment, after such a great first season. Get it back on the rails now, or f-f-f-fade away.

srg-alias said...

hey all, I'm back from vacation (bummer). :) Last night I turned on the TV and happened to catch the last half of Fringe. I didn't see the pilot, but knew enough about the show to sort of understand what was going on. It was interesting, I wanted to see what would happen, but there were some things that irked me, like some of Peter's cliche remarks to his father's ideas, and the fact that Olivia couldn't outrun a man aging 80 years before her eyes (Syd she definitely ain't).

I don't want to be too judgmental, not having seen the pilot or the first half hour of this episode, I think the show has potential, but I agree I feel zero attachment to the lead character (not sure if it's the character or the acting), which won't hold me long...

uncle111 said...

Looks like we're all on the same page with Fringe, for the most part anyway.

I'm loving Burn Notice and anxiously waiting for Heroes.

Page48 said...

Interview with Orci, Kurtzman, and Pinkner.

More of their thoughts on where "Fringe" is headed.

Good to know they frequent rense.com. It's one of these mother-of-all-conspiracy websites (911 was an inside job sort of stuff). Bodes well for those of us who thrive on conspiracy storylines.

Page48 said...

I thought the most recent "Burn Notice" was one of the better efforts of late. Nice twist on the client-of-the-week with Michael approaching someone who didn't even know she needed his help instead of the other way around.

And, man, is Tim Matheson looking old these days or what?

srg-alias said...

Better late than never, I just watched the Fringe pilot on the Fox web site. I honestly liked it more than I thought I would, having seen only the last 30 mins of eppy 2 beforehand. I do feel more of an attachment toward Olivia, having seen her more vulnerable with her guard down around John. I kept myself from reading GS's original post before watching, which ended up being good because I was totally surprised by him turning out to be a baddy, didn't see that one coming. Like Page I was impressed at the clever way they revealed his true nature through the phone conversation we easily dismissed at the beginning. I figured/knew John would die, similar to Syd/Danny, but appreciate the added twist in the plot. Does anyone else really like the chic from Massive Dynamic?? Her character and the way she's played is well done IMO. She's smart and well spoken, but has an air of amusement while she's being politely condescending toward Olivia. I got a kick out of the last line "question him", nice little cliffhanger there.

Page48 said...

How do we suppose that Nina (Massive D.) got her hands on Agent Scott body 5 hours after he died? He died in Boston and presumably went to a local hospital. Massive D. is in NY city. Some quick action needed to learn of his death and obtain his remains in such short order. Perhaps Massive D. has tentacles in Boston medical community, or they just hijacked the ambulance the way Irina Derevko might.

Nina was obviously playing mind games with Olivia. Having previously questioned the late Agent Scott, she clearly knew that he was shagging Olivia. Nina is devious.

BTW, does anyone buy that Nina was a marathon runner a scant 10 years ago? Not workin' for me.

I thought we might learn something of the results of Scott's questioning in 1.2, but apparently that will have to wait.

In light of the fact that serial TV is now out of vogue, I like the fact that both the pilot and 1.2 ended with a bit of mystery to be fleshed out at a later date. That's as close as we will get to cliffhangers these days, I suspect, but it's better than tying up all loose ends and fading to black each week. Compromise, I suppose, is the order of the day.

Since Nina is on Broyles' shadowy round-table team, did Broyles know about Agent Scott's questioning or is Nina running her own game on the side? I suspect the latter.

As much as I would like to see Olivia carry on like Sydney Bristow, I think we have to accept that she is in a different occupation than Syd. I don't think her body is a lethal weapon like Syd's. Hell, she's probably never killed a guy. But, in her defense, she does enjoy a good car chase and doesn't balk at throwing herself off a rooftop in the service of her country.

If I had the ability to tweak, I would have Walter curb some of his goofier side ("I pissed myself"???), and I would have Peter ease off on the smart-ass negative remarks and commit to the work that he's doing now, which is probably the first honest work he's ever done.

As far as Olivia is concerned, I like her. She's not Syd, but I can't find much fault with her character. Of the 3 key members of the team, she possesses the stability which is missing from the other 2.

Broyles seems like little more than a supervisor so far, kind of like Skinner was in "X-Files". More is required of Broyles if we are to believe that "The Pattern" is the threat that he suggests it is. Paper pushing won't cut it if the future of the world as we know it is at stake.

