***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!
Fringe Season 1 - 3 out of 5
I think congratulations are in order for J.J. Abrams for creating yet another mediocre television show. However, unlike his previous shows, this one doesn't start out fantastic and crash lands quickly into the land of mediocrity, instead it starts out mediocre and continues on that track for the entire first season.
The story is, at its core, an X-Files rip off. It deals with fringe science and the paranormal. Mad Scientist Dr. Walter Bishop was involved in some serious screwed up shit and it's up to him, his son Peter Bishop (who, not shockingly at all, has a tough relationship with) and an F.B.I. agent, Olivia Dunham, to solve the problems his research has caused. Nearly every episodes follows the same formula as each episode contains (mostly) a close ended story that does little to expand on the overall story arc of Walter and Peter's relationship or Walter's mysterious past and the connection they seemingly have to Olivia. Now, I know it sounds like I'm being hard on the show but the self-contained stories are just entertaining enough that the show is interesting and the fact that the character of Walter is FUCKING EPIC enough that the fact the show's overall mythology is poorly written is forgivable. Even trying to watch the show and forget that Joshua Jackson was on Dawson Creek and a Tiger Beat alumni and the fact his character is one of those generic TV bad boys who seemingly trims his face so he has a permanent five o'clock shadow and he talks in slang and lingo that NO ONE else in the world uses (which I guess is suppose to show how cool he is) is something I can forgive. Even though he is basically a carbon copy of Sawyer from J.J. Abrams other mediocre show, Lost.
However, the one sin this show delivers that I cannot forgive and hurts the score I gave it, was the fact that Anna Torv, who plays Agent Olivia Dunham, is such a god awful actress that she instantly takes me out of the show whenever she's in a scene. Her performance is wooden and the only emotions she EVER shows is complete disinterest (which she uses when thoughtful and happy) and a look of dismay that is so intense, you would think her face would crack in two (she also uses this face when mad, so her emotions make no sense). Her inability to be convincing in her face is so bad, it seems the writers intentionally put in dialogue from the supporting cast that flat out TELL the audience what she is feeling. Her acting is so bad, that every time she is on screen, I find myself asking, "Was she the best audition for this role? I would hate to see those who didn't make the cut."
Other than terrible acting, some lackluster writing and the fact the show steals a lot of its stories from The X-Files, Fringe is an entertaining enough show with enough promise that I will continue to watch.