I didn’t know much about Fringe going in, but I was somewhat excited because it’s sci-fi and I do adore Josh Jackson. However, let me be clear going in – I have a love/hate relationship with the work of JJ Abrams. I kind of have the opinion that he starts shows, gets bored starts new shoes leaving the old ones twisting and then realizes that the old ones are plummeting so he jumps back on the old show briefly before jumping into another new show and abandoning the old one all over again. Fringe is one of those shows; he’s tired of Lost and backing off again to do this show.
The disappointing thing is that Fringe is not that good. It’s got some buzz around it, and Josh Jackson is really good, but the pilot is really disjointed and majorly feels like it is trying to pin down it’s genre. I’m used to people still ironing out odds and ends after their show’s pilot – but the genre/tone? I also didn’t like the casting of the lead actress, Anna Torv. It’s not that Torv did a bad job, she just doesn’t seem to have the presence to carry this kind of a show, and this show operates on what seems to be a huge scale.
Fringe feels very incoherent. Unlike most good pilots it doesn’t really set up a central concept to the show, it spends it’s time setting up Trov’s initial romance, the chemistry between Trov & Jackson and that there is a “conspiracy” out there…but nothing that really tells you “this is our show” so the audience is left guessing what a second episode would look like.
Be it the networks fault or Abrams fault, Fringe still needs a lot of work. Right now it feels like an uncertain version of The X-Files.