Robetron said...

I was able to catch the pilot Sunday night. For the most part, I agree with the assessment that has been already posted.

There is something about it that just sets my teeth on edge. I can't really figure it out what it is that bothers me about it. Maybe its the acting or some of the dialog. I can't really buy into the scenario either. A former criminally unethical scientist is put in prison, and just because Olivia tells her boss "just do it," she gets him out and takes over some part of a college research facility that had been closed for 30 years just so they can continue researching "fringe science?" Who is going to see that happening in reality. It's incredulity on parade.

I was never a fan of X-Files, and maybe the similar tone is what has me saying, "eh" *shrug*. I will admit, however, that it was more entertaining than the pottery channel, so I will reserve judgment until I am able to watch episode 2 online.

I think with many shows last season, they suffered in quality as well as quantity due to the writer's strike. I'm giving some shows another chance. I'm sure 24 will survive on my list. The previews do not look good to me.

Heroes still has holding potential.

I stayed with Lost, and last season was fantastic, so I will definitely stay until the end.

The Unit is consistently good and remains on my top five list.

Last season with Battlestar Galactica was fairly disappointing for me because I thought they were trying to do too much, but the overall quality of the show will keep me until the end there too.

I am a total Burn Notice fan. Every show, despite being slightly formulaic, is always good. I'm glad they will pick up again this coming winter (last night's season finale was great!).

I don't know if there are any other Smallville fans, but I am hooked until the end there too. When it is bad, it is awful, but when it is good, it is really something special.

Other than Fringe, can anyone else make other suggestions? This year will be the end for several of my favorite shows. I'm waiting to be intrigued by another.

-R.

Page48 said...

Wow, the Pottery Channel. Is that available in HD?

What the heck is "Burn Notice" doing? I mean 9 episodes and out. Is this like an "Alias" hiatus? Didn't we just have a hiatus for the US Open Tennis thingy? I feel violated.

Robetron said...

Page48,

I could be wrong about this, but I have the feeling that the USA Channel did not know the gem they had with Burn Notice, and they began airing the first season in the summer. Now that they know how good it really is, they likely want to put it on during the prime TV watching seasons. they had to keep viewers by airing some episodes during summer 2008, but they likely reserved the rest for the transition into 2009.

It's interesting that so many shows are avoiding the hated hiatus problem by waiting into January to begin the season. 24 will not start 'til 2009. Battlestar Galactica will also wait. Now Burn Notice starts over again this winter. If I'm not mistaken, Lost is also delayed (someone please correct me if I have that wrong).

Maybe the networks are finally "getting" that TV fans despise having a two month gap between the shows in the middle of a season.

-R.

Bonkers for Bristow said...

I'll be very honest. Fringe is just ok. I don't think I would be watching it if it didn't have the JJ tie in. The only character I find myself really paying attention to is the red haired lady with the bionic arm (even though the effects were pretty fake. I think Bionic Woman had better bionic effects in the pilot.) And I really have to ask why all these women are wearing black underwear sets. Walking through any underwear department shows that about 90% of underwear are white and yet JJ has put both of his half naked women in black. Looks better on tv I guess. Did Syd have to strip down for her drug induced mind meld? And what is with the cow?

I know some of you guys love Burn Notice like I do. I've been searching for a blog on it and have nothing. The USA forums are juvenile at best and I hate to kidnap LTA. Any one find any place out there like LTA for BN?

Page48 said...

Bonkers, I'm unaware of any BN blogs, although they must be out there.

I have to say that I wish BN was on one of the big networks, so that we might get 22 eppies/year instead of the dozen or so that we're getting now.

It also would not hurt my feelings at all if they ramped up the back story of Carla and whole burn scenario and weened off of the client-of-the-week format. The show is entertaining as it is but I think that focusing on the real cat and mouse story between Michael and his tormentors would raise BN to a whole new level. Not holding my breath, though.

Robetron said...

I completely agree, Page48. That would bring Burn Notice from a cool, entertaining, light-hearted spy show into a real drama that would rival the very best on TV.

Before long, they will be force to break away from the formula just to keep it fresh.

I have a theory that Michael's mom has always been a high ranking, highly deceptive, clandestine officer, and it was she who burned Michael in order to get him to become a little more domesticated, involved with family, and possibly having brought Fiona to Miami to set him up with a wife whom she approved to complement Michael's lifestyle. What do you all think?

Robetron said...

I just watched the 3rd episode of fringe last night, and I'm just not into it. I'm just buying the whole premise. I can't help it. I almost never give a show this much effort to try to like it, but I'm not getting it done.

For those who do like it, I won't say anything else about it. I would not want to discourage anyone. I only wanted to go on the record to say "I tried."

-R.

Page48 said...

Three episodes in (speaking of "Fringe", of course)and they still haven't addressed the issue of a nearly complete lack of excitement.

I'm interested in conspiracy/danger/action, not science. Not even way-out-there-advanced-over-the-top science. I took science in high school, that was enough.

I so look forward to using the edge of my seat when I sit down in front of what is billed as a 'thriller', but so far my ass has yet to come in contact with said edge.

I understand the predicament JJ and co. are in. They want a weird-science-experiment-of-the-week type of show which can be fully enjoyed by the casual, uncommitted 'fan', but surely a dude with JJ's experience knows that, absent of some much more compelling back story going on at the same time, viewers aren't going to keep tuning in to a weekly update on 20 year old lab experiments run amok.

Bottom line? JJ, sit down and re-watch the first 3 eppies of "Alias", then the first 3 eppies of "Fringe" and you'll know exactly what needs to be done. Then maybe you'll stop bad-mouthing "Alias".

Robetron said...

Watching "Knight Rider" at the moment. They could have done so much better. The goof-ball humor does not fit with the action. They are trying to broaden the interest by having a back story, but it is all coming off very forced.

The new ability of KIT to transform into a pickup truck is too obvious, and too ridiculous. I can suspend disbelief for Transformers, because they supposedly came from another planet. Pretending like we have that sort of technology... just over the top.

Anyone else see it?

Page48 said...

I gave "Knight Rider" a 5 minute tryout but it just irritated the hell out of me, so I moved on. This is a series that didn't need a remake in the first place.

My worst nightmare is that 20 years from now, some clown decides a remake of "Alias" is in order, and it turns out to be as bad as the new "Knight Rider" or the "Beverly Hillbillies" movie with Imogene Coca as Granny's Ma. Anybody remember how bad that was?

If you can't make it better (or at least as good), don't make it at all.

uncle111 said...

Yes, I'd like an intense Burn vs Burners turn, as well as full seasons.

Knight Rider- I didn't think the recent movie held much promise. I think the series is already doomed.

I'm still going to watch Fringe, for a while. But I'm pretty luke warm about it.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. community keeps debating whether or not there should be a remake series or a movie. After the movies I Spy, Wild Wild West, etc., etc., most would rather just be left with their fond memories of a great TV series.

uncle111 said...

Just finished E3.
Walter and Peter are becoming the main characters because of their superior screen presence. They will keep me tuned in for now.

Page48 said...

Uncle, my biggest fear for Walter is that he has to tread that fine line between eccentric genius and just plain goofy wacko. I want the writers to always err on the side of serious with this type of show. I felt that Walter was less goofy in 1.3 than in the previoius 2 shows. That's a good thing, IMO.

Sadly lacking in the 1st three shows is the element of DANGER. There are no dangerous situations for Olivia and the Bishops to face. I want to watch this thing with sweaty palms. I want to jump 2 inches off my seat once in a while. So far, notta.

This week, Peter and Olivia illegally entered and searched Peter's childhood home. The writers didn't even have the current owners show up while they were inside. That's a classic setup for the will-they-get-out-without-being-caught scene. Lawn bowling is fraught with more danger than the life of Agent Dunham.

I'll give them credit for trying to plant the seeds of mystery and intrigue here, but so far they haven't dropped a hint about what is going on in the background here. My desire here would be more plot, less science class. It's clearly not shaping up as an action show, so let's have something to think about from week to week rather than watching Walter drill craniums and pull eyeballs.

uncle111 said...

Page46,
I agree with you-
"I'll give them credit for trying to plant the seeds of mystery and intrigue here, but so far they haven't dropped a hint about what is going on in the background here. My desire here would be more plot, less science class. It's clearly not shaping up as an action show, so let's have something to think about from week to week rather than watching Walter drill craniums and pull eyeballs."

SRG said...

Here's a bit of good news for those of you not so impressed w/ Fringe and missing the action element. This morning the radio show I listen to interviewed Eliza Dushku, who specifically said that Dollhouse has that exciting "Alias/Bourne Identity action" element (yup, she said Alias friends), so that's something to look forward to in January. :)

p.s. this is srg-alias, I just changed to only SRG since I post on other blogs too.

Bonkers for Bristow said...

Well, perhaps there's hope as both Alias and Bourne are high on my list.

Anyone watch Hereos here? Any thoughts on the new season? I had high hopes as they publicly announced that it would be more like season one and less like two which was universally unimpressive. Unfortunately I'm not re-hooked. There's not even Sark to relieve the monotony.

But the season opener of The Unit was awesome! Jam-packed and emotional. I have to applaud them for the way they are adding a new character. Rather than jamming her down our throats, they seem to be putting her in where it seems most logical.

Robetron said...

I completely agree about The Unit. It never seems to have a bad episode. Love that show.

I like the the new Heroes. I'm into it, but there seems to be an overlapping of powers that seems a little unoriginal, but its no big thing. They really seem to be following the X-Men model. I hope there is more teaming up of perceived good guys Vs. bad guys.

Sylar is becoming more and more interesting by the episode.

Page48 said...

Srg works for me. Srg-Alias is just a tad difficult for me to type quickly because I learned my letters well, but didn't stay in typing class long enough to master numbers or punctuation marks.

I anxiously await "Dollhouse". I understand production shut down for a few weeks while Whedon straightened out a few scripting problems (re-writes I guess). Hopefully this show will be as appealing as Whedon's "Firefly", but with a whole lot longer shelf life. Let's hope FOX smartens up a bit this time around. If "Dollhouse" isn't exactly an "Alias" clone, it will at least have Kelly Peyton (Amy Acker) on board.

I, too, have had a little trouble getting re-hooked on "Heroes", but I'm hoping that I'll get that lovin' feeling again soon. There's a lot going on in this show, and it requires full attention.

I've never been a regular viewer of "The Unit", but I enjoy the episodes I do see. I must say, though, that my least favourite part of the show is when they turn to the spotlight over to the wives/girlfriends back home. Don't care about that, just wanting some great covert ops kind of stuff to get me all nervous and twitchy.

I gather tonight on "Fringe" we get a closer look at the "observer", the bald guy that has appeared in each episode, apparently keeping an eye on Dunham. I wouldn't have even noticed said bald dude, if not for the eagle-eyes at fringebloggers.com.

Speaking of 'eagle-eyes', "Eagle Eye" is a movie I think I'll need to check out, along with "Traitor", and "Body of Lies".

ilovealias4ever said...

Page48 -- In reference to your earlier comment about 'Fringe' failing to provide you (and many others) with that edge-of-your-seat suspense, I was wondering which Alias episodes/ moments did happen to gauge that reaction from you?

I know I've said this about a million times, but I just love reading your posts. They're so interesting and insightful; they make you think.

SRG -- thanks for the info about that interview with Eliza Dushku.

I have, over the last two weeks, become insanely obsessed with the Bourne movies, and I am obviously crazy about Alias -- so anything that has an element from those, is worth a good looking at in my opinion.

I'm very intrigued...

Page48 said...

ILA4E, the individual moments in "Alias" that had me living life on the edge of my seat were too numerous to mention.

The reason for that is the fact that the show's Mission Statement was very simply to employ "shock and awe" at every opportunity. Though many different methods were used, the one thing they all had in common was that they involved the distinct possibility that Sydney Bristow might die NOW (or a few seconds from now).

Whether it was Syd's parking garage skirmish in "Truth Be Told" or manipulating one of McCullough's "do-or-die" polygraph tests, or excusing herself from Sloane's dinner table to go and rummage through his drawers, the viewer was always aware of the enormous risk that she was taking. And the writers were aware that we were aware. One false move and Sloane would have her waxed and we knew it. So why not take us right to the edge, and then.....

Those are just a few examples of the kind of tension that writers chose to lavish on us throughout the entire series, knowing that we craved that kind of excitement the way monkeys crave bananas.

And, sadly, that is precisely the kind of tension that the writers of "Fringe" (so far) have chosen to deprive us of, for reasons known only to them.

Add to that the fact that serial TV, complete with delicious cliffhangers, is so completely demonized right now, and it becomes clear that "Fringe" has to come up with a very compelling mythology to win over the action/conspiracy diehards like us.

Like you, I'm totally enammoured with the Bourne movies. I can see "Alias" in each of them, and I can't wait till the 4th instalment comes out (next year I believe). To me, Jason Bourne is just Sydney Bristow in survival mode, without her team and familiar surroundings. At least that's the way I choose to look at them.

I keep hoping that, since the Damons and the Afflecks are buds, that JG will be extended an invitation to appear in a Bourne flick down the road (although how many more will there be?).

uncle111 said...

Well, I'm back to not being able to log on at work.
I haven'e seen any Heroes yet. I'll have to catch up next week online. I think I also missed this week's Fringe. I assume it wasn't much change.

Bonkers for Bristow said...

Guys,
I just found out from a coworker that she has become addicted to Alias. I have not yet heard how she started watching but she has been stalking her mailbox for the next disc from Netflix everyday for a week now. I delivered Season Two to her this morning and she squealed in delight. It's so exciting to experience the show all over again from her fresh, excited eyes. I have to be very careful when I talk to her because I'm having a hard time remembering what she has seen and learned and what she hasn't. For example, I forgot that Mom shoots Syd at the beginning of S2, not the end of S1. It reminds me again of how much I love this show. This winter will be a great time to sit down, surround myself with snacks and drinks and watch an Alias marathon. I think it's time to get back into them.

Page48 said...

"Burn Notice" dude Jeffrey Donovan starring in Clint's latest effort, "Changeling", along with Angelina Jolie.

Page48 said...

The 2nd season of "Life" is underway. Now, that's no biggie, I've only watched it 2 or 3 times.

What I didn't realize until tonite is that the female lead of "Life" is a honey by the name of Sarah Shahi, who, far more importantly to obsessive types like us, played Will Tippin's secretary/shag-doll Jenny in 7 episodes of "Alias".

Will's Jenny has a show of her own. Who knew??

uncle111 said...

Bonkers,
I just got 2 friends hooked. It's like getting Alias back, at least a little. Very rewarding!

Jenny- yes. I liked Jenny. Yes...Jenny.

Burn- Someone on a Man From U.N.C.L.E. board I'm a member of has a daughter who was a recent extra on Burn. He and his wife went to watch and got recruited as extras. The daughter is probably going to be in a close up. It was interesting to read his detailed account of the day of filming.

Page48 said...

Where have all the heroes gone? American heroes. Specifically, American kick-ass girl heroes.

Jen retired from the hero biz in 2006. Since then, we've pinned our hopes on:

a British "Bionic Woman"
a British Sarah Connor
an Aussie Agent Olivia Dunham
an Aussie CIA agent Sarah (currently the only gorgeous ass-kicking spy-babe on TV that I know of) on "Chuck"

And BTW, why do I have to get my "Alias" spy kicks from the light-hearted "Chuck"? Why is it that I have to watch "Chuck" to see Marshall and Dixon these days? Why is "Chuck" such a success, when a serious spy story is what we all want? While we're at it, why are there more dangerous situations (not to mention spinning drop kicks) in 5 minutes of "Chuck" than I get from "Fringe" or any other conspiracy yarn?

Just wondering.

SRG said...

congrats page on being comment #47. ;-) The blog sure has been quiet lately, and I haven't watched Fringe in a few weeks or any of the other shows mentioned here so that's my excuse. :) Just a reminder for those who were interested that My Own Worst Enemy w/ Christian Slater premieres tonight (NBC 10/9c). It's on past my bedtime but I may record it...

Bonkers for Bristow said...

SRG,
Can we get a new post for My Own Worst Enemy? I've got some comments and this topic getting a bit long and unweildy.
Thanks!

SRG said...

Bonkers - sure I can create one but I didn't watch it so I don't have much to say, do you want to write one up?

Bonkers for Bristow said...

Eek. I don't have my thoughts together enough to write a whole essay and since I'm heading off tomorrow for vacation I wouldn't get it done in time. How about just a MOWE header and "discuss" or something like that. :)

SRG said...

done and done! :